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The City of Ubar - The Atlantis of the Sands and the People of Aad

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The City of Ubar - The Atlantis of the Sands and the People of Aad

  1. 1. THE ATLANTIS OF THE SANDS  In 1983, Nicholas Clapp, an amateur archeologist and the documentary filmmaker embarked to South of Oman on a mission to find the lost city in Arabia – called Ubar.  He was inspired by Bertram Thomas who wrote Arabia Felix and T.E. Lawrence, popularly known as Lawrence of Arabia, who termed the lost city of Ubar as ‘The Atlantis of the Sands’. Archeological Expedition Shafin Verani – July 2013 2
  2. 2. THE ATLANTIS OF THE SANDS  “I would like to talk to someone about using the Space Shuttle to look for a lost city.”  One day, while leafing through a newspaper, Clapp came across a story about how an aerial radar system had located Mayan ruins beneath the dense jungle in Central America.  An alliance was formed to help Clapp and his team to re-discover the lost city in Arabia – Ubar. Archeological Expedition Shafin Verani – July 2013 4
  3. 3. THE ATLANTIS OF THE SANDS  The area in Magenta color is a region of large sand dunes  The prominent green areas are rough lime stone rocks that form a major rocky desert floor.  A ‘Wadi’ or dry streambed, runs across the middle and is shown in white.  The reddish streaks are the tracks leading to the lost city. These tracks have been used in modern times, but field investigations showed many were in use in ancient times as well. COLOURFUL SATELLITE IMAGE - OBTAINED IN 1994 COVERED AREA OF ABOUT 50 BY 100 KM OF THE ARABIAN PENINSULA Satellite Imaging Shafin Verani – July 2013 5
  4. 4. THE ATLANTIS OF THE SANDS  In early 1992, evidence began to emerge of an octagonal fortified city with 30 feet towers and thick walls.  Inside, were many buildings including store rooms, frankincense burners, and pottery shards from various regions were found dating back to about 2000 B.C.  The city of Ubar has been known with various names: i.e. Ubar, Irem, Wabar, etc. Archeological Expedition Shafin Verani – July 2013 6
  5. 5. THE ATLANTIS OF THE SANDS  Buried under the sands for centuries, Ubar was once a city bustling with life.  The city was built some five millennia ago and it quickly became a thriving commercial centre.  The secret to Ubar’s prosperity was frankincense – a commodity as precious as gold in the ancient world. Ubar in Legends Shafin Verani – July 2013 7
  6. 6. THE ATLANTIS OF THE SANDS  Prepared from the sap of trees grown in the nearby Qara Mountains, this sweet-smelling substance was widely used in religious offerings, cremations and imperial processions, while both nobles and commoners alike coveted it for its medicinal benefits.  So popular was frankincense with the ancient people, that even the Queen of Sheba is said to have frequented the Ubar region for supplies of the precious substance, which she then offered to King Solomon. Frankincense – The Ancient Treasure Shafin Verani – July 2013 8
  7. 7. THE ATLANTIS OF THE SANDS Frankincense – The Ancient Treasure BBC 2 VIDEO – THE FRANKINCENSE TRAIL – OMAN, JORDAN AND SAUDI ARABIA
  8. 8. THE ATLANTIS OF THE SANDS  King Shaddad did not spare gold, silver, pearls, amber and other precious commodities when building the city as he was trying to recreate his idea of paradise.  Certainly the myths surrounding Ubar were unparalleled.  Ubar was a magnificent kingdom, rich beyond measure – the original city of ‘high walls and towering pillars.’ Ubar in Legends Shafin Verani – July 2013 10
  9. 9. THE ATLANTIS OF THE SANDS  According to ‘The Road to Ubar’ by Nicholas Clapp, he found two tombs of Prophet Hud in the area. Tomb No. 1 is on the Omanese side of the region, and the second on the Yemeni side. Some Historical Facts Shafin Verani – July 2013 11
  10. 10. THE ATLANTIS OF THE SANDS Some Historical Facts  The sites of Prophet Hud’s tombs suggest that the region was habituated by the people of Aad.  The nation of Prophet Hud (a.s.) vis. Aad have been mentioned in 9 chapters of the Quran.  The Quran has referred to them as the successors of Prophet Nuh (a.s.). Shafin Verani – July 2013 12
  11. 11. THE ATLANTIS OF THE SANDS Quranic Story of Prophet Hud and the People of Aad  “And to the Aad (We sent) their brother Hud. He said, “O my people, worship Allah, you have no deity other than Him.” (11:50)  They said, “O Hud, you have not brought us clear evidence, and we are not ones to leave our gods on your say- so, nor are we believers in you.” (11:53) An imagining of Hud with the ʿĀd tribe, from an illuminated manuscript collection of Stories of Prophets Shafin Verani – July 2013 13
  12. 12. THE ATLANTIS OF THE SANDS Quranic Story of Prophet Hud and the People of Aad  “Do you construct on every elevation a sign, amusing yourselves. And take for yourselves palaces and fortresses that you might abide eternally.” (26:128-129)  “And fear He who provided you with that which you know. Provided you with grazing livestock and children. And gardens and springs.” (26:132-134) Shafin Verani – July 2013 14
  13. 13. THE ATLANTIS OF THE SANDS Quranic Story of Prophet Hud and the People of Aad  “Have you not considered how your Lord dealt with Aad. Of the (city of) Irem, with lofty pillars. The like of which were not produced in (all) the land? (89:6-8)  “And the 'Ad, they were destroyed by a furious Wind, exceedingly violent. Which Allah imposed upon them for seven nights and eight days in succession, so you would see the people therein fallen as if they were hollow trunks of palm trees.” (69:6-7) Shafin Verani – July 2013 15

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