PROFESOR JOHN WILKES OF UNIVERSITY OF LONDON HAS RECENTLY ESTABLISHED THAT BOSNIANS ARE ILLYRIANS - AN ANCIENT EUROPEAN PEOPLE. IT WAS PREVIOUSLY BELIEVED THAT ALBANIANS ARE ILLYRIANS. HOWEVER, HE FOUND OUT THAT ROMANIZATION, HELLENIZATION OR SLAVENIZATION OF THE ILLYRIANS HAS NEVER TAKEN PLACE
"Wilkes is the foremost LIVING authority on the Illyrians. His is the LATEST comprehensive work on the Illyrian people. In his book, "The Illyrians", John Wilkes states on pg: 219:
"NOT MUCH RELIANCE SHOULD PERHAPS BE PLACED ON ATTEMPTS TO IDENTIFY AN ILLYRIAN ANTHROPOLOGICAL TYPE AS SHORT AND DARK SKINNED SIMMILAR TO
Wilkes has been proven CORRECT by science when the Human Genome Project's Y-chromosome study of European populations, confirmed that the vast majority of contemporary Albanians do not share an Illyrian or any Indo-European linneage - they are mostly a pre-IE Mediterranean population.
John Wilkes correctly puts Illyrian descendants among contemporary ex-Yugoslavs, centered around Montenegro and Bosnia and branching out into Dalmatia and south-western Serbia. Wilkes hints that ex-Yugoslavs are slavicized Illyrians and he leans on C.S Coon who insists that Albanians are of mixed Slavic, Thracian, Turkish, Armenoid and Illyrian origin.
This work was published in 1991 and based on the newest excavations undertaken in ex-Illyria. Wilkes brings out plenty of the most recent archaeological and anthropological evidence which other's in his field did not have access to.
Ten years after he published this work, the Human Genome Project's Y-chromosome study proved him correct. Modern science has dealt a huge blow to Albanian attempts to usurpe the Illyrian legacy. He was a decade ahead of his time. Because of his work, many academics within Albania have also come out in favour of accepting the new findings; namely: Kaplan Resuli, Fatos Lubonja, Ardian Qosi and Ardian Vebiu. They are joined by many international critics of the now debunked Albanian-Illyrian theory: Paul, Hirt, Weigand, Tomashek, Georgiev, Pushcariu and many others.
Read this book. Keep in mind that it is based on evidence older works did not have access to and keep in mind that science has proven Wilkes correct ten years after he published this long-overdue honest and objective, thorough analysis of the legacy of one of Europe's oldest civilizations. The Albanians can no longer unjustly monopolise a whole people as they have done in the past."
BUT THE STORY IS GETTING A NEW TWIST: THE SO-CALLED "BOSNIAN PYRAMIDS" THAT RECENTLY (2006-2007) CAUGHT ATTENTION OF THE WORLD MEDIA (CNN, MSNBC, FOX, REUTERS, AP) ARE ACTUALLY A WORK BY THE ILLYRIANS AND THE ROMANS ACCORDING TO DR. MENSUR OMERBASHICH OF BERKELEY:
"Two great misconceptions, mostly malicious (nationalist-chauvinist-driven), reign the historical sciences in the western-Balkans for the last two and a half centuries. The first misconception concerns the never-ending disputation between the Albanian and the Serbian school. While the former school claims Albanians to be the last (only authentic?) surviving Illyrians, the latter claims not only that Albanians are Thracians (i.e., not Illyrians) but it also says that no such people as Illyrians has ever existed, instead contending that the locals were all Slav/Serb because ancient sources are filled with references to "sclavs" and "serfs"... The second misconception is related to the first, and it concerns the issue of who the Slavs were (or weren't) in the Balkans before the national awakening of the 18th century...
The reason for the two schools being so unapologetic lies in the possible answers to the crucial question they thus pose: Whose is the western Balkans? But being so extreme, neither of those two views seems very authentic; besides, no other interested parties living in the area have ever been asked for their opinion on the above two fundamental disputes that can (and do - as we speak) have great repercussions on lives of millions. At the same time, both schools oppose wholeheartedly and fight
fiercely any idea of Bosnia-centered Illyria, even though the idea is supported by a world's leading authority on Illyrians, Professor of Roman and Greek archaeology John Wilkes (the author of "The Illyrians", Oxford Press 2000).
