Hello friends!

It's wonderful to stop for a moment to write to you this month. We are moving and learning at such a rapid pace, it feels like we can't share it with you fast enough. This month we've welcomed a new intern, presented our methods and results in chemistry, dropped three new blog posts about Hearthstone Project indigenous consultations and planned upcoming field work. Next month we are conducting both Hearthstone Project field work and digitally preserving new sites we have recently received permission to visit. The Shumla Scholars are finishing out the school year and Rudy will be sharing their achievements in next month's Lunch and Learn. We are literally "firing on all cylinders" - preservation, research, education and stewardship. What a gift to have the opportunity to do what we do. You make it possible.

Thank you!


We're Proud of Shumla's Chemists!

Science Director Dr. Karen Steelman and Archaeological Chemist Rudy Banny recently attended the American Chemistry Society's Spring Conference in Indianapolis.

The meeting's theme was "Crossroads of Chemistry". What better way to showcase Shumla's unique work in the Lower Pecos than to present on the intersection of archaeology and chemistry! Karen spoke about the incredible progress we've made dating rock art for the Hearthstone Project during the "Science in Support of Technical Art History" session. Rudy shared a poster detailing the construction of our one-of-a-kind plasma oxidation system.

Take a closer look at Rudy's poster

While in Indianapolis, Karen and Rudy visited some fascinating sites. At the Eiteljorg Museum they experienced artwork that showed an understanding of the complex issues facing diverse native peoples throughout history and the present. The Indianapolis Museum of Art also held fabulous exhibits and hosted a special "Night at the Museum" event for the conference. Our chemists learned about the science and history behind all kinds of colorful pigments and got to try out some fantastic new technology used to analyze art!

Join us in welcoming our

newest intern, Maddie!

Archaeological Intern Madeline Okkonen is working with the team in our San Marcos office. She graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2020 with a Geology major and a minor in Archaeology. Her interests include archaeological conservation, landscape archaeology and geoarchaeology. While at Shumla, Madeline is working on a digitization and mapping project using ArcGIS. She will join Shumla in the field to learn the Shumla Method of Baseline Documentation starting next week.

Stay tuned, we'll be sharing more about Maddie's internship project of mapping Pecos River Style sites in Coahuila, Mexico. You may remember we shared a generous map donation from Terry Sayther's from one of our previous newsletters.

Spend May Trekking with us!

Our half day Trek to Running Horse Shelter & Seminole Canyon State Park on Saturday, May 6 is the perfect option for those who do not wish to do a full day of hiking but would still like to see some of the area’s stunning rock art first hand.

On Sunday, May 21 we will spend the day Trekking to Black Cave and Vaquero Shelter. The Pecos River style rock art at Black Cave is striking and iconic. Many of the pictographs are located quite high above the shelter floor and would have required the construction of scaffolding. Vaquero shelter gets its name from 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.

Trek with us!

Scroll to check out our full Spring and Fall Treks calendar

including our newly added Treks locations!

May Treks

Running Horse Shelter and Seminole Canyon Museum

Saturday, May 6

Black Cave and Vaquero Shelter

Sunday, May 21

September Treks

Halo Shelter and Devils River Swim

Saturday, September 23

Painted Shelter and Vaquero Shelter

Sunday, September 24

October Treks

Los Vientos and Sunburst Shelter

Saturday, October 28

Black Cave and Vaquero Shelter

Sunday, October 29

November Treks

Eagle Cave, Skiles Shelter, Kelley Cave

Saturday, November 4

Vinegarroon Historic Railroad Camp

Sunday, November 5

Meyers Springs Shelter and Historic Site

Saturday, November 18

Fate Bell, Fate Bell Annex, and Running Horse Shelters

Sunday, November 19

2023 Shumla Treks Schedule

Shumla Treks Gift Voucher

Gift a unique Trek experience with a Treks Gift Voucher, available for purchase on our website.

Shumla Treks Gift Voucher

Phil Dering's newest three Hearthstone Project blog posts are available now! They describe his and Carolyn Boyd's experience while conducting ethnographic interviews in Mexico.

"Carolyn and Phil's Mexico Experience: Part 1" provides background to the project and describes the first few days in Mexico and in San Andrés Cohamiata. Part 2 gives an account of their first week in Huichol country, at a host rancho in the Tierras Coloradas. Part 3 describes their time at the rancho on the mesa at the edge of San Andrés and their trip out of the sierras

His next blog post will present an introduction to the interviews and describe circumstances surrounding each interview. Shumla personnel are currently translating the interviews for analysis, a process that will require several months. Stay tuned!

Shumla's Mexico Experience: Part One

The Encounter that brought us to Mexico. Thirteen years ago, Matsua, a Huichol shaman, traveled to the Lower Pecos region to the White Shaman mural and to meet Carolyn. This was an unprecedented opportunity for Carolyn was eager to find out what he thought about the mural. Click to read more...

Read More

A deep dive at our Shumla Scholars program

Education has always been a large part of Shumla’s mission. Today, one of the ways we share knowledge is through the Shumla Scholars program. For the past several years, we have worked with the local K-12 school to develop coursework and lead classes for the senior students. Our archaeological chemist Rudy Banny has been leading the Scholars program this year, teaching them about the art, archaeology, and science behind what we do. Join us for this Lunch and Learn as Rudy describes the Scholars’ educational journey this year as they’ve gained first-hand experience in the lab, working directly with rock art samples to prepare them for radiocarbon dating.

Shumla Scholars: Hands-on Learning in the Lab

Virtual presentation on Zoom

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Noon – 1 p.m. Central Time

Register Today

We're not here if you're not with us.

We have an incredible team and a clear vision for what's to come. With your support we can continue vital preservation, life-changing education and epic discoveries. Please support us today!

Please Support Shumla

Shumla Archaeological Research & Education Center 

P.O. Box 627, Comstock, TX 78837

info@shumla.org | shumla.org 


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