Lost City of Ubar Discovered 
Author Message
 Lost City of Ubar Discovered
Forwarded from:
PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIF. 91109. (818) 354-5011
Contact:  Mary A. Hardin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                           February 5, 1992

Lost City of Ubar Discovered

          Shuttle Imaging Radar and other spaceborne images of
the Arabian desert, produced utilizing NASA Jet Propulsion
Laboratory technology and expertise, played a key role in the
recent discovery of a lost city on the edge of the Empty Quarter
in southern Oman.

          A team of scientists and archaeologists from the United
States, Britain and Oman have discovered the site of the
legendary lost city of Ubar, a major hub for trading frankincense
which dates back to the year 3000 B.C.

          The location of the ancient city has been lost for
centuries in the drifting desert sand.   The use of spaceborne
radar, a device that can penetrate the dry sand, and enhanced
satellite images allowed scientists to detect tracks of caravan
routes leading to the city.

          "I was surprised to find that we were able to readily
detect ancient tracks in the enhanced shuttle radar and satellite
images," said Dr. Ronald Blom, a JPL geologist specializing in
remote sensing.

          "One can easily separate many modern and ancient tracks
on the computer enhanced images because older tracks often go
directly under very large sand dunes.  We could never have
surveyed the vast area where Ubar may have been, nor could we be
confident of its location without the advantage of computer
enhanced images from space," Blom continued.

          Analysis of the images was used to direct ground
reconnaissance expeditions throughout the region in the summer of
1990 and the fall of 1991.   The result of this work led the
expedition to the site of a remote well on the edge of the Empty
Quarter.

          There, the explorers uncovered the remains of towers,
rooms and other artifacts that appear to date back to before 2000
B.C.   The great variety of artifacts discovered at the site
demonstrates that it was an important trading center linked by
extensive trade routes to Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean.

          JPL's involvement in the search for the lost city of
Ubar dates to 1981.  Nicholas Clapp, a Los Angeles documentary
film maker, contacted the Laboratory with the idea of using the
Shuttle Imaging Radar to look beneath the sand of the southern
Arabian desert.

          In 1984, the shuttle Challenger made two passes over an
unmapped region of southern Oman and studied the area with
Shuttle Imaging Radar B (SIR-B).

          Since then, Dr. Charles Elachi, JPL assistant
laboratory director of the Office of Space Science and
Instruments, Dr. Robert Crippen, a JPL research geologist, and
Dr. Ronald Blom have continued looking for Ubar from space using
radar images taken from the shuttle and other images taken from
the U.S. Landsat 5, the French SPOT satellite and the shuttle-
borne large format camera.

          Other members of the expedition include Nicholas Clapp,
a Los Angeles based documentary film producer; George R. Hedges,
a Los Angeles attorney; Dr. Juris Zarins, an archeologist with
extensive experience in Arabia; and Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the
famed Arctic explorer.

                              #####
     ___    _____     ___

    | | | |  __ \ /| | | |     Jet Propulsion Lab |
 ___| | | | |__) |/  | | |__   M/S 525-3684 Telos | Don't wait for your ship
/___| | | |  ___/    | |/__ /| Pasadena, CA 91109 | to come in, paddle out to
|_____|/  |_|/       |_____|/                     | it.



Mon, 25 Jul 1994 02:02:09 GMT
 Lost City of Ubar Discovered

Quote:

>Forwarded from:
>PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
>JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
>CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
>NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
>PASADENA, CALIF. 91109. (818) 354-5011
>Contact:  Mary A. Hardin

>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                           February 5, 1992

>Lost City of Ubar Discovered

[article deleted]

The article that was released in the Boston _Globe_ also made mention that the
city, which housed only around 100 people or so on a continuing basis although
many more camped outside the city walls, was apparently destroyed when a large
sinkhole formed under it in the limestone.  This collapsed a large portion of
the site, which was apparently abandoned soon thereafter.

