Pondering civilization lost has become second nature. Never one to simply accept, I have always been haunted by a suspicion of worlds unknown. Once upon a time we thought the world was flat. In 1553 John Calvin burned Michael Servetus at the stake, on a charge of heresy, for suggesting the theory of pulmonary circulation of blood. In 1654 biblical scholar James Ussher stated that the date of creation was Oct. 23, 4004 B.C. at 9:00 AM. From Plato, Aristotle, Copernicus, Newton, Darwin, Einstein, and Hawking our world is forever changing.Theories may come and go, while scientific advances open new windows, yet it is archaeology that serves as the foot soldier in our quest for true understanding of civilization.
In 1983 archaeology met science when Nicholas Clapp phoned NASA. Clapp was looking for Ubar, the mythical city from the Qua ran. Ubar – the “Atlantis of the sands” is said to have been swallowed by sand as punishment for its residents lifestyle. Clapps dream came true in 1992 when special imaging took pictures of a region of Oman desert known as the empty quarter.
Clapp had studied ancient trade routes, but it was the Space Shuttle Challenger images that marked the X on the map. Unlike sites such as Gobekli Tepe, Ubar may not shatter our historical timeline. It does however prove that myth is often based on fact. A mythical 5000 year old city discovered in the desert warms my pondering heart.