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Shumla eNewsflash
Shumla School

January, 2011

January 10, 2011
Volume 3, No. 1

Over the holidays a great archeologist and friend lost her battle with cancer.  Dr. Dee Ann Story left an indelible mark in the hearts and minds of all she touched and continues to share the gift of her knowledge even after her death. 

Preceding the passing of a beloved mentor, the  Board of Directors of the Dee Ann Story Foundation recently donated three $1750 scholarships to SHUMLA. 

The three scholarships will fund student participation in the upcoming Field Methods in Rock Art  held annually at the SHUMLA Campus.  The course examines rock art as an integral component of the archeological record. 

According to SHUMLA Executive Director, Dr. Carolyn Boyd, "Dee Ann Story was a dear friend and the matriarch of Texas archeology.  The Dee Ann Story Educational Fund was established in her honor by her friends to purchase books for the Wimberley library and to promote education (specifically in Texas Archeology).  Because Dee Ann loved SHUMLA, the Foundation Board thought she would want to see some of the funds used for SHUMLA's Field Methods in Rock Art scholarships.  This is really a wonderful gift honoring a very wonderful woman."

For information about SHUMLA's  Field Methods in Rock Art  - 2011, to be held  May 16 - June 8, go to or E-mail  Also see the story below.

Dr. Dee Ann Story, Professor Emeritus from the University of Texas at Austin (left) and Tinka Eoff, past president of the Wimberley Institute of Cultures (right) during a visit to  the SHUMLA campus.

By Elton R. Prewitt, Chair, SHUMLA Research Board
I, and SHUMLA, lost a dear friend a few days ago.  Dee Ann Story, 79, died December 26, 2010 after a lengthy battle with cancer.  The first woman professional archeologist in Texas, and one of the first in the nation, Dee Ann paved the way for the many women today who have become professionals in an academic field once the sole domain of men.  After earning two degrees at The University of Texas at Austin, she went on to become one of the first women to earn a doctorate in anthropology from the University of California at Los Angeles.

During her undergraduate studies at UT Austin, she wrote a term paper attempting to summarize everything known about archeology in Texas.  That paper caught the attention of Alex Krieger and Ed Jelks; the three of them turned it into The Handbook of Texas Archeology published as a Bulletin of the Texas Archeological Society in 1954.  Dee Ann's role initiating this seminal synthesis presaged her career.  Chafing at the thought of being relegated to "armchair archeologist" status, she led student excavations on weekends during her graduate work at UT Austin, then analyzed and published reports in various journals.

After earning her doctorate and returning to UT Austin in the early 1960s, Dee Ann initiated the concept of the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory (TARL) and oversaw its formation.  She served as Director of TARL from 1965 until she retired in 1987.  The many students she taught in the classroom, on funded excavations, and during numerous field schools benefitted not only from her depth of anthropological knowledge but also her passion for rigor in data collection, analysis and reporting.

Working in the field with Dee Ann was a remarkable experience – you began the days early and you worked in the evenings until you were done with your journals.  I remember well the mornings spent at the Britton Site (Lake Waco) sitting in the trucks waiting for enough pre-dawn light to begin work on excavation units.  I served as her field assistant during the first two seasons of work at the George C. Davis site (now Caddo Mounds State Park) in eastern Texas.  The crew was housed in an abandoned WPA schoolhouse where there was no hot water.  Showers after long, hot dusty days in baking summer sun were thrillingly cold, and the shrieks of agony from the men's stall were no less than those from the women's stall!

After her retirement, Dee Ann and her husband, Hal Story, traveled extensively, often accompanied by Ed and Judy Jelks who had moved to Normal, Illinois, after Ed earned his doctorate in the mid-1960s.  Following Hal's death in 1995, she continued to travel the world, often taking Anne Dibble or Lila Knight on treks to many countries and all continents.  Fellow tour-group travelers got additional education from the Texas lady who entertainingly explained so much more about cultures and their relationships to plants, animals and the land itself.  Dee Ann may have retired from field excavations, but she never quit learning and teaching in whatever setting she found herself.

In the early 1990s at a meeting of the Texas Archeological Society, Dee Ann and I sat in on a session that included a paper on rock art of the Lower Pecos presented by a student from Texas A&M University.  After the young lady gave her paper, Dee Ann leaned over to me and said "[t]hat is the first logical well-researched treatment of Texas rock art I have ever heard!  Mark my words, Carolyn Boyd is going to open some eyes if she continues to pursue this line of research."  Little did I know that after my own retirement in the early 2000s I would be asked by Carolyn to serve on the board of SHUMLA.

Dee Ann's interest in Carolyn's work never ceased, and periodically she would ask me for updates on how the rock art research was progressing.  She visited Carolyn and SHUMLA occasionally, even bringing the Hays County Heritage Society to the campus for a tour and lecture.  Dee Ann's many friends in her home community of Wimberley established the Dee Ann Story Education Fund in her honor a few months before her death.  SHUMLA was selected as the recipient of the first scholarships awarded by the fund – some lucky students will help continue Dee Ann's legacy during the 2011 Field Methods in Rock Art Research course!

Dee Ann's family has selected Saturday, February 5, at 10:00 a.m. for her memorial.  The event will be held at Dee Ann's home in Wimberley.

Comstock, TX
05 January 2011
 Dr. Dee Ann Story's obituary can be found at

Mark your calendar for May 16 through June 8, 2011! These are the dates for SHUMLA's next offering of Field Methods in Rock Art. As usual, this field school will be held at the SHUMLA Campus in the Lower Pecos Canyonlands of Texas. This area has been recognized by world rock art experts as containing some of the most spectacular prehistoric imagery in the world.