I wonder if this sort of thing might be fuel for stories of a city "swallowed
up by the desert" or "destroyed suddenly by the wrath of God..."  Sure, other
explanations could include sandstorms and the like, but just think how an
eyewitness account of an event like this -- esp in an area where earthquakes
generally aren't *too* severe -- could be amplified by storytellers.

Hmmmm.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Harvard University Science Center

"Mind you, not as bad as the night Archie Pettigrew ate some
sheep's {*filter*} for a bet...God, that {*filter*}y sheep kicked him..."



Mon, 25 Jul 1994 05:32:52 GMT
 Lost City of Ubar Discovered

Quote:


>>Lost City of Ubar Discovered

>[article deleted]

>The article that was released in the Boston _Globe_ also made mention
>that the city, which housed only around 100 people or so on a
>continuing basis although many more camped outside the city walls, was
>apparently destroyed when a large sinkhole formed under it in the
>limestone.  This collapsed a large portion of the site, which was
>apparently abandoned soon thereafter.

   That would make sense.  In karst regions, a lot of terrain is
supported by underground water.  When the water goes away, large
sinkholes form as the ground falls into the hollow areas.

   The ideal collapse form resembles a bell maybe 1.5 times as high as
it is wide, e.g. if a 10-meter hole opens 11 meters down, the outline
of the potential collapse dome goes above ground level, and the
surface may fall in sooner or later.  There is no such thing as an
ideally collapsed dome, though I've seen some underground domes that
were pretty uniform.  Fractures, strata, and other anomolies in the
rock influence the shape of the dome.  (Source: William B. White,
"Geomorphology and Hydrology of Karst Terrains")

   Pure speculation:  As this area was a trading center in a desert
(was it a desert back then?) one could assume that the city was built
there because of a large water source fairly close to the surface.
It's possible that the city "pulled the plug on itself" by overtaxing
and draining down the water supply, or that a drought did the job for
them.  Maybe a combination of both.



Mon, 25 Jul 1994 07:37:49 GMT
 Lost City of Ubar Discovered
Quote:

>    The ideal collapse form resembles a bell maybe 1.5 times as high as
> it is wide, e.g. if a 10-meter hole opens 11 meters down, the outline
> of the potential collapse dome goes above ground level, and the
> surface may fall in sooner or later.  There is no such thing as an
> ideally collapsed dome, though I've seen some underground domes that
> were pretty uniform.  Fractures, strata, and other anomolies in the
> rock influence the shape of the dome.  (Source: William B. White,
> "Geomorphology and Hydrology of Karst Terrains")

Maybe my lack of experience is showing here, but wouldn't evidence of
such a sink hole be seen on the satellite images?

Scott Miller
Program Coordinator, Rauch Memorial Planetarium
University of Louisville



Mon, 25 Jul 1994 22:58:45 GMT
 Lost City of Ubar Discovered
Quote:
>    The ideal collapse form resembles a bell maybe 1.5 times as high as
> it is wide, e.g. if a 10-meter hole opens 11 meters down, the outline
> of the potential collapse dome goes above ground level, and the
> surface may fall in sooner or later.

========================================================================
This may be showing my naivety, but wouldn't such a sink hole show up
on the satellite images as well?

Scott Miller
Program Coordinator, Rauch Memorial Planetarium
University of Louisville



Mon, 25 Jul 1994 22:08:24 GMT
 Lost City of Ubar Discovered

Quote:

>>    The ideal collapse form resembles a bell maybe 1.5 times as high as
>> it is wide, e.g. if a 10-meter hole opens 11 meters down, the outline
>> of the potential collapse dome goes above ground level, and the
>> surface may fall in sooner or later.
>========================================================================
>This may be showing my naivety, but wouldn't such a sink hole show up
>on the satellite images as well?

   I don't know, but I'd say most likely.

   Trouble is, in a karst terrain, sinkholes are the rule.  Trying to
find a city that fell into a sinkhole is like trying to find a rock
that was buried by a sand dune.  It's no problem finding sand dunes;
the problem is deciding which sand dune the rock is under.  Sinkholes
have been forming ever since the rock was first heaved above the water
table, which is one helluva lot longer tham humans have been building
cities.

