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Shumla eNews Flash! Carolyn Boyd signs UT Press contract
Shumla Archaeological Research & Education Center

June, 2015

The White Shaman Mural: 
An Archaic Codex
Carolyn Boyd signs the UT Press contract with 
Shumla staff members at her side.

This morning, as Shumla Staff looked on, Research Director, Carolyn Boyd signed an Author Contract with The University of Texas Press to publish the book "
The White Shaman Mural: An Archaic Codex" by Carolyn Boyd, in collaboration with Kim Cox. 

It was a pivotal moment for Carolyn and for Shumla. The book not only represents the culmination of countless hours of research and writing. It also signals a major shift in the 
understanding of ancient pictographic murals in the Lower Pecos Canyonlands.


In the book, Carolyn demonstrates that these ancient murals can be "read" or interpreted. They are visual narratives that, like books, were composed with purpose and meaning. Carolyn's innovative and meticulous research yielded overwhelming evidence that the White Shaman mural is a creation myth likely painted by early Uto-Aztecan speakers who shared a belief-system that has endured for thousands of years in Mesoamerica. 


A very happy Carolyn Boyd, signing the contract in front of her rendering of the White Shaman mural.


UT Press determined that the book will be published in the distinguished 'Linda Schele Series in Maya and Pre-Columbian Studies.' Scheduled to come out in mid-2016, it will be printed in full-color with 150 images and a fold-out rendering of the mural in a pocket in the back. 


UT Press wasn't the only one impressed with the book. The book and the ideas it holds were peer reviewed by other researchers in the field of Anthropology/Archaeology, as well as Mesoamerican archaeologists and iconographers (see below). All were excited by Carolyn's ground-breaking findings and the many research opportunities that they will bring. 


One peer reviewer, Thomas Guderjan, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Texas at Tyler, stated, "This is THE most significant contribution to the study of Lower Pecos art and archaeology in decades...or more."


Congratulations, Carolyn! You've come a long way since this picture was taken at the White Shaman mural in 1989! 


While she was in Mexico this February, Carolyn had the opportunity to share her work with a Mesoamerican Historian she has long revered (and cited extensively in her manuscript), Dr. Alfredo Lopez Austin. The meeting was a crucial test of her research. Dr. Lopez Austin is recognized as the preeminent expert on Mesoamerican mythologies.  


Of course, as you suspect, Dr. Lopez Austin was absolutely blown away by the connections Carolyn revealed. In over 2 hours, speaking through Archaeologist and translator Julio Amador Bech, Carolyn and Dr. Lopez Austin laughed, cried, theorized and shared in the wonder of Mesoamerican myth after myth clearly visible in the Lower Pecos rock art. Carolyn got a gold star from her teacher (who until that day didn't know he was her teacher). 


Carolyn showing Dr. Lopez Austin her findings


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