Al-Ayn Beehive Tombs (Ibri)

The protohistoric archaeological complex of Bat, al-Khutm and al-Ayn represents one of the most complete and well preserved ensembles of settlements and necropolises from the 3rd millennium BCE worldwide.


The archaeological sites of Bat, al-Khutm and al-Ayn encompass the most unique ensemble of 4000-5000 year-old burial monuments, towers, and remains of settlement in the Arabian Peninsula, representing an extraordinary example of the unique response of the ancient people of Oman to the pressures of an increasing population and to the input from contacts with other civilizations.

An important group of beehive tombs is located at Qubur Juhhal at al-Ayn, 22 km east-southeast of Bat. Most of these tombs are small, single-chambered, round tombs with dry masonry walls dating to the beginning of the 3rd millennium BCE. Others are more elaborate, bigger, multi-chambered tombs from the second half of the 3rdrd millennium BCE.

As in many other ancient civilizations, monuments in ancient Oman were usually built with regularly cut stones. Unique of Bat and al-Ayn are the remains the ancient quarries from which the building materials were mined, and the many workshops that attest to the complete operational procedure, from the quarries, to the stone-masonry, to the buildings construction techniques.

In the time of writing this, getting there using google maps is not straight forward.

You are advised not to take the Alghafat Exit if you are coming from Muscat, the road from there is not finished. Instead, follow the highway towards Ibri and take the exit for Ammla.

Getting to the tombs requires a bit of off roading or a short hike from the main road. The turn is not clear from the road and the wadi sometimes makes it difficult to get across from the main road. The closest off road turn is between two farms which would lead you to the Wadi bed where you have to park the car and continue on foot for a short distance to the archeological site.

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