   I talked to Will White last night; he showed me some very
impressive photos of that country, several hundred miles to the north
of Ubar.  The karst there is some of the most impressive in the world;
some of the caves in the region are literally large enough to house an
indoor airport.  (Small planes only, of course.)

   On the assumption that cities may have been in the habit of being
sucked in because of an overtaxed water supply, I imagine that a
search could be made for collapses that had occurred during the past
6000 years, and check all these for signs of civilization.  But dating
a sinkhole wouldn't be so obvious from radar.  Matter of fact, it
isn't so obvious from the surface either.  As far as I know, you can
only do it by digging into the thing and dating the sediment that fell
in around the time of the collapse.

   At any rate, it's a moot point.  From the articles I've seen on
this, it would appear that they discovered the sinkhole _after_ they
discovered the city.



Tue, 26 Jul 1994 02:45:14 GMT
 Lost City of Ubar Discovered
[Sinkholes in sat images ...]

They studied the patterns of shallowly buried roads first to give clues
where urban center might lie.  They they looked for those.



Tue, 26 Jul 1994 04:01:06 GMT
 Lost City of Ubar Discovered

[ ... ]

Quote:
>>apparently destroyed when a large sinkhole formed under it in the
>>limestone.  This collapsed a large portion of the site, which was
>>apparently abandoned soon thereafter.

>   That would make sense.  In karst regions, a lot of terrain is
>supported by underground water.  When the water goes away, large
>sinkholes form as the ground falls into the hollow areas.

>   The ideal collapse form resembles a bell maybe 1.5 times as high as
>it is wide, e.g. if a 10-meter hole opens 11 meters down, the outline
>of the potential collapse dome goes above ground level, and the
>surface may fall in sooner or later.  There is no such thing as an
>ideally collapsed dome, though I've seen some underground domes that
>were pretty uniform.  Fractures, strata, and other anomolies in the
>rock influence the shape of the dome.  (Source: William B. White,
>"Geomorphology and Hydrology of Karst Terrains")

>   Pure speculation:  As this area was a trading center in a desert
>(was it a desert back then?) one could assume that the city was built
>there because of a large water source fairly close to the surface.
>It's possible that the city "pulled the plug on itself" by overtaxing
>and draining down the water supply, or that a drought did the job for
>them.  Maybe a combination of both.

It has been reported in the News (CNN) that the city of Ubar was
mentioned in the Qur'an.  However this name doesn't exist in the
Qur'an.  It is my understanding that this city is Iram which was
mentioned sevral times in the Qur'an in connection with the people
of 'Aad and their prophet Hud.  If it is the same city (and there
are indications to that), I don't know the origin of the name Ibar.
The Qur'an reports that these people were very strong and had a
great civilization.  However they refused to listen to their prophet
who asked them to worship the only one God, and they indulged in
mischief.  Allah (God) punished them with a drought (that may
agree with the speculation above), but they continued to disobey God.
One day they saw a big cloud, and they were rejoyced thinking that
it is bringing much needed rain to them, but in fact it came
with a strong wind and storm that destroyed them.  The story is
not mentioned in these details in the Qur'an.  You may want to check
a copy of the Qur'an to read about it.  I will probably post
the references to this topic subsequently.  the Qur'an lists
many stories of people who were destroyed by God for refusing his
commandments, including Pharaoh, people of Noah, Lot, ...


Thu, 28 Jul 1994 01:41:51 GMT
 Lost City of Ubar Discovered

Quote:

>>   That would make sense.  In karst regions, a lot of terrain is
>>supported by underground water.  When the water goes away, large
>>sinkholes form as the ground falls into the hollow areas.

This makes sense.

Quote:
> #insert <religous.utter.crap>
>the references to this topic subsequently.  the Qur'an lists
>many stories of people who were destroyed by God for refusing his
>commandments, including Pharaoh, people of Noah, Lot, ...

