The House of Jarhum is the oldest house in Shibam. The exact year of its construction is unknown, however it dates to some time in the late sixteenth century. In a manner typical of houses in Shibam, the house of Jarhum is built of mud bricks above a stone foundation and covered with a mud plaster finish. Its height varies from six to eight stories and pillars made from the trunks of small trees support ceilings of plastered date-palm beams in the larger reception rooms. Parts of its exterior façade, including the foundation and the roof, and many interior surfaces are whitewashed with a protective covering of crushed limestone to prevent water damage from heavy seasonal rains and floods. Rich decorative detail, such as latticed window grilles and plaster basket-patterned dados, is featured throughout the house. The window positions are lower in living rooms where guests and family members sit on floor mats.
Lewcock, Ronald B.. Wadi ?a?ramawt and the walled city of Shibam, 86-94. Paris: UNESCO, 1986.