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SHUMLA eNewsletter
Shumla School

April, 2010

April  15, 2010
Volume 2, No. 4

Dr. Carolyn Boyd to speak on Rock Art of the Canyonlands at Witte Museum on April 28
What would you do if someone handed you one of the oldest known books in North America?  Join Dr. Carolyn Boyd, Executive Director of SHUMLA Archeological Research and Education Center on Wednesday, April 28 at the Witte Museum in San Antonio to learn what she and her team of researchers are doing to document and preserve the oldest known illuminated manuscripts in North America – the rock art of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands of Texas and northern Mexico.  

The 4,000 year-old rock art of the Lower Pecos represents some of the most complex and compositionally intricate prehistoric rock art in the world.  Evidence-based explanations of the meaning of these treasures has established the important role served by the rock art as records of ancient myths, histories, and rituals – making them in a very real sense the oldest books in North America.  First efforts to document these sites began in the 1930s.  In some cases, these early efforts produced the only surviving record of rock art considered today to be of global importance. 

SHUMLA’s Lower Pecos Rock Art Recording and Preservation Project represents an unprecedented effort to preserve this unique cultural resource for future generations.
Dr. Boyd will be joined by Jim Holmlund, President of Western Mapping Company from Tucson, Arizona.  Holmlund will share the exciting results of cutting-edge technologies used as a part of this project to document the famous White Shaman rock art panel, such as 3-D LiDAR laser mapping, laser reflexivity analysis, and computer enhanced photography.

Dr. Carolyn Boyd standing in White Shaman shelter on the Pecos River where 3-D LiDAR laser mapping and other technologies have been used to document these important rock art panels.

The program will be held at the Witte from 6 – 8 p.m.  Admission is $5 for museum members and students, and $10 for adults.  Reservations are required. Please call 210-357-1910.  For directions to the Witte see

PECOS EXPERIENCE : The Art and Archeology of the Lower Pecos  October 10 – 15, 2010

Many rock art experts recognize that the Lower Pecos River Region of Texas contains some of the most spectacular rock art imagery in the world.   Here’s your chance to see and study many of these sites with three of the world’s leading rock art experts.

The Pecos Experience is a week-long adult adventure program held each year at the SHUMLA campus west of Del Rio, Texas.  This rugged, semi-desert landscape between the Pecos and Rio Grande rivers is incised by deep canyons which house over 250 ancient rock art sites, some dating to over 4,000 years ago.  Participants in the Pecos Experience will enjoy unequaled access to several of these sites plus the opportunity for nightly lectures and discussions between Dr. Carolyn Boyd, Executive Director of SHUMLA and author of Rock Art of the Lower Pecos, Elton Prewitt, renowned Texas archaeologist and long-time researcher in the area, and this year’s visiting international scholar Peter Robinson, editor and project controller of the Bradshaw Foundation an online learning resource with its main areas of focus being archeology, anthropology and genetic research.  The primary objective of the Bradshaw Foundation is to discover, document and preserve ancient rock art around the world and promote the study of early mankind’s artistic achievements.

Peter Robinson’s impressive resume includes expeditions to Ra Ra in Nepal, the giraffe carvings in the Sahara, the Calacala site in Bolivia, the Chauvet Cave in France, the Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa and the Kimberleys in Northwestern Australia where he did further documentation on the Bradshaws, an incredibly sophisticated series of rock art panels that some suggest could be 50,000 years old. This art form was first recorded by Joseph Bradshaw in 1891, when he was lost on a Kimberley expedition in the northwest of Australia and after which the rock art and the Bradshaw Foundation were named. 

Participants in Pecos Experience will also have hands-on learning opportunities in primitive technologies used by hunter-gatherer cultures including paint making, fire starting, earth-oven construction and use, and atlatl spear throwing.

Peter Robinson, editor and project controller of the Bradshaw Foundation. is the 2010 Pecos Experience international scholar.

To assure quality time with the experts, SHUMLA limits the number of participants to a small intimate group.   Participants stay at the SHUMLA campus for the week.  All meals and  lodging, plus transportation and fees to rock art sites are provided.   The program is expected to fill quickly so early registration is recommended.

Fees for the program are $1750 for single occupancy and $1500 for double occupancy.  If you attended a previous Pecos Experience you can register at the 2009 rates of Single Occupancy $1500 and Double occupancy $1350.  A deposit of $500 is required to reserve your space with the balance due by August 31, 2010. 

