Marsa Alam sits on the T-junction between the Red Sea coast road and the road from Edfu which sits on the Nile river about 230km (142mi) inland. This road, which was probably originally built by Ptolemy II in the Greek period, passes through some historic landscape where the ancient Egyptians mined much of their gold. Several gold mining operations are known. Just off this road are found two areas, called Wadi Barmiya, and about about 30 kilometers further into the mountains. Wadi Baramiya extends into another larger Wadi named Miya, where a temple was built by, among others, Seti I. Both areas were probably gold mining communities.
In addition, a wealth of rock inscriptions from as early as the predynastic period may also be found along this route near Marsa Alam. Here, the smooth rock faces were an ideal canvas for ancient graffiti, which dates from the earliest times right up until the present. The ancient graffiti depicts animals, including giraffes and cattle, but also includes hunting scenes, such as an ostrich hunt with dogs. Unfortunately, with the expansion of this road, many if not all of these inscriptions will be soon lost.