National Geographic Awards Shumla a Conservation Grant

Shumla Archaeological Research & Education Center
National Geographic Grant
Shumla has been awarded a grant to help support Alexandria Project documentation at rock art sites managed by the National Park Service.
 
Within these sites are some of the best known and most monumental rock art panels in the Lower Pecos, such as Panther Cave and Rattlesnake Canyon (owned by Texas Tech University, but managed through an MOU by NPS). There are also some sites on the list that are expected to be under the water of the Amistad Reservoir already.
 
 
Dr. Carolyn Boyd (Principal Investigator on the National Geographic grant project) and Amistad National Recreation Area Park Archaeologist Jack Johnson gaze up at the intricate art painted on the wall at Panther Cave.
 
We are so excited to have National Geographic’s support in our final year of the Alexandria Project. It’s a perfect book end, as they funded our Pilot of the Alexandria Project Research Design in Spring 2017.
 
Images of Lower Pecos Rock Art from the 1950’s
 
Before the Rio Grande was dammed to create the Amistad Reservoir in 1969, archaeological surveys were conducted in the canyons that would be impacted by rising waters.
 
Dr. David Gebhard, architectural historian and director of the Roswell Museum and Art Center, was contracted by the National Park Service (NPS) in 1958 to begin documenting the threatened rock art and to determine the best approach to use in future documentation efforts. He and a small team of researchers visited 22 sites and selected 13 for systematic documentation. They tested several different approaches, ultimately recommending to the NPS that all rock art within the proposed reservoir basin be categorized, described, photographed, and drawn before inundation. Sadly, this was never accomplished.  
 
In 1961, shortly after completing his field work in the Lower Pecos, Dr. Gebhard left Roswell Museum to become a highly regarded professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. After his death in 1996, his wife donated her husband’s personal collection of Lower Pecos rock art photographs to the Rock Art Archive at UCLA. This important collection of images documents the state of the art in the late 1950s.
 
The UCLA Rock Art Archive is directed by Rock Art Network member Dr. Jo Anne Van Tilburg. Recognizing the importance of this collection to Shumla’s work, Dr. Van Tilburg and Archive volunteers Audrey Kopp and Ed Schoch provided us with digital copies of Gebhard’s slides. 
 
As Shumla continues its documentation efforts, these images allow us to see the degradation that has occurred to the rock art over the past 60 years since Dr. Gebhard visited these sites.
 
They also provide some of the only photographs of rock art panels that became completely inundated by the reservoir. For example, Dr. Gebhard photographed a unique rock art site (trinomial VV81) shown below. This site is now under the Amistad Reservoir.
 
Below are two of the 1950’s rock art images with DStretch software filters applied. The filters turn the black outline of the slide images to bright green but allow us to see some of the paint not visible to the naked eye even 60 years ago.
 
DStretch Filter CRGB
 
DStretch Filter CRGB
 
Dr. Gebhard certainly traveled in style! (We still need a truck… but we would take one of these.)
 
 
We are so grateful to Dr. Van Tilburg and the UCLA Rock Art Archive for sharing these images with us.
 
We’re so close!
2019 MATCH CHALLENGE
 
Only 14 days left to raise the final $4,215. Your gift will make the difference!
 
 
 
We’ve raised $95,785 toward the match, so far. Each gift gets us closer to our goal of $100,000.
 
Track our progress toward the match at https://shumla.org/meetthematch/
 
Shumla is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.
Donations to Shumla are tax-free.
 
Your gift will be 100% matched!
 
