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Submitted on
July 3, 2013
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Umbar by TurnerMohan Umbar by TurnerMohan
Umbar, built by the Numenoreans at the height of their power, the landing place of Ar Pharazon during the campaign against Sauron, strong hold of the Black Numenoreans after the Drowning, and later, of the Corsairs.

Umbar spent most of the third age locked in an ongoing Rome/Carthage-type conflict with the Gondorians. Toward the end of the age it served as the rallying point for legions of haradrim and fleets of pirates in service to Sauron.

I always pictured Umbar (being an important port for the Numenoreans) as one of the great cities in middle earth; older, stronger, and probably more magnificent even than the later cities founded by the Elendil and his sons, Annuminas and Osgilitath (and far surpassing the gondorian fortress cities like Minas Tirith or Dol Amroth)
we see only very little of the city here, which i imagine to be a big, populous city, and a bit of a sprawler aswell. In addition to ancient Carthage, more than a little of Istanbul, a high watermark for human architectural history (and a city of many historical parallels to Umbar) that I had the distinct pleasure of spending some time in back in '09, found it's way in here. I like to think that, like real cities and historical sights of incomparable importance (cairo, tehran, and istanbul, at one time) it is considered greatly lamentable by the gondorians that a great achievement of men like Umbar is inaccessable to them because of current geopolitics.
I may end up doing one of those areal images, with a view of the whole broad, meandering harbor, fortified in key places, and houses, towers and palaces climbing the hills to reach the Great Pillar raised to commemorate Sauron's defeat and humiliation at the hands of men. (that's if i feel like driving myself crazy)
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Zireael07 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
This is amazing!
Profion720 Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2014
Reminds me a little of an "ancient/medieval persian city".
Libra1010 Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2014
 Master Mohan, please allow me to congratulate you on producing such a fine city-scape? (you can see family resemblance to Minas Tirith, but the bones of the place are older and the structure is distinct: I also admire your idea of using Istanbul as a model, although I suspect natives of Umbar owe more to the Barbary Corsairs than to Ottoman Turks, thin though the line between the two powers could be).

 Since you mention the city of Annuminas here, I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on that lost Burgh: Arnor and it's successor states have some hold on my imagination (despite or perhaps due not least to their somewhat-Carolingian struggles amongst the aforesaid successor states); I see it as something of an 'Athens of the North' in that it's cold, damp and something of a hotbed for discussions of old lore and philosophical niceties (I also find it hard not to see it as being constructed out of that rather sandstone one sees a great deal of in Edinburgh), perhaps with accents of Chicago since it's near a lake.

 Fornost, on the other hand, strikes me as pure Edinburgh; a northern hill-fort built up into something slightly more civilised and even tougher.

 I must admit that I'd love to discuss Arnor, Arthedain, Cardolan and Rhuadur with you, but will confine myself to asking about the old Capitol of Arnor, since I don't know if the subject of the Northern Dunedain will interest you as much as it does me and do not think it polite to assume that it will! 
NARCIEDON Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Excellent work!
Artigas Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2013
I love this concept. This is really an authentic design that breathes life. Great composition too. I like the way you choose subjects that are rarely/never explored in tolkenian art. 
TurnerMohan Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks! Umbar is one of those places never actually visited by main characters in stories, but it's talked about. It's one of the many places in Middle-earth I always wanted to know more about (and visit, if such a thing were possible)
Artigas Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014
That novel that feature the mordorian side of the war, the last ringbearer, is heavily centered in Umbar in the second half of the book. I think you would like it.
Scumdog47 Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2013
Umbar was more or less a city-state, right?

I never got the impression the city had a lot of surrounding agrarian areas.
Zeonista Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2013
People need to eat, and urban dwellers don't raise their own food as a rule. I am in accord with MERP's depiction of the bay as a well-watered area that keeps moisture instead of losing it to the surrounding desert. Estates of the Corsair lords are spaced along its length, keeping the city fed due to the labor of many slaves.
Scumdog47 Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2013
Makes sense.
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