|1988||Inscribed||Reasons for inscription|
|1987||Deferred||Bat necropolis: Should include Al-Ain and better protection needed|John Booth (New Zealand):
It is essential to have your own transport to visit these sites. We drove from Al Ain (UAE) to Ibri and took the road viaAd Dariz to Bat where we found hilltops dotted with stone tombs. Some were restored, and within a wire fence we found the remains of the Al-Khutm tower.
From Bat we continued along a dusty but smooth road for about 25 kms until we reached a paved road which led to Al Ayn.These were quite spectacular, strung out in a long row along a ridge overlooking the wadi.
From Al Ayn we returned along the paved road which joined the main highway to Nizwa.
Date posted: September 2011 Jarek Pokrzywnicki (Poland):
Just arrived from Oman, seeing all their World Heritage Sites. It is not so bad with accessibility of Bat - there is a sealed road directly from Ibri via Ad Diriz. On a way from Ad Diriz there are already some marked excavations area (no named but at least there are plates). Just before entering Bat village you should turn left (road to Wadi Al Ayn). Bat archeological sites lies just 800 meters on the left. If you don't find it ask locals for UNESCO sites - the majority of them should know. Some structures extend also on the right side of the road. Total area is partly fenced, marked, graves or I should say structures are partly restored.
For Al Ayn which is by far the most spectacular Unesco place in whole Oman, you can use the same road to Wadi Al Ayn - accessable but poor - but it is better to go Al Banah (watch for the signposts) and from there go to Al Ayn towards the road Ibri - Bahla. This road is now completely asphalted. If you enter Al Ayn just watch the hills - you cannot miss the graves.
Date posted: December 2010 anthony sun (usa):
This is a hard site to visit. First you need a guide because their are absolutely no signs to get you there. Next you need a 4 wheel drive as you are driving on dirt roads to get there.
The way there is to start at Nishwa and travel towards Al-Ayn. Half way you need to turn left into the dessert on a gravel road with no signs. The only landmarks are a small grocery store and a small mosque at the right side of the road at the junction. No other buildings around them. You pass through a small village and then the road takes you for 25Km into the dessert. There is no sign of civilization for the entire stretch except for electric lines on poles running on the right side of the road the entire way.
You know you have arrived when you see chain link fences on your left and right, some small white signs from the Oman Archeological Dept. and when the road dead ends in a power substation.
The chain link enclosure on the left are the remains of a circular palace. they do not allow close viewing and so you can only take photographs from a distance. he more interesting site is to the right. You need to back track till where the fence starts and enter from there. there are many mounds of rocks piled up where the beehive tombs were. Some have been partially reconstructed. The real interesting site requires driving the 4 wheel behind the hill to the right. Walking will take over an hour round trip. You come to another chain link fence enclosure where several bee hive tombs have been reconstructed. There is an opening in the fence where you can enter the enclosure. Great site for photographs.
Date posted: January 2009 Rob Wilson (UK):
I really loved Bat. It is incredibly remote, and isn't by any means a spectacular site, but there aren't too many places on Earth where you can walk around the remains on a 5000 year old settlement. It was also fabulous being the only visitors at the site.
Their are some tombs which are in excellent condition, and still resemble beehives, but like the other poster I ask any visitor to take the greatest care on this site. There is a real risk of damage due to theft and inconsiderate use of a 4wd. If you take a vehicle into the site, please stick to the well defined tracks.
Oh, and one big plus point is the entry fee - my favourite price.... free.
Date posted: February 2006 Paul Tanner (UK):
The brief desription on the UNESCO site was intriguing
“The protohistoric site of Bat lies near a palm grove in the interior of the Sultanate of Oman. Together with the neighbouring sites, it forms the most complete collection of settlements and necropolises from the 3rd millennium B.C. in the world”
Somewhere which is “world unique” should be worth seeking out! The Lonely Planet "Arab Gulf States" didn’t mention the place however. But it was there on the map which came with our rentacar and we did have a few spare hours after visiting Bahla and Jabreen forts before we had to be back in Nizwa. Unfortunately the route to it seemed to go round 3 quarters of a circle - there was a dirt road to avoid this but our rental agreement had been VERY specific that all insurance was void on dirt roads! When we reached the dirt road locals confirmed that it wasn’t good enough for a saloon. So on to Ibri which is on the main road from the UAR and the border oasis of Buraimi. From there we made our way north to Ad Dariz (turn off just before) and finally another 16kms to the village of Bat. If you try it you will need to keep asking at Ad Dariz as it is not well signed and locals do not seem be aware of what it is that tourists might be going to see. Just before Bat, where the metalled road ends, turn left - ie NOT into the village. After about 1 km you will come across a line of metal fencing on the left and a circular fenced enclosure on the right. This latter contains the structure shown in the picture on the UNESCO web site – the remains of a tower from around 2500BC.
You will need to go behind the fence to see the main area of beehive tombs. The fence is a farce since there is a rough road which just goes round the end of it. One must be concerned for the integrity of the site. Although Omani government notices warn that it is an archaeological site and that nothing must be damaged the whole area is open to plunder from locals wanting stones and from 4x4 enthusiasts driving everywhere.
The mention of a “Palm Grove” in the UNESCO description gives the wrong impression. This is desert country and the necropolis lies on dry ground over a large area with the remains of “beehive” tombs dotting both the valley and the tops of the surrounding hills. Unfortunately by now it was getting dark. Although I understand that there are at least 2 tombs in a reasonable state of completeness (ie looking like “beehives”!) we only had time to look at some which were in a poorer state of repair. The circular nature of the structure (see photo) was clearly visible however together with the skill involved in interlocking the stones to create the beehive dome. Some 4500 years ago a bronze age people had created a culture of some longevity and complexity of organisation and belief of which these stones were now the only record. The sun set deep red, the dust blew – and we had a 3 hour journey back to Nizwa . We may not have seen a magnificent ruin, well presented for tourists and beautifully restored but it had been a worthwhile excursion to experience these desert remains!
Have you been to Bat, Al-Khutm and Al-Ayn? Share your experiences!