Beside the village of Al Ayn, and arranged along a low, russet-coloured ridge, this string of tombs make a dramatic silhouette against Jebel Misht that towers behind. Little is known about the ‘beehive tombs’ (so called on account of their shape) except that they were constructed between 2000 and 3000 BC, during the Hafit and Umm An Nar cultures. Archaeologists believe, however, that the free-standing structures of piled stones were designed to protect the remains of up to 200 people.
If you time your visit for an hour or so before sunset, the rainbow colours of Jebel Misht makes the most stunning backdrop for the highly atmospheric site. It can be hard to spot the tombs but a two-bay parking slot opposite a mosque helps focus your eye in the right place; from here you can walk through the foreground plantation and up the hillside into the unfenced site.