The adobe beehive homes of Harran, Turkey were built around 1750.


These are beehive homes in Harran, Turkey near the border with Syria. Beehive homes stay cool in the desert heat. Their thick mud brick (adobe) walls trap the cool and keep the sun out. Beehive homes have few windows. The high domes collect the hot air, moving it away from the ground floor keeping the interior around 75F (24C) while outside extremes range from 95F (35C) to 32F (0C). Each dome is built from about 1,400 adobe bricks.


The traveller and author Julian Huxley described beehive homes as built of "unburnt mud or clay, with the floor slightly raised above the soil outside, spotlessly clean, with a recess for cooking and attractive decorations in bright tinsel paper on the walls. Though only a few yards in diameter, its high conical roof gave it a sense of space". Naturally built homes like these have been lived in comfortably for thousands of years.

These houses have to resist the stresses of strong winds and minor shocks from frequent earthquakes since the mid 18th century. The door and window openings are few and small to minimize the sun's glare and the movement of hot and cold air during the day and night. The roofs have a high-heat-capacity (the ability to store heat) to absorb the sun's rays during the day and slowly release it to the interior during the cool night. The roof slopes steeply to shed the occasional but heavy rains.