Dear Friends,

There never seems to be language enough to express the appreciation we feel toward you, our community, who bolster and support us. Gratitude is a word that gets thrown around a lot in November. But this month and always we try hard to include you in our endeavors and remind you how dear you are to us.

We don't have a Lunch & Learn scheduled for next month, but we will be posting our 2024 Lunch & Learn series schedule along with our Shumla Treks Spring schedule very soon.

2024 is going to be a year of analysis and conclusion, writing and publication, documentation of new sites and the enhanced understanding of ones we've visited hundreds of times.

If you are able to send a gift to support our efforts in the coming year, it will be counted alongside others to help us reach our 25th Anniversary goal of $250,000. We have less that $40,000 to raise!

We will express our deep gratitude to you by working hard to preserve your ancient history and unravel knowledge held in sacred imagery for ages.

Wishing you all the best, always,



Illustrations are one of many ways that we digitally preserve the rock art of the Lower Pecos. Over the past month, Diana Radillo Rolón, Siobhan Anderson, and David Keim have been producing illustrations of the Pecos River Style figures we are studying and radiocarbon dating as part of the Hearthstone Project.

Digital figure illustrations are created in Adobe Photoshop using high-resolution photographs of each figure and an interactive pen display (Wacom Cintiq) to sketch. The team manually trace the paint, placing dots and lines where paint occurs in zoomed-in high-res photographs. This creates a digital record of the figure in its “likely” original condition. We use color calibrated high-resolution photos and other photo enhancement techniques to produce digital renderings. The illustration process enables detailed observations and a greater understanding of relationships among and between figures.

These illustrations and information become a part of what we call a "Graphic Database"– a file created in Adobe Photoshop that incorporates in photoshop layers the high-resolution photographs of each figure and it's illustrations, as well as the results of our analyses, such as digital microscopy, pXRF, and radiocarbon sampling. This file also incorporates forms, data tables and notes. Best of all, it is a "living" file, that can be added to and changed as more and more is learned about each figure. The team will be able to use these illustrations in our forthcoming publications and presentations as we share our leading-edge research.

The team has completed 17 figures so far and have 36 more to go!

Go team!


Hello! Diana, here! I'm writing to share that this month I was fortunate to participate as a guest researcher in the class on conservation and restoration of archaeological materials, given by Viviana López Gutiérrez M.A. at the National School of Anthropology and History, Mexico (Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia, México - ENAH). I sincerely thank Viviana for the opportunity to share Shumla's conservation and education work with her archaeology students.

During the virtual presentation, I talked about how since 1998 Shumla has developed a multi-level intensive scientific method for rock art documentation called “The Shumla Method of Rock Art Documentation." I also showed an example of stratigraphic analysis with digital microscopy that was carried out at Fate Bell Shelter as part of our Hearthstone Project.

The students showed great interest in learning about the high level of detail Shumla uses to document rock art, as well as the use of technologies and advanced management to preserve the data. It was important for the class to learn about high-resolution digital documentation of rock art to ensure its preservation for future generations and research work.

The students' reactions and the discussion after the presentation raised questions like: "Why we are not using that kind of method in Mexico?" and "How can I go to visit the Lower Pecos Canyonlands?" We are always thrilled to increase interest in Mexico, since half of the incredible rock art we preserve is on Mexican soil.

We look forward to partnering with researchers and students at ENAH, UNAM and others as we expand our preservation efforts across the Rio Grande. For now, I was so pleased to share Shumla's methods with students in Mexico and direct them to our website to learn more on their own.


Stay tuned! Soon we will release next year's Lunch & Learn dates and topics as well as our Shumla Treks Spring 2024 schedule online. We will also share them in December's eNewsletter. You won't want to miss what we have planned!

You can view some of our previous Lunch & Learn presentations on our website or YouTube channel.

We are constantly updating our library of presentations, so be sure to check back with us periodically.

Your Gift Fuels Preservation. Click to give today!

Shumla Archaeological Research & Education Center 

P.O. Box 627, Comstock, TX 78837 | 


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