What the heck does this have to do with science.  You may notice that
the groups that is is going into are sci.*  not talk.religous.drivel.
The existance of any god(s) is completely irrelevant and does not
suffice as a scientific explination for anything.  It purly does not
suffice as anything but a way to delude yourself.  Do we have to moderate
this group (as ?.religon.christianity has done) to keep out the children?
If you believe that science can prove the existance of any god(s) may I
suggest a highschool level science course.  You could stand to learn alot.
// Welcome to the Politically Correct group.
// Please turn in your mind to the nearest oppressed minority
// pressure or religous group.  It will be returned to you once
// we have decided what you can think.


Thu, 28 Jul 1994 21:59:09 GMT
 Lost City of Ubar Discovered

[...Discussion of Ubar region, etc....]

Quote:
>> #insert <religous.utter.crap>
>>the references to this topic subsequently.  the Qur'an lists
>>many stories of people who were destroyed by God for refusing his
>>commandments, including Pharaoh, people of Noah, Lot, ...
>What the heck does this have to do with science.  You may notice that
>the groups that is is going into are sci.*  not talk.religous.drivel.
>The existance of any god(s) is completely irrelevant and does not
>suffice as a scientific explination for anything.  It purly does not
>suffice as anything but a way to delude yourself.  Do we have to moderate
>this group (as ?.religon.christianity has done) to keep out the children?
>If you believe that science can prove the existance of any god(s) may I
>suggest a highschool level science course.  You could stand to learn alot.

Here we go again.  Let me see if I can give you a whack in the head and
set you perspective straight.  The above-mentioned reference to the people
being destroyed by God was put in there most likely as an interesting
tidbit of information.  Whether or not it has anything to do with science
is not the point.  (Although, it makes more sense than you do, as it is a
a simple statement of fact:  The Qur'an does contain those stories.)

After reading the orignal message, I seriously doubt the original poster
was making any assertions that the stories constitute a scientific
explanation for anything.  I, for one, appreciate little tidbits thrown
into scientific explanations because (1) I find them facinating, and (2)
regardless of my religious/antireligious convictions, I am openminded
enough to accept the fact that, regardless of which story is correct,
many times scientifically defined events and exerpts from religious
documents correspond or refer to the same event.

Keep the children out?  Damned good idea!  We could start with you, unless
you feel like opening up your mind a bit.  I respect the position that
scientific discussions should be supported by scientific facts.  However,
it really frosts my shorts when overly anti-religious zelots like yourself
take ANY statement containing reference that refers to any diety and
blow it all out of proportion and jump down some poor soul's throat for
an innocent remark.

Let's stick to the discussions here and not pick fights or try to make
people mind every word lest it offend someone.

Enough said.  End of discussion.  This thread is terminated.  Responses
should be forwared to /dev/null or the appropriate newsgroup (which I
probably don't read).



Fri, 29 Jul 1994 07:24:59 GMT
 Lost City of Ubar Discovered

Quote:

>What the heck does this have to do with science.  You may notice that
>the groups that is is going into are sci.*  not talk.religous.drivel.
>The existance of any god(s) is completely irrelevant and does not
>suffice as a scientific explination for anything.  It purly does not
>suffice as anything but a way to delude yourself.  Do we have to moderate
>this group (as ?.religon.christianity has done) to keep out the children?
>If you believe that science can prove the existance of any god(s) may I
>suggest a highschool level science course.  You could stand to learn alot.

Now tell me, just what in the world is wrong with posting historical facts
and trivia about how the people lived, and what they believed?

--


--(606) 257-1429 (work) 263-0721 (home)



Fri, 29 Jul 1994 21:22:37 GMT
 Lost City of Ubar Discovered

Quote:

>Now tell me, just what in the world is wrong with posting historical facts
>and trivia about how the people lived, and what they believed?

