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June, 2011

SHUMLA eNews banner

 Volume 3, Number 3 

June, 2011 

Also in this issue:
Field Methods in Rock Art
AIA Features SHUMLA Recording and Preservation Project
Red Linear Style Discussed

SHUMLA In The News  

AIA Article 

AP Article 


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Generous Donations Commemorate

Deb Sontag


SHUMLA's staff and board would like to thank the donors who gave gifts in memory of Deb Sontag, wife of SHUMLA Research Associate Bill Sontag. When the initial request for kitchen funding was made to eNews readers, board member Linda Gorski, herself one of SHUMLA's volunteer cooks, started it all by making a donation to commemorate Deb.  Linda noted "Deb was an absolutely fabulous cook and an avid supporter of SHUMLA."  


Donations from readers to commemorate Deb and the important cooks in their lives poured in. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, SHUMLA was able to completely update the kitchen just in time for the Field Methods in Rock Art program.



Now the kitchen has a great new stove, a commercial refrigeration unit and several freezers, replacing a number of decrepit appliances. "The credit for our success should go to our donors who generously support our work," stated Assistant Deputy Executive Director Jeanette Pauer. "SHUMLA is fortunate to have such a strong donor community."

Field Methods in Rock Art Brings Students and National Attention

The 2011 session of Field Methods in Rock Art (FMRA) is in full swing, and drawing more attention than ever.  Thanks to generous support from the Rock Art Foundation and the Dee Ann Story Educational Fund, all seven FMRA students have been given scholarships to fund their working alongside SHUMLA research staff and research board members to learn the process of documenting Rock Art.


Dr. Pegi Jodry, an archeologist from the Smithsonian Institution's Paleoindian/Paleoecology Program and staff from Geo-Marine also have joined SHUMLA staff and students in the field. Geo-Marine staff members have continued the process of LiDAR laser mapping in the rock shelters, helping students to understand how imaging technology can be applied to archeological documentation processes. Continuing with SHUMLA's tradition of working internationally, staff and students are learning alongside Dr. Leticia Gonzalez, an expert on mortuary caves. Dr. Gonzalez joins SHUMLA as an  Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia (INAH) archeologist from Coahuila.


This year's FMRA is also notable for the attention that it has received from media organizations. Reporters from the Associated Press and Texas Highways have visited SHUMLA's campus and the archeological sites that serve as the classrooms for SHUMLA's students. On Sunday, May 30th, local and international media outlets picked up the Associated Press story, giving SHUMLA an unprecedented level of exposure.

A link to the AP article can be found in the SHUMLA eNews sidebar.

SHUMLA Article Featured on AIA Website


At the 2010 Society for American Archaeology (SAA) Annual Meeting in St. Louis, Research Assistant Angel Johnson presented a paper on SHUMLA's Lower Pecos Rock Art Recording and Preservation Project. Later Angel was approached by Ben Thomas, the Archaeological Institute of America's (AIA) Director of Programs. Mr. Thomas was enthusiastic about promoting SHUMLA's "fantastic work" on the AIA's website and asked Angel to submit a write-up of the presentation she had just given. The resulting article was published online as part of their Heritage, Conservation & Archaeology series on March 8, 2011.


This article has garnered many positive reviews from the archeological community:


"The SHUMLA team should be commended for their dedicated job of exploration, data gathering, and documenting of the rare and wonderful rock art of the Lower Pecos.  Teaching the next generation the history of what is found there is an important and vital part of their work.  Great article!"  

- Ellen Sue Turner, co-author of Stone Artifacts of Texas Indians.    


 "Outstanding! And it's especially good when something as quintessentially Texas as the rock art of the Lower Pecos appears in an international venue. Congratulations to all involved."  

- Al Wesolowsky, former Managing Editor, Journal of Field Archaeology.    

 A link to the AIA article can be found in the SHUMLA eNews sidebar.

Red Linear Palaver

Ten invited researchers gathered in Comstock the week of 11 through 15 April 2011 for the first Red Linear Style Rock Art Palaver. The diversity of the group attending insured that a broad range of viewpoints and backgrounds were represented. The Palaver was organized and hosted by SHUMLA to address the increasingly interesting inconsistencies noted within "Red Linear Style" pictographs, and the relationships between that style and the "Pecos River Style."   


An opening discussion regarding the variability within the "Red Linear Style" and the frequency of interweaving with - or super-positioning of - "Pecos River Style" figures set the tone of the Palaver. The group embarked on an arduous schedule, visiting nine sites containing "Red Linear Style" rock art. Considerable discussion occurred at each of the sites, and each afternoon after returning to Comstock, the group reviewed the implications of the panels and elements viewed that day.


All attendees agreed that a second "Red Linear Style Rock Art Palaver" should be held in the autumn somewhere in the Guadalupe Mountains where sites there can be visited and the discussions continued. Participants in the palaver included:  Evelyn Billo (Rupestrian Cyber Services, Flagstaff, AZ), Carolyn Boyd (SHUMLA, Comstock, TX), Amanda Castaneda (SHUMLA, Comstock, TX), Eric Dillingham (US Forest Service, Alamgordo, NM), John Greer (Greer Services, Casper, WY), Angel Johnson (SHUMLA, Comstock, TX), Bob Mark (Rupestrian Cyber Services, Flagstaff, AZ), Elton Prewitt (SHUMLA, Austin, TX), Marvin Rowe (TAMU, Qtar), Karen Steelman (University of Central Arkansas), Jack Johnson (National Park Service, Amistad National Recreation Area, Del Rio, TX) and Sarah Sick (SHUMLA volunteer, Del Rio, TX). We all will be thinking about the questions raised during this Palaver, and considering ways in which to direct future research that, hopefully, will reveal a better understanding of "Red Linear Style" of rock art, its age, its geographic distribution and its relationship/association with the "Pecos River Style."


The full text of the "Red Linear" Palaver report can be accessed here.


SHUMLA / PO Box 627 / 117 Sanderson / Comstock, TX 78837 USA

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