"They are like no other villages save those that appear in illustrations of Central African travel books."- this was Middle Eastern adventuress Gertude Bell writing about the beehive houses of Syria in the early years of the 20th century. Her words hold true today. These structures are the ultimate in simplicity- white washed conical mud brick structures of one chamber, accessed by a single, small opening. But they're also well adapted to the climate-the thickness of the walls and lack of windows mean that the darkened interior remains a constant temperature, equally impervious to heat of summer days and the cold of winter nights. Although the appearance and building method of the beehive houses has changed little since Bell's time, there are far fewer of the structures these days. Concrete boxes have taken over. Those that still exist are often used for storage of hay and fodder rather then as family dwellings. You will see them east of Aleppo on the dusty plains as you head out to the Euphates,and the arid areas east of Hama, where in villages like Sajouk and Twalid Dabaghein, people still inhabit these dwellings. One of the beehive houses in Sajouk is kept as a 'reception' house, complete with rugs. This is where you will be brought tea if you sign up for a Qasr Ibn Wardan trip with one of the hotels in Hama.
Life in a beehive village