Friends, we've made it!

It's the holiday season. Time for some relaxation and reflection. In fact, I've closed the Shumla office for the last two weeks of December to give our rightfully exhausted staff a good long break. Time to celebrate what we've accomplished and to recharge for all that's in store in 2021.

But before we head off to bake cookies and drink hot apple cider, I would be remiss if I didn't say to you - from the bottom of our hearts - thank you for being with us this year. This crazy final year of our four-year endeavor, the Alexandria Project.
We could not have reached 70 sites in 2020 without your support, your encouragement, your belief in us and your generosity. We hope we've made you proud.

From all of us,
happy and healthy holidays!

Jessica Lee Hamlin
Executive Director
Santa wants to announce our final Alexandria Project site count.

Drumroll please.....

The number of rock art panels painted by the talented and intelligent Archaic people of the Lower Pecos that we have digitally documented and preserved through the Alexandria Project is...
We're so excited to have reached and surpassed our goal of 225 sites preserved. Still, the end of this epic project is bittersweet. It seems like yesterday that we embarked on this "mission impossible" to reach and document as many of the over 300 rock art sites in the remote canyons of the Lower Pecos as we could, in just four years.
Some of you have been with us since the very first day of this ambitious project. (Look at those young, fresh faces...). Others of you got here as quickly as you could.
You've received monthly, weekly and sometimes daily updates on the team's work in the field and lab. You've seen the new motifs and patterns we've identified and cataloged. You've learned about our documentation methods. You've encouraged us as we have overcome obstacles we've faced along the way. Your excitement has been a major driving force and your financial support has funded this critical work. THANK YOU!!
As we close this chapter, we are ready to open a new one with you.

After a breather, we will hit the ground running in 2021. Our plans include 1) Curation of the Alexandria Project Digital Collection, including tiered access for researchers, and 2) On-going Level 2 and Level 3 documentation projects at those sites determined through the Alexandria Project to be the most in danger of immediate destruction and the most important for future research.

Learn more about our 2021 plans by watching this video presented by Audrey Lindsay and Tim Murphy.
Farewell to Rich McAuliffe
Rich joined the team as an archaeologist back in July of 2019. His previous experience working in the Lower Pecos with Dr. Steve Black and Dr. David Kilby from the Anthropology department at Texas State University made his transition to Shumla a breeze.
Rich spent the past one and a half years in the field and lab learning and implementing the Shumla method of documenting rock art.
But Rich won't leave Shumla with only his new experiences and memories. Rich adopted four Comstock kittens who will be joining him as they embark in this new chapter.

Rich was an important member of the Alexandria Project team. We could not have completed so many sites in 2020 without his hard work and effort. Join us in thanking Rich and wishing him (and his furry friends) all the best in the future!
All we want for Christmas is...
A stocking full of solid state drives!
We weren't naughty this year and that means presents! So, we made our list for Santa. It includes a bunch of things we need to be ready for work in 2021. We posted it to Amazon Wish List... so Santa will be sure to find it. Or maybe one of his elves will?

These notebooks help us keep track of rock art samples that have been analyzed for radiocarbon dating. $50.99
This will be used to help process our Gigapanoramas. $199.99
This tool set will help us with minor repairs and maintenance of our beautiful Harrington Campus. $219.99
Another wonderful way to support Shumla this holiday season is to make us your AmazonSmile organization. If you designate Shumla as your charity on Amazon Smile, we'll receive 0.5% of every purchase you make at no additional cost to you.

We receive the benefit four times a year. Last quarter we received $168.32. That's .05% of all our Amazon Smilers purchases combined!

Add your percent today!
Karen's Chapter is Published!
A few months ago C&EN (Chemical and Engineering News) shared a video they created about why rock art needs chemistry. The video is hosted by Manny Morone and is great fun. It includes time lapse video of Shumla's crew documenting a rock art site and a live white board drawn demonstration of how the x-ray technology in the pXRF machine works. Click to watch the video!
Click above to watch the original video posted by the RAF.
At around the same time that this video was coming out, Dr. Karen Steelman and the Shumla crew were working on a draft chapter about pXRF research at Rattlesnake Canyon for the book Archaeological Chemistry: A Multidisciplinary Analysis of the Past. On December 1st the chapter was officially published and we're so excited to share it with you!
In the chapter we talk about how we used the technique to get a sense of paint layering based on upper layers "muting" or "blocking" lower layers' elemental readings. This worked the best with iron-based (reds and yellows) vs manganese-based (black) paints. This showed the potential for pXRF data to complement digital microscopic data to determine paint layering. We also studied the hue of the paint on the wall to see if darker paints contained higher levels of minerals. For example, do dark reds contain higher levels of iron than the lighter red colors?

To find out what we found, click the button below to send an email request to Dr. Karen Steelman for a PDF of the chapter. Happy reading!
To purchase the book, Archaeological Chemistry: A Multidisciplinary Analysis of the Past, click the link below

We are thrilled to announce we made the match!

We raised $100,000 in donations to match the
Summerlee Foundation's Match Challenge.
Thank you to all who contributed.

If you haven't yet made your year-end gift to Shumla, please do!

The Shumla Board has pledged to match
any gift that comes in by December 31, 2020.

Your gifts will prepare us for the new year ahead.

We're at $107,826.00

Let's see if we can reach $110,000!
Shumla Archaeological Research & Education Center 
P.O. Box 627, Comstock, TX 78837 USA   432-292-4848 
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