Wilkes supports the concept of a Bosnia-centered Illyria, proposing that it's actually Bosnia, not Albania, which was Illyria. This is also obvious from the maps shown here. It's rather a mystery how Bosnia, so prominent and nearby the Rome itself, could have gotten omitted from most texts from/on the Roman Empire. He writes of Illyrians:
(1) "...A separate group of Illyrians identified by renowned historian Geza Alfoldy: he identifies 'Pannonian peoples' in Bosnia, northern Montenegro [around Pljevlja and Prijepolje, p.84] and western Serbia [Sandžak]". p.75
(2) "Not much reliance should perhaps be placed on attempts to identify an Illyrian anthropological type
as short and dark-skinned similar to modern Albanians." p.219
(3) "...a documented description of Illyrians, Pannonian family: -Pannonians are tall and strong, always
ready for a fight and to face dangeour but slow-witted." p.219
(4) "Life has always been hard in the Illyrian lands and countless wars of resistance against invaders are
testimony to the durability of their populations." p.220
(5) "In sum, the destructive impact [of Bosnia-centred theory] on the earlier generalizations regarding
Illyrians should be regarded as a step forward." p.40.
The Illyrians-Bogomils-Bosniaks continuity is self-evident as the above finds coincide with the settlements of today's Bosniaks (the Muslims of the Balkans).
Contrary to common belief, for the most part of their long history Illyrians/Bosnians had a strong fleet, brave infantry, and able generals. As immediate neighbors of the Romans and Greeks, they were enormously envied however. Therefore no Roman or Greek record referred to the Illyrians in any other way except as "pirates", "thieves", "barbarians", "rebels" or even "sclavs" and "serfs" (Lat. sclavo = Slav; serf = servus = slave, later on 'exiled Russian slave'), both terms used by the Romans as insult only, i.e., long before the 6th century when real Slav hordes began attacking and committing mass murder of
thousands of Illyrians at a time, always careful not to encounter the Roman legions but only unarmed civilians (thus "softening" the Roman defenses that semi-relied on non-Italian recruits in Illyria and Thracia; before moving the border of civilizations westward to Drina River and on). Probably, the insults were part of the first geopolitical game ever played in the Antiquity, where both Rome and Greece played on the card of a well-known geopolitical fact that your immediate neighbor is your enemy, and that your immediate neighbor's neighbor is your natural ally. Similarly, later on, in the 18th century, Serbian nationalists will claim that all "sclav" and "serf" ever mentioned in the Antiquity were actually Serbs. (In the same grabbing manner they simplistically and systematically translated all appearances of 'Sclavoniae' in Latin texts, as 'Serbia(n)'.) Thus it's Serbian relentless nationalism that makes it important to set the record straight - today more than ever.
No wonder both (and only) the Serbian and Albanian schools largely dismiss Wilkes (thus giving him an
enormous credibility), for Wilkes says it's hard to believe Bosnian-Illyrian tribes were "Romanized", "Hellenized", etc. This however is what the Serbian school needs desperately so that they too can claim that the same tribes had been also "Slavicized" after the fall of the Western Roman Empire and into the Mid Ages.
Unfortunately, history of Europe is history of war, even more so in case of the Balkans, and even more so still in case of Bosnia. Therefore, most of the grand events/undertakings in the area can probably be explained by geopolitical motives and related military activities. I don't need to remind the reader that the same overlaying set of rules applies to Bosnia even today, as it did in her recent past (Dayton Accord 1995, Teheran Conference 1943, Berlin Congress 1878), the most recent Kosovo-Bosnia connection - including the 1992-1995 aggression - being its latest manifestation as we speak... This is also why in the above I use geopolitical maps only (to show that most of the intermediate maps are unreliable), for
geopolitics is "oberpolitics", with everything else (including history) from Antiquity till today being nothing more than its byproduct."