Earn three to six hours of undergraduate or three hours of graduate credit through Texas State University, San Marcos. Taught by Dr. Carolyn E. Boyd, author of Rock Art of the Lower Pecos, and Elton R. Prewitt, respected Texas archeologist, this three-week course provides hands-on training in rock art interpretation, analysis and recording techniques. In addition, many other aspects of archeological field work are introduced and practiced.

This year students will also be studying with esteemed archeoastronomer Dr. Arturo Montero, currently a professor at Universidad Iberoamericana (UIA) in Mexico City (  Montero has devoted his life to the study of mountains and caves in relation to astronomy. He will contribute a new and exciting perspective to rock art recording methods, investigating how rock art may be a clue to possible solstice and equinox markers in the surrounding landscape.

Using the Lower Pecos Canyonlands as a classroom, students will learn:

  • How to establish a field research design and field-data collection protocol

Participants in the 2010 Field Methods in Rock Art course record a
rock art site in the Lower Pecos

  • Rock art recording methods, including photography, mapping, sketching, and written inventories
  • Laboratory procedures, record keeping, cataloging, and records curation
  • Rock art data analysis — formulating and testing hypotheses
  • Current theories regarding the meaning and function of rock art
  • Archeology of the Lower Pecos, lifeways and foraging adaptation to the environment by hunter-gatherer societies
  • Rock art related astronomical observations
  • Basic GIS instruction has been offered in the past and may be included
SHUMLA's fee of $1750  covers lodging, meals, course materials, recording equipment, and on-site travel.  Contact Angel Johnson at for more information or visit the SHUMLA website at

SHUMLA Research Presented in Mexico City
Dr. Carolyn Boyd, SHUMLA Executive Director, was a speaker at Simposio Anthropologia e Historia del Occidentae de Mexico held in Mexico City on December 9 - 11, 2010. 

Sponsored by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), the symposium brought together historians, ethnographers, ethnohistorians and archeologists working in western Mexico for two days of papers followed by a day-long field trip to view the archeological site of Chalcatzingo in the state of Morelos.  The symposium was organized by INAH scholars Jesús Jáuregui,  Benjamín Muratalla, and Francisco Samaniega.  At SHUMLA's invitation, they had visited the Lower Pecos Canyonlands in October.  After hearing Carolyn's recently expanded interpretation of the White Shaman site, they asked her to give a two-hour presentation on the subject at the INAH event.

Carolyn Boyd, with INAH archeologist and translator Laura Solar (left), begins her presentation on the White Shaman site at Simposio Anthropologia e Historia del Occidente de Mexico held in Museo del Templo Mayo, Mexico City.
Carolyn's paper, An Archaic Codex: the White Shaman Panel in the Lower Pecos River Canyon, was very well-received by our Mexican colleagues.  One researcher went so far as to tell Carolyn afterward, "[y]ou have given the finest rock art presentation I have ever seen."  We formed new friendships and received several suggestions for continued cooperation and interaction with Mexican scholars.  This provides new avenues of research for SHUMLA to explore.

The symposium, held in the auditorium of Museo del Templo Mayor, near the Presidential Palace in downtown Mexico City, afforded Carolyn and SHUMLA Research Board Chair Elton Prewitt an opportunity to meet scientists working  on topics that are very relevant to research on the rock art centered around the juncture of the Pecos River and the Rio Grande.

Carolyn Boyd and Elton Prewitt pause on the rock art trail in la zona arqueologica de Calcatzingo, Morelos, Mexico.

The field trip on Saturday to Chalcatzingo was enlightening and enriching.  Several panels of petroglyphs were observed, including one at the small spring where an anthropomorph is depicted sitting in the mouth of a cave with breath/speaking symbols emanating while rain clouds and rain drops are shown above the figure. 

A final panel depicting an anthropomorphic head with a raised left hand above it was reached after traversing an unimproved trail around the east and south sides of the small mountain with an elevation rise of some 225 meters (nearly 750 feet).  It was an exhausting climb at an elevation of 1600 meters (5,250 feet) but well worth it.

Carolyn Boyd visits with Harvard graduate student Nawa Sugiyama at the location of a panel depicting an anthropomorph sitting in the mouth of a cave, la zona arqueologica de Chalcatzingo, Morelos, Mexico.

Boyd and Prewitt were invited to visit the famous site of Teotihuacan on Sunday.  Dr. Alejandro Sarabia and Dr. Saburo Sugiyama, co-directors of current investigations at the site, invited Jesús Jáuregui to take them into the western tunnel to view excavations under the center of the Pyramid of the Sun.

Afterward, Dr. Sugiyama led them into the ancient Aztec cave that also extends to the center of the pyramid.  They were also treated to a visit to the laboratory where they viewed some of the extraordinary finds from the current season of work.

While exhausting, this trip to Mexico City opened many doors of cooperation and collaborative research for future SHUMLA work.  We look forward to building upon these relationships with our colleagues in Mexico.  Our thanks to Jesús, Benjamín and Francisco for making this opportunity possible, and thanks to all the people in Mexico who graciously made our visit enjoyable and memorable.

Photos and article by Elton R. Prewitt

Since its founding in 1998, SHUMLA has become known internationally as a premier institution for rock art research and education.  We need your help to continue these efforts to bring state, national and international recognition to the rock art of the Lower Pecos region of Texas and to educate children in this rich cultural heritage.

To keep these world-class rock art research programs going we need your help and participation.  SHUMLA’s supporters come from all over the world, from local ranchers and business owners, to kids in Texas schools, to archeologists in Australia. If you are not a  Friend of SHUMLA, we urge you to join. If you are a Friend we urge to  increase your level of support.


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