Lined up dramatically atop a rocky ridge, the beehive ‘tombs’ of Bat and Al Ayn are two of Oman’s most celebrated prehistoric sites. Little is known about the stone structures, or the culture that constructed them. However, despite this lack of knowledge, UNESCO feels it knows enough to conclude that “the necropolis of Bat bears characteristic and unique witness to the evolution of funeral practices during the first Bronze Age in the Oman peninsula” – a rather strange statement considering that not a single human or animal bone has been recovered from the hundreds of beehive-shaped monuments scattered across the rugged landscape.
No Burial Remains in the Beehive Tombs?
Visit any website about the beehive monuments of Oman, and you will read endless descriptions about these impressive ‘tombs,’ which form one of the largest proto-historic necropolises in the world. You will even read detailed descriptions of the ‘funeral chambers’ within the monuments and how many bodies would have been held within each room. However, what most of these sites fail to mention is that no burial remains have ever been retrieved from these so-called ‘tombs.’
Oman’s Beehive ‘tombs’ lined up dramatically atop a rocky ridge. (Olja /Adobe Stock)