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An overview of Atlantis of the Sands

Atlantis of the Sands, also known as Iram, Ubar, Wabar, the City of Brass, or Iram of the Pillars (Arabic: إرَم ذات العماد‎), is a reference to a lost city, a country or an area mentioned in the Quran. It was described by T. E. Lawrence as "a city of immeasurable wealth, destroyed by God for its arrogance, swallowed forever in the sands of the Rub' al Khali desert". It was located in the Arabian Peninsula, somewhere in the desert.


Atlantis of the Sands, located in the middle of the Rub' al Khali desert, was a legendary city made of brass architecture, claimed to have been destroyed by a natural disaster or as a punishment by God. It had a unique underground water system, supported by pillars which kept the city's water supply clean. It was fueled by an underground spring & rested on a vast underground cavern. The city was obscured by a massive sandstorm, helping its elusiveness as countless people looked for it.

Three thousand years ago, King Solomon commanded the power of the Djinn—demons born of smokeless fire. The Djinn rebelled and Solomon imprisoned them within a brass vessel and cast it into the depths of the city's water system. Because of this brass vessel, the water in the city became tainted. When ingesting this water, the drinker would see illusions due to a hallucinogen in the water that came from the brass vessel. The people of Ubar drank the contaminated water and went mad, causing the demise of the city.

Some time in 1580 or 1581, Queen Elizabeth sent Sir Francis Drake to find the city, but Drake would eventually figure out the purpose of his mission and abandon it, not wanting the queen to have the hallucinogenic power of fear the brass vessel contained; Drake hid all clues of his journey to find the lost city so no one could gain this power. Centuries later, T. E. Lawrence also attempted to look for the city when he was an archaeologist.

Katherine Marlowe wished to reach the city with the same goal in mind as the queen. Once she and her secret organization reached Atlantis of the Sands, they used a winch to pull the brass vessel containing the Djinn from out of the waters. However, Nathan Drake, with a flare gun, destroyed the winch and the pillars supporting the underground infrastructure of the city, resulting in the entire city collapsing and being engulfed by the Rub' al Khali in a large sink hole.


  • Though Sir Francis Drake abandoned his search for Iram, his ring would be taken there, and lost.