March 2021
Hello Friends!

Do you know that feeling when someone just "gets" you? When a person truly understands the essence of what you are trying to say. It's rare. I find it's especially rare when I'm trying to explain what Shumla is and does.

This month, I had the most incredible experience. After a short interview with Drew Stuart, writer and producer of Nature Notes for Marfa Public Radio, he wrote the most perfect and succinct seven-minute synopsis of Shumla I've ever heard. Our purpose, our plans, our urgency, our partners, our devotion. It's all in there. In a seven-minute podcast!

Host Dallas Baxter's soothing voice walks you through the majesty of the art and right into the hearts of our staff as we work to preserve it.

If you too have ever tried to explain Shumla and the rock art we preserve to your family or friends and they just didn't get it, here's the perfect podcast to share!

Happy Spring from all of us!
Spring is back again. Can you smell the cactus blooms?

There's something magical about this season. Hearing the birds sing, seeing the flowers bud, feeling the sun on your face. Nature's reminding us of the beauty of the world and to get outside and enjoy it.

And that's exactly what we did this month! Check out below the unusual site we visited. We also took some time this month to reflect on the many changes and challenges we faced this time last year. Can you believe we managed to do Archaeology from home? Yes we did!

We've gotten the hang of working safely in the lab and field, so things are beginning to return to normal for us. But becoming more virtual hasn't been all bad. We still have lots of fun in our weekly virtual Monday staff meeting and "Happy Hour" Thursday afternoons.
Karen and Post-doctoral intern Lori have been working through routine troubleshooting with the new 10-chamber plasma oxidation system. This includes the addition of new pressure gauges and all-metal valves on the system. Also, we have utilized some of the National Science Foundation grant funds to purchase new instrument rack shelving and workbenches for the laboratory. It's a fantastic high-tech lab space, right here in Comstock! (Though sometimes we still have to work on the floor. These things are heavy!)
Jessica, Emil and Veronica have been busy managing the behind-the-scenes administration that keeps our organization buzzing. It's not all paying bills and signing contracts. It's strategic planning, drafting communications (like this eNews!), refreshing the website, grant-writing, presentations, education programs and more. Next month, our team will have some surprises for you.
Phil, Tim, Audrey and Vicky have been working diligently on curating the Alexandria Project Archive and continuing field work. Right now we're documenting sites we couldn't access during the Alexandria Project near the Amistad Reservoir. This work, partially funded by National Geographic, will allow these sites to be documented and included in the Alexandria Project Archive.

Here are some images from a unique site called Cueva de Cascabel. This site is one of the few true cave sites in the Lower Pecos. The Pecos River style rock art panel is painted near the entrance in one of the only places where light enters the cave.

Diana took a day away from her research on the feline motif to join us for fieldwork at this fantastic site.
While things are beginning to go "back to normal", this past year has opened our eyes to what we are capable of doing virtually. Our ultimate goal is to share our mission and the wonder of the art with as many people as possible, reaching those around the country and the world.

So, it is with great excitement that we'd like to introduce you to our first of many free Lunch & Learn virtual events hosted by Jessica Lee Hamlin, Shumla Executive Director.

Let's connect virtually for an hour and have some great discussions!
Our first Lunch and Learn will be on April 7th at 12:00 PM Central Time. The topic will be "The Skill and Genius of the Ancient Artists." In this edition, Jessica will take us back in time to when the rock art was painted. She'll share what we now know about the skill and genius behind these masterpieces. She'll reveal our plans for learning much more about the remarkable ancient artists. And there will definitely be time for questions. We can't wait to see you there!

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Once you've registered, you'll receive an email confirmation with a Zoom link for the event. We will send a reminder email on the day of the event.
The Nature Notes podcast wasn't the only fantastic media coverage we received in March.
San Antonio Report:
An excellent article was published in the San Antonio Report by Brendan Gibbons that highlights the work of Diana Rolón to study the meaning behind the feline motif.

"Work like hers can help breathe new life into the stories left behind by early Texans, while linking those stories to those of other indigenous peoples across the Americas."
Quaternary Geochronology:
We are also excited to report on a new publication that just came out from Karen and Carolyn. Their research article is published in Quaternary Geochronology, which publishes only the highest-quality, peer reviewed articles on all aspects of dating methods. The paper offers a review of all previous radiocarbon dating of rock art in the Lower Pecos, plus reports new dates by Shumla's laboratory. This research sets the stage of why we need more dating work on rock art in the Lower Pecos and provides a foundation for our future research direction.
Lennon Bates, a former student (pictured here with Karen on her graduation day), worked on this project alongside Carolyn and Karen.

Don't miss out! The free PDF of the article will go behind the paywall on April 26th. Read and/or download it now!

It's been quite a month for media. Listen, read, enjoy and SHARE!
Shumla is a non-profit 501(c)(3). We rely on donations to achieve 
our mission. The very best way to support our work is to contribute. 

Donate here to help us save the oldest books in North America. When you donate to Shumla, you are preserving ancient murals and the stories they tell for future generations.
We love our supporters! We can't thank you enough!
Shumla Archaeological Research & Education Center 
P.O. Box 627, Comstock, TX 78837
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