The carvings of Wadi Rum are as diverse as the history of these rugged sandy crossroads between Arabia, the Mediterranean, and North Africa.For more on the ancient North Arabian dialects as well as on the Nabatean language, see here (cf. here) and follow the links.
Much of the art and inscriptions are in Thamudic, or Safaitic; the script, of Bedouin tribes who lived in northern Arabia over 3,000 years ago, a presumed precursor to Arabic and Aramaic.
Then came the Nabataeans, who built an empire from their third-century B.C. capital of Petra, and carved pictures and script in their own language that derived from Thamudic.
Cliff walls here also include messages and Koranic verses in Kufic – an early Arabic script. Then there are the primitive petroglyphs, stick men, women, animals and undecipherable symbols that predate all those civilizations by thousands of years.
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