For more information about the Pecos Experience see Shumla’s website at  To register for Pecos Experience contact Jennifer Ramage at 432-292-4848 or email

Peter Robinson
Friends Logo

Become a Friend of SHUMLA and help support efforts to protect and preserve the rock art of the Lower Pecos.  Information on how to join  is shown on SHUMLA's  website

Warren and Anthony Toman donate Zintgraff Rock Art Painting to SHUMLA

Warren Toman and his son Anthony are new Friends of Shumla.  At the recent 2010 American Rock Art Research Association's annual meeting in Del Rio, Warren was visiting with one of the members of the SHUMLA staff and mentioned that he had been the apprentice to Jim Zintgraff, the renowned rock art photographer, back in the 1980s.  He said he had photos Jim had taken of Lower Pecos rock art sites over 20 years ago.  He then sent Anthony back to their room to retrieve something.  When Anthony returned he was carrying this amazing rock art painting (see below) by Jim Zintgraff - according to Warren the first one Jim ever did.  He later donated this precious, one of a kind piece to  SHUMLA.   Toman also loaned SHUMLA a number of the photographs he and Jim had taken at shelters in the Lower Pecos.  These photos will be invaluable resources  to the SHUMLA research staff in doing comparative studies on the rock art shelters today. 

Jim Zintgraff spent the better part of his life photographing  the rock art of the Lower Pecos and leading efforts to preserve this important resource.    He passed away in 2006.  You can read more about Jim Zintgraff's accomplishments on SHUMLA's website at

SHUMLA is delighted to have this lasting memory of Jim Zintgraff and will have it on display for everyone to enjoy.  Thank you Warren and Anthony for your generous donation!

Above photo:  SHUMLA intern Charles Koenig, right, accepts Jim Zintgraff's painted rock from Anthony Toman, left, and his father Warren Toman, center who was Zintgraff's apprentice in the 1980s.

Photo at left - A rock art painting by renowned photographer Jim Zintgraff who co-founded  the Rock Art Foundation.

ARARA Presents  Prestigious 2010 Education Award to SHUMLA

Dr. Carolyn Boyd, Executive Director of SHUMLA  accepted the prestigious education award for 2010 from the American Rock Art Research Association in recognition of SHUMLA’s rock art education programs.  The award was presented to Dr. Boyd by Sherry Eberwein, right, ARARA’s Education Chair, at the ARARA meeting in Del Rio.  The award included a check for $500, which according to Boyd will be put toward scholarships for a deserving college student attending the 2010 SHUMLA Field Methods in Rock Art field school.  The selection committee for the education award was comprised of four ARARA members who are teachers or retired teachers ranging from Elementary School to University level in experience.

A rendering by Dr. Carolyn Boyd  used by ARARA as its logo for  the group's 2010 annual meeting in Del Rio.
Copyright ©  Shumla School, Inc.

The American Rock Art Research Association presented its prestigious 2010 Education Award to SHUMLA at ARARA'S annual meeting in Del Rio last month. 

In presenting the award, Sherry Eberwein, ARARA's education chair, made the following comments:

"Education is a key tool in the appreciation, preservation, and conservation of rock art. The recipient of the 2010 Education Award is Dr. Carolyn Boyd and SHUMLA School. Dr. Boyd received her BA and PhD in Anthropology from Texas A&M University, and is the Founder and Executive Director of SHUMLA School. She is the author of Rock Art of the Lower Pecos. The mission statement of SHUMLA School is to connect people of all ages with their environment and cultural heritage through education by Studying Human Use of Materials, Land, and Art. SHUMLA has a variety of programs with quality instructors for participating students of all ages. Students visit pictograph sites, learn how pigments were made, and how to make rock art. They learn about the local plants and lifeways of the native people. Additional opportunities for learning are provided through lectures and field schools. Val Varner, the Education Director of SHUMLA, helped to coordinate the ARARA Poster Contest and the ARARA Persuasive Letter Contest this year. When the committee judged the poster entries and letters, it was evidenced first hand, that students expressed excitement, knowledge, and appreciation of the pictographs and the cultural heritage of the Lower Pecos.


SHUMLA has moved beyond the traditional educational programs. First they have reached out to children in foster care, giving these children an opportunity to share in the enriching experience of field school. SHUMLA has also created a hands-on cultural heritage and environmental education program for the children of Acuna, Mexico with their program, Ninos del Rio Bravo. They reached across the border, not only to share an appreciation of rock art, but to teach science, technology, art, music and dance to the children of Acuna. This experience and cultural exchange will broaden the horizons of both the children of Acuna and the teachers, developing friendships that will have a lasting effect. These are only two examples of the many programs that SHUMLA has to offer.


The ARARA Education Committee is proud to present the 2010 ARARA Education Award to Dr. Carolyn Boyd and the SHUMLA School."


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