Ubar: Fabled City of Frankincense Trade

Ubar, considered the Atlantis of the Sand was a significant city on the spice trade routes and was thought to be a city of riches born from the Frankincense trade. It is mentioned in the ancient stories of the book ” A Thousand and One Arabian Nights”, and in the Koran. In Ubar, the proximity to nearby Quara mountains enabled the residents to find, harvest, processes and trade Frankincense to traders who visited the area seeking the treasured frankincense pearls and oils.  Legend holds that the city became so rich from the trade in Frankincense that it was destroyed for it’s debauchery.qara mountain frankincense

In a 1992 article published in the New York Times, two explorers claim to have discovered the 5000 year old city from space images captured from the last Challenger missions.  George Hedges and Nicholas Clapp, using space imagery to determine ancient trails,  began a dig at a promising intersecting point of several ancient trails and found what they believe to be Ubar. From discoveries made at the site, Archeologists say that the city had been built on top of a limestone cavern which collapsed into a sinkhole, soon to be covered by the sands of the Oman desert.

Want to read the original article?  You’ll find it here  it should be mentioned that there are some folks that debunk this claim and state the site was under excavation prior to the “discovery” being claimed, even right at the time of the announcement.  Those excavating the site state that it the announcement of the “discovery” came as quite a surprise to those involved in the actual excavation.