Illustration of the City of Ubar the ‘Ad found in Oman. (Photo: Every Day Original)
JAKARTA – Ubar, the fabled lost city of 1001 nights, has been found in the Oman region by a team of American archaeologists with the help of NASA.
The story of this city belonging to the Ad people is mentioned in the Qur’an as a trading center. The discovery of this lost ancient city was made using a combination of high-tech satellite imagery and research of ancient literature.
Founded nearly 5,000 years ago, the city of Ubar was a processing and shipping center for frankincense, an aromatic resin grown near the Qara Mountains. Used in cremations and religious ceremonies, as well as in perfumes and medicines, frankincense is as precious as gold. These commodities were processed at Ubar before being shipped north across the desert on trade routes to ancient Sumer, as well as Damascus and Jerusalem.
The rulers of Ubar became rich and powerful and its inhabitants, according to the Quran, were so evil and immoral that finally Allah SWT destroyed the city, swallowed by the desert.
TE Lawrence or Lawrence of Arabia, called this city Atlantis in the sand and like Atlantis under the sea, many experts doubted the existence of Ubar.
Researchers announced at a conference at the Huntington Library in San Marino that sites excavated in southern Oman over the past two months revealed a magnificent eight-sided structure as described in legend.
In addition, researchers say they have a theory of how the city disappeared. In building the city, King Shaddad ibn ‘Ad, unknowingly built it on top of a large limestone cave. Ultimately, the city’s weight caused the cave to collapse into a massive sinkhole, destroying most of the city and causing the rest to collapse. Researchers also found the remains of a nearby Neolithic village that may date back to at least 6,000 years BC.
“Hopefully this discovery can shed a lot of light on the early history of the region, which has so far been shrouded in myths,” said George Hedges, one of the expedition leaders, quoted from the LA Times, Wednesday (23/8/2023).
This finding, he said, might also help reveal whether Queen Saba, who was Ubar’s contemporary, really existed.
Researchers have found evidence that the climate in Kota Ubar at that time was much different. The Neolithic village appears to have been located on the banks of a river and the inhabitants farmed large areas.