One of the first civilization lived in Wadi Rum was the Nabatean. They left their fingerprints in various sites in Wadi Rum. Where ever you go, where ever you look, if you look closely you will find petroglyphs and inscriptions everywhere in the desert. It is an artworks engraved on the red rose rocks that decorate Wadi Rum walls.
Petroglyphs and inscriptions illustrate the 12.000 years of human occupation in Wadi Rum desert. They tell stories about the history and evolution of human activity in the Arabian Peninsula. With over 25,000 petroglyphs and over 20,000 inscriptions, mostly Thamudic, Wadi Rum desert is a truly unique place on earth.
The numerous inscriptions found in Wadi Rum desert are made in different North-Arabian scripts; Thamudic, Nabatean, Arabic. They show the very early development of alphabetical writing among the societies in the peninsula. According to unesco Wadi Rum desert is ‘a critical site for the study and understanding of the evolution of aesthetics, writing and literacy’