NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

The discovery of the "lost city" of Ubar in ancient Arabia will be explored in the film, "The Road to Ubar," to be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The public is invited to attend.

Nicholas Clapp, an Emmy-award winning director, will discuss the film and the discovery of Ubar, which took nearly a decade and involved the help of scientists and remote-sensing specialists Drs. Ron Blom and Charles Elachi of JPL.

Ubar, an ancient center for the frankincense trade in Arabia thousands of years ago, was located in the early 1990's after extensive studies of the region using historical research, remote-sensing technology and traditional archaeological techniques. Ancient caravan routes were discovered in satellite images visible from the tracks left by thousands of camels that had traversed the region long ago.

Clapp, a documentary filmmaker, became involved in the search for Ubar after learning of the possibilites of imaging radar technology in 1981. His extensive historical research assisted Blom and others at JPL in 1984, when a space shuttle mission carrying a radar imaging instrument was used to define a potential search area.

Blom and Clapp will offer discussions of their findings and the technologies used in the process of discovering the lost Arabian city.

Screening of the film and its accompanying lectures are part of JPL's von Karman Lecture Series, sponsored by the JPL Public Information Office. For more information, contact the Public Information Office at (818) 354-5011.


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