The petroglyphs here mostly show human figures holding bows and arrows, or animals such as the horse, ibex, or camel. Alongside these pictures are usually symbols that comprise of lines and circles. These symbols are thought to be instructions left by tribespeople for one another, indicating hidden springs nearby, or messages announcing when the area had last been visited.
Aside from telling us that this tribe had an elaborate pictorial culture, the accompanying characters and symbols also tell us that the Thamud tribes had a surprisingly high literacy rate. These inscriptions testify to the very early emergence of alphabets from iconic representations.
Sometimes referred to as ‘ancient graffiti by the Bedouin, the presence of these markings reminds us that despite its harsh climate, the Wadi Rum has been home to humankind for thousands of years.