February 2022
Hello Friends,

The short month of February has flown by. As I watch the icy rain fall, I, for one, am ready for springtime! Spring means the start of Shumla Treks, the Society for American Archaeology meetings in Chicago and more incredible field and lab discoveries through the Hearthstone Project.

The team has been hard at work the last two weeks in Panther Cave. Today is their last day in the field. In next month's eNews we'll share news and discoveries from that iconic site. Karen has also got some important radiocarbon dates in the works and can't wait to report back on those soon as well.

February feels a bit like a transitional month. A cold time for hard work. But without the day-to-day grind, we don't get the breakthroughs! So, hang on with us, friends! Spring is around the corner!
All the best,
Jessica and all of us at Shumla
P.S. Scroll down to sign up for Spring Treks and March Lunch & Learn. Don't miss out!
A Hearthstone Project Update!
Last month we were able to purchase customized scaffolding thanks to a generous gift.
What a game changer it is for working in the field at majestic Panther Cave! The team is able to get right up close to the mural even at its highest point. This is both speeding up and improving our quality of work. The scaffolding was built with our unique needs in mind by National Ladder & Scaffold Co. in Madison Heights, Michigan. It is lighter and more stable than we could have hoped possible. It has outriggers and side supports for when we need to get really high up.
This gives us a new appreciation for what the Archaic people had to go through to produce these incredible murals. Building their own sturdy scaffolding out of the resources around them, so they could access the highest reaches of the shelter wall and paint beautifully straight and steady lines.
We are happy campers with this new piece of equipment. We can't wait until our next opportunity to use it!
Intern with Shumla
Apply for a position in our Archaeological Chemistry Laboratory this summer!

Interns will participate in National Science Foundation supported research to radiocarbon date pictographs in southwest Texas. Students will gain both field and laboratory experience.

Click the link below to learn more and to apply. Applications for summer internships are due March 1st.
Spring Shumla Treks
March is just around the corner. Have you booked your Shumla Trek?

Trek the Lower Pecos with us to experience breathtaking vistas, mind-blowing rock art and rarely seen historical sites. Spots are filling up, so don't wait!

Visit shumla.org/shumlatreks to view our Trek itineraries for March, April and May. You’ll also find information on costs, exertion level, transportation and housing.


Eagle Cave, Skiles Shelter, and Kelley Cave are large rockshelters located within Eagle Nest Canyon in Langtry, Texas (seen below). Combined, all three sites contain evidence of human occupation spanning over 10,000 years into Paleoindian times. The rock art predominantly consists of Pecos River Style with the art in Eagle Cave having recently returned radiocarbon dates between 3350 – 3210 years old. We'll finish the day with a visit to the Judge Roy Bean Visitors Center in Langtry.

The Vinegarroon Camp was a railroad town founded by legendary Judge Roy Bean, “Law West of the Pecos”. This camp housed hundreds (possibly thousands!) of railroad laborers as they worked to overcome the last major hurdle for the construction of the southern transcontinental route linking New Orleans and San Francisco. Walk among the ruins of this ghost town and consider what it may have been like to work on a railroad in the 1880s. Afterwards, we will travel towards the confluence of the Pecos and Rio Grande rivers and take some time to appreciate the expansive view.

Meyers Springs (seen below) is an impressive rock art site with Images relating to the Historic period including: horses, riders on horseback, missions, crosses, figures wearing ecclesiastical robes and headgear, a horse-drawn wagon, teepees, shields, bows and arrows, and bison. Part of the late-nineteenth and twentieth century history of the region also appears in the form of graffiti: initials, names, shapes, and dates either painted or engraved on the wall, including the names of U.S. Army units and the names or initials of ranchers or travelers. Fragments of Pecos River style rock art can be seen scattered throughout the panel as well as the water spring that the site gets its name from.

Vaquero Shelter is located within Presa Canyon in the Seminole Canyon State Park. The shelter gets its name for the Historic period rock art depicting riders mounted on horseback with a Longhorn cow and calf, adjacent to a structure resembling a Spanish mission and a man in a Spanish uniform. The shelter also contains a dense body of Pecos River style art, as well as Red Monochrome style figures. Painted Shelter is located in an tributary canyon of the Rio Grande. A spring-fed stream runs in front of the rock art panel and creates several long pools through the site. Painted Shelter is home to the best-preserved examples of the Red Monochrome style rock art, as well as remnant Pecos River Style murals.

Fate Bell Annex, Fate Bell Shelter and Running Horse Shelter are all situated in Seminole Canyon State Park and Historic Site. Fate Bell is one of the most famous and largest Pecos River Style rock art sites in the Lower Pecos Canyonlands. Not only is the rock art breath-taking, the archaeological deposits in the shelter are extremely well-preserved. Participants on this Trek will descend into the canyon to view these nationally-recognized sites. You’ll hear about the rock art, the lifeways of the people who painted it and our most recent discoveries. After our visit to Fate Bell Annex and Fate Bell, we will return to the Visitor Center for a tour of the museum. After lunch, we will hike together to Running Horse Shelter, which offers beautiful remnant Pecos River Style rock art and intriguing Historic Period art and even a historic stone wall. Together we’ll see 4,000 years of history in this single day.
If you have any questions or if there is anything holding you back from joining a Trek, please reach out to talk with us about it. We can't wait to hear from you! treks@shumla.org
March Lunch & Learn
What an incredible turn out for our February Lunch & Learn! Over 90 people logged on to hear about the Skill and Genius of the Ancient Artists. We were so happy to see you.

Next month, on March 16th, Jessica will be discussing the various forces that endanger the rock art of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands and why we're in such a hurry to save it!

Join our Lunch and Learn titled "What's the Rush?" It's FREE! Click below to register. We look forward to seeing you on zoom!

Once you've registered, you'll receive an email confirmation with a Zoom link for the event. We will send a reminder email on the day of the event.
Thank You, Old Pueblo!
We wanted to take a moment and thank our friend Al Dart and Old Pueblo Archaeology Center for sharing our Lunch & Learns and Shumla Treks with their newsletter reading group.
Click the link above to view their website and sign up to receive their monthly bulletin of upcoming events, tours and activities!
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