Wadi Rum History : Wadi Rum has been inhabited by many human cultures since prehistoric times, with many cultures–including the Nabataeans–leaving their mark in the form of petroglyphs, inscriptions, and temple. In the West, Wadi Rum may be best known for its connection with British officer T. E. Lawrence, who passed through several times during the Arab Revolt of 1917–18. In the 1980s one of the rock formations in Wadi Rum, originally known as "Jabal al-Mazmar" (The Mountain of (the) Plague), was named "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom," after Lawrence's book penned in the aftermath of the war, though the 'Seven Pillars' referred to in the book have no connection with Rum. Lawrence described his entrance into the Valley of Rumm, "The hills on the right grew taller and sharper, a fair counterpart of the other side which straightened itself to one massive rampart of redness. They drew together until only two miles divided them: and then, towering gradually till their parallel parapets must have been a thousand feet above us, ran forward in an avenue for miles. The crags were capped in nests of domes, less hotly red than then body of the hill; rather grey and shallow. They gave the finishing semblance of Byzantine architecture to this irresistible place: this processional way greater than imagination." Lawrence also described his encounter with the spring, Ain Shalaaleh, "On the rock-bulge above were clear-cut Nabathaean inscriptions, and a sunk panel incised with a monogram or symbol. Around and about were Arab scratches, including tribe-marks, some of which were witnesses of forgotten migrations: but my attention was only for the splashing of water in a crevice under the shadow of the overhanging rock. I looked in to see the spout, a little thinner than my wrist, jetting out firmly from a fissure in the roof, and falling with that clean sound into a shallow, frothing pool, behind the step which served as an entrance. Thick ferns and grasses of the finest green made it a paradise just five feet square.": 355 The discovery of the Nabataean Temple (located walking distance from the Rest House) in 1933 briefly returned the spotlight to the desert. A French team of archaeologists completed the excavations in 1997. Geography : The area is centered on the main valley of Wadi Rum. The highest elevation in Jordan is Jabal Umm ad Dami at 1,840 m (6,040 ft) high (SRTM data states 1854 m), located 30 kilometres south of Wadi Rum village. It was first located by Difallah Ateeg, a Zalabia Bedouin from Rum. On a clear day, it is possible to see the Red Sea and the Saudi border from the top. Jabal Ram or Jebel Rum (1,734 metres (5,689 ft) above sea level) is the second highest peak in Jordan and the highest peak in the central Rum, rising directly above Rum valley, opposite Jebel um Ishrin, which is possibly one metre lower. Khaz'ali Canyon in Wadi Rum is the site of petroglyphs etched into the cave walls depicting humans and antelopes dating back to the Thamudic times. The village of Wadi Rum itself consists of several hundred Bedouin inhabitants with their goat-hair tents and concrete houses and also their four-wheel vehicles, one school for boys and one for girls, a few shops, and the headquarters of the Desert Patrol. Recently, Geoff Lawton has achieved success in establishing a permaculture ecosystem in Wadi Rum. Tourism : Desert scenes of Wadi Rum in Lawrence of Arabia from 1962 kick-started Jordan's tourism industry. Wadi Rum is one of Jordan's most popular tourist sites and attracts a large number tourists from around the word. Wadi Rum is home to the Zalabieh tribe, who developed eco-adventure tourism and services throughout the protected area. They provide tours, guides, accommodation and facilities. They also run restaurants and small shops in the villages that provide meals and basic supplies for visitors. Their guide services include highly experienced mountain and trekking guides who have an unmatched knowledge of the local area and often speak fluently in two languages or more. Using local guides and services brings many benefits to the protected area. In particular, it enables people to continue earning a living from the land and helps to ensure that the protected area remains protected. Popular activities in the desert environment include 4x4 tours, camel rides, camping under the stars, riding Arabian horses, hiking and rock-climbing among the massive rock formations. Travellers staying in the area can overnight in Bedouins style Camps located in the desert or glamping hotels. Hikers and adventurous travellers may also opt to camp outdoors under the stars. Tour operators offering this experience provide sleeping equipment, meals and transport. Dima and Lama Hattab coordinate an annual marathon in the region called Jabal Ishrin.