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The Lost City of Ubar: The History and Legends of the Ancient Arabian City Known as the Atlantis of the Sands
Charles River Editors
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1 hour 19 minutes
The annals of world history are filled with intriguing, although often outlandish stories of lost cities and kingdoms, and in addition to Atlantis, there are also Hyperborea, Shambhala, and Aztlan, to name just a few. Besides being cities and kingdoms that have been lost, often through some sort of catastrophe, all of these places are mentioned in religious texts or as part of a peoples’ national history. They play a major role in the identity of certain groups, at least in how certain groups identify with these mythical places.
Although many, if not all, of these locations are mythical, they may have been based on actual locations, even if modern scholars are yet to definitively discover any such places. One of these lost cities is that known as Ubar, Wabar or Iram, names which are all believed to refer to the same, possibly mythical, location. The city is mentioned as a den of iniquity that was destroyed by God, both in the Quran as well as the mythical Arabian Nights. As such, Ubar became a metaphor for how good Muslims should not act, and what could happen to non-believers, especially when allowed to congregate in a specific area. Later Islamic historians and geographers describe Ubar as being somewhere in the Arabian Desert, in what is today the nation-state of Oman. In modern times there were a few attempts to locate the lost city, but, for the most part, they were futile.
Ubar and its location continued to fascinate people around the world, and it seemed as though its secrets would remain hidden beneath the Arabian sands until the 1980s, when a photojournalist named Nicholas Clapp became interested in the city. Working backwards from the few scant historical and geographical accounts that portray Ubar as a prosperous city or kingdom in the centuries before Islam, Clapp and his team narrowed their search to a location on the edge of the Arabian Desert in the Dhofar region of Oman. They believed they found Ubar.
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The Lost City of Ubar: The Histor...
Charles River Editors
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