Beehive Tombs

Hajar Mountains

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.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Hajar Mountains attractions

1. Jebel Misht

3.65 MILES

With its serrated teeth, Jebel Misht (meaning 'Comb Mountain') is well named. This striking lump of rock is one of Oman's so-called ‘exotics’ – a…

2. Wadi Damm


This steep-sided wadi channels the water that runs off Jebel Kawr and Jebel Shams and makes a pretty place for an easy stroll or a picnic. The walls at…

3. Jebel Al Kawr

10.11 MILES

Just east of Al Ayn, there's a small roundabout (beyond which lies Wadi Damm); a right turn here leads up a winding paved road to a broad fertile plateau…

4. Wadi Hajir

11.27 MILES

While Al Ayn has the best preserved beehive tombs, the largest concentration of these structures is to be found in Wadi Hajir, between Al Ayn and the…

5. Wadi Ghul Viewpoint

15.39 MILES

The term 'Grand Canyon of Arabia' is wholly deserved for this quintessential feature of Oman's spectacular mountain scenery. A short path leads to the…

6. Ghul Village

16.03 MILES

Affording one of the most lovely vistas in the Hajar Mountains, the abandoned village of Ghul dusts the shoulder of a cliff at the foot of Wadi Ghul, the…

7. Al Hamra Viewpoint

21.19 MILES

Bathed by the golden light of sunset, with the limestone 'dip slope' of Jebel Shams as backdrop and a thick plantation of date palms in the foreground,…

8. Bait Al Safah

21.36 MILES

This quirky museum is more open house than historical display. Three ladies accompany guests around their traditional house in the aged and crumbling…