Nothing.  Many thanks to the few people who have flamed me with such wonderful
words that I would never use and the others who will no doubt follow.  I have
no objection to using these religous texts as sources of some information but
you must do a lot of filtering to remove all of the attirbutations of things
to god(s).  My objection is to people who seem to be here trying to prove the
existance of their god.  I was going to wait a few more days because it seems
that at least 1/3 of the traffic is of this nature.  Witness:

Quote:
>>|> Jesus Christ's resurrection. The Book of Revelation contains the
>>|> prophecy that the stars will someday fall out of the sky, which will
>>|> roll up like a scroll; a prophecy not likely to be fulfilled.
>>Can I object just a little?  Don't you think that this is rather obviously
>>allegorical or poetical?  I'm not saying that people then didn't believe
> Indeed, your objection is well made.  A problem with a literal view of
> the Bible is that we are seldom told how to distinguish the *true* parts
> from the *allegorical* and *poetical* parts.  The book of Job is

> <
> <on that thought, is there any information (pardon my ignorance) on the old
> <"walls of jericho" story?  has it been shown to be any more than a story?  is
> <there a scientific explanation for why walls might have fallen down?


Quote:
> What would the repercussions be to the theory of evolution if Noah's Ark was
> discovered?  I've heard that it has been found, and I am curious to know what
> you guys think could happen with the evolutionary theory if the rumor is
> true.  What are your beliefs as to the validity of such a rumor?

Do you mean to say that these articals have any merit for being in a sci.*
group?  These people were clearly misguided and some of you have done a good
job of clearing that up but my impression is still that this is not a sci.*
group but a group of people attempting to prove the existance of god (the
1/3 as mentioned).

Here is 3 wonderful examples of what sort of replies I got:

Quote:
>Gee, I read the same post from Souissi and just thought he was presenting
>some evidence that some religious types confirmed some "scientific facts", and
>not that he was saying anything about the existance of a god.  

Now that was informative and had a point.

Quote:
>    You ignorant, insensitive, {*filter*}!!!  While certainly not a Muslim, and
>certainly a skeptic, I understood the point of this discussion while you

            ^^^^^^^^
      this guy must be kidding (at least with this sort of arguement)

Quote:
>I think YOU were spectacularly out of line and spouting drivel here.  The
>posting which gave you apoplexy merely reported what was written in the Koran.
>That what was reported is, in fact, written in the Koran, is a verifiable fact.
>Since there is a lot of evidence that ancient religious texts often recount
>events which have some basis in historic fact, even those (such as I) who do
>not believe in a god or gods don't turn off our minds when we encounter
>something using a religious text as a source.

Here I have no problem, except for what he attributes to my beliefs.

Lets see if we can put the sci back into science shall we and keep the
flame throwers down a few notches.
// Reality is for those who can't face science fiction.



Sat, 30 Jul 1994 00:09:21 GMT
 Lost City of Ubar Discovered


Fri, 19 Jun 1992 00:00:00 GMT
 Lost City of Ubar Discovered

Quote:

>I have
>no objection to using these religous texts as sources of some information but
>you must do a lot of filtering to remove all of the attirbutations of things
>to god(s)...

   This would be a mistake, as it involves altering the texts.
Information that the editor thinks is "religious hokum" may actually
have some historical bearing.  For example: Two unrelated texts from
two different cultures, with similar references to a diety, show a
possible connection between the cultures.  Remove the references, and
the connection is lost.

   In addition, removing all "religious references" from a text
actually means that somebody is altering a manuscript to match their
own beliefs, or lack thereof.  People can do their own filtering -
they don't need your help.  Whether the reader wants to accept or
reject the religious or superstitious parts is his own choice, not
yours.

   Lastly, "freedom of religion" works both ways - just as you have
the right to not have others' religious beliefs shoved down your
throat, you have no right to shove your beliefs down others' throats.
If you don't believe in God, that's your choice.  But don't preach it
here.

   If you're going to quote a text, then quote it.  Don't alter it.
You are free to add your own interpretation, but whatever is quoted
must be verbatum.



Sat, 30 Jul 1994 01:53:30 GMT
 Lost City of Ubar Discovered


Fri, 19 Jun 1992 00:00:00 GMT
 
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