Around the World in 80 Clicks

inspiring you to travel

Oman: Jaylah beehive tombs

Mission accomplished image

Jaylah beehive tombs | Oman | Asia

[Visited: July 2017]

Just after the coastal town of Finns, where we stock up on water, we take a turn towards the west. The mountains ahead of us are covered in a haze, and we still stop to take some pictures. Someone in a car signals at us, and we end up taking a villager up the mountain. He quietly sits in the back of our 4WD while we drive up the many switchbacks on a steep, rocky track that quickly takes us up the Eastern Hajar mountains. Because of the haze, we do not get views of the Arabian Sea; whenever we look down, we feel surrounded by yellow-brown stones of various sizes. The track meanders through this desolate landscape, bringing us always higher. We pass a village, where we do not see a single person, and at the school building, our hitchhiker gets off.

Picture of Jaylah beehive tombs (Oman): Beehive tomb under a partly cloudy sky

After a few more stops to enjoy the narrow canyons below, and the views over the countryside, we reach the Selmah highlands. The track leads us through a tiny village in which we, again, see no one even though there are a few cars. Then, on a stretch with sweeping views of the Eastern Hajar mountains, we spot the first beehive tombs scattered around the landscape. The track leads right past several of them, making them very easy to visit. Thought to be around 4500 years old, the towered tombs amaze us when we look at them from close by: how is it possible that they survived for such a long time? They are all constructed by placing flat stone one on top of the other, without any cement used. Yet many are still standing tall, up to 8 metres, constructed with apparent perfection and precision.

Picture of Jaylah beehive tombs (Oman): Track through the barren landscape with beehive tombs on both sides

Most have a small entrance, facing east, through which you can crawl, which brings you inside the conical towered structure. There are no signs left of those buried here. Many have double walls, which can be seen both inside some of them, as well as several others which have partly collapsed, exposing the inner wall. We also find tombs which have completely collapsed. Even when the tombs are built, this area was sparsely populated; they must have been built so impressively to be visible from a distance. The sun disappears, and when I look up, I notice a dark cloud which covers half the sky, and to my surprise, big drops of rain start to fall, and are the beginning of a real shower - my first rain ever in Oman. What follows is yet another spectacular drive down the mountains on the other side, towards the interior of the country.

Picture of Jaylah beehive tombs (Oman): Landscape of the beehive tombs
Picture of Jaylah beehive tombs (Oman): The interior of one of the beehive tombs
Picture of Jaylah beehive tombs (Oman): Outer wall of this beehive tomb is partly collapsed
Picture of Jaylah beehive tombs (Oman): Partly collapsed beehive tombs surrounded by stones
Picture of Jaylah beehive tombs (Oman): One of the neatly constructed beehive tombs seen from below
Picture of Jaylah beehive tombs (Oman): Track through the barren landscape near the beehive tombs
Picture of Jaylah beehive tombs (Oman): Beehive tomb with other tombs in the background
Picture of Jaylah beehive tombs (Oman): Beehive tomb, partly collapsed, with other tomb in the background
Picture of Jaylah beehive tombs (Oman): One of the almost completely intact beehive tombs
Picture of Jaylah beehive tombs (Oman): Several of the beehive tombs in the landscape near Jaylah
Picture of Jaylah beehive tombs (Oman): Collapsed beehive tomb
Picture of Jaylah beehive tombs (Oman): Collapsed beehive tomb with stones around it
Picture of Jaylah beehive tombs (Oman): The double wall exposed in this partly collapsed beehive tomb

Around the World in 80 Clicks

Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Jaylah beehive tombs (Oman). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Jaylah beehive tombs.
Read more about this site.

Follow us