Dear Friends,

What a wonderful adventure it was to go into the field with the team last week. It was fantastic to watch as new team members continue their training in Shumla's documentation preservation methods. The site we visited was a highly complex panel of art with some landscape significant features that would have been very sacred to the ancient painters.

You know when you have those moments in your career that remind you why you do what you do? This was definitely one. I saw both the library of the past being preserved and the future of Shumla in the growing skills of this team. It was a special time I won't soon forget. Read more about the fantastic "Red Elk" site below. And be sure to check out our upcoming Treks and Lunch & Learn!
All the best,
It may be hot, but this scorcher of a summer won't keep us from cool rock art sites!
Last week the team, together with the owners of Agave Canyons Ranch, headed to the "Red Elk" site. It was our first opportunity to conduct baseline documentation at this unique site. It is relatively small in size but packs a big punch with very complex Pecos River Style art.
When the forecast is 104 degrees, we start very, very early in the morning. The added bonus to beating the heat is seeing the site at sunrise. This panel had an interesting alignment with the sunrise that we are excited to continue to explore at different times on the solar/lunar calendar!
The rock art panel around the large central deer is hard to see with the naked eye because it is painted primarily in light red and yellow paint but it includes at least two large crenelated shapes that are very familiar on this landscape. One is above the deer's head, touching the antler rack and the other is much harder to see painted in yellow and light red right behind the deer's head. (Or is it painted on top? We won't know until we complete digital microscopy!) We'll keep you posted as we learn more about this spectacular site!
Katie and Diana smile as they try to keep the gigapan from over-heating in 104 degree heat. We got the shot! And we all got home safely.

Thank you, Mark and Renea Mohr, for your generosity and hospitality. We had a blast!
You may remember in our January 2020 newsletter we introduced you to Rudy Banny, a Chemistry lab intern under the mentorship of Dr. Karen Steelman. We're very excited to announce that Rudy has returned to Shumla as an Archaeological Chemist!
After obtaining a Master's degree in Museum Anthropology from Columbia University and working at the American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, we are so happy to have him back in Comstock.
He'll be helping Dr. Karen Steelman process samples for radiocarbon dating, so look forward to seeing some new dates soon! While lab work will be his primary focus, Rudy is also working with the archaeologists in the field to help document rock art and collect new samples for testing.

Welcome Rudy!

Click the article below to read a blog post from Rudy's
2020 Shumla internship!
Keep Calm and Love Plasma Oxidation - Shumla

Pictured above is me, Rudy! I graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with degrees in both Archaeology and Chemistry, though my main interest is in exploring how these fields of study intersect...

Read more
Halo Shelter Mural is one of the best-preserved Pecos River style pictograph panels in the region. Come see this incredible site for yourself on Saturday, September 3rd. This trek will end with a cool dip in the gorgeous blue Devils River, one of the last wild rivers in Texas.
The next day we'll head to Painted Shelter. This site is home to the best-preserved example of the Red Monochrome style rock art in the region. This half-day Trek on Sunday, September 4th will begin in a tributary canyon of the Rio Grande on private property. After the Trek, we will take you on a tour of Shumla's headquarters, research facility and laboratory where radiocarbon dating of these incredible sites takes place. This is not a strenuous hike, so it's a great choice if you are looking for a Trek with a shorter hike.
Can't make it in September? Select a different Trek from our Fall 2022 schedule.

  • October 07: Judge Roy Bean Center, Vinegarroon, and Shumla HQ (half day) ♦
  • October 22: Meyers Springs Panel and Historic Site ♦
  • October 23: Black Cave and Vaquero Shelter (full day) ♦♦♦

  • November 05: Eagle Nest Canyon (full day) ♦♦♦♦
  • November 06: Mountain Laurel and Shumla Campus (half day) ♦♦♦ 1/2
  • November 19: VV75 and Red Linear Type Site (full day) ♦♦♦♦♦
  • November 20Fate Bell, Fate Bell Annex, and Running Horse (full day) ♦♦♦
Are you concerned about your ability to hike
to our Trek locations? Reach out!

We will walk you through the whole Trek and help you
decide if it's right for you. There are accommodations for
some treks. For example, the November 6th trip to
Mountain Laurel, Shumla campus is listed as a three
and a half diamond trek. But, if you are not a hiker,
you can stay at the campus while the rest of the group
hikes and enjoy the pristine views, walk the nature trails and have a lovely morning with no need to over-exert yourself.

To talk about a Trek, email!
Join Post-Doctoral Visiting Scholar Dr. Diana Radillo Rolón at August's Lunch & Learn.

Big cats (or "felines") in Pecos River Style rock art stand out for their great size and artistic magnificence but also for their variety of features. In this month's presentation, Diana will talk about general and specific categories used to document felines and how the data obtained could help to find patterns and repetitive elements associated with cultural meanings.

Invite your friends to Zoom with us and settle in for this fun overview of the felines in Pecos River Style rock art.

The presentation will be in English this time around. Diana will present it in Spanish later this year.
Shumla Lunch and Learns are held virtually using
Zoom so anyone anywhere can join us!
You have the power to preserve, protect and share this precious history that belongs to us all!
Any amount of support will give us the resources we need to continue our work. A small monthly gift adds up and makes a big difference! Will you take a moment and help us by scheduling a monthly gift?
Visit the Lower Pecos by flying with American Airlines to Del Rio, Texas. American Airlines American Eagle flies to Del Rio from DFW Airport in Dallas. Visit to get your ticket today
Shumla Archaeological Research & Education Center 
P.O. Box 627, Comstock, TX 78837
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