Some 37km further east from Bat, the small village of AL AYN is home to another superb collection of Bronze Age necropolises. The appeal of the tombs here is their spectacular setting, strung out along a narrow ridgetop and dramatically backdropped by the craggy outline of Jebel Misht (literally “Comb Mountain”, named on account of its distinctively serrated ridgetop), one of the largest of the various geological “exotics” which dot this part of Oman. There are 21 tombs in total, most of them well preserved, and late afternoon is a particularly magical time to see them.

To reach Al Ayn from Bat, follow the directions outlined above. Follow the road to Al Ayn until you reach a T-junction just before the village. Turn left here and you’ll see the tombs up on your left on top of the ridge as you drive into the village, around 500m past the T-junction. It’s a straightforward ten-minute walk from the road up to the tombs, although there’s no obvious path. Cross the wadi bed and scramble up a track roughly opposite the big mosque at the entrance to the village.

Al Ayn is also accessible via two side-roads from the Ibri–Nizwa highway. Approaching from Ibri, take the turn-off at the village of Kubarah signed to Amla. Approaching from Nizwa, take the turning about 13km further down the road by the Al Maha petrol station, also signed to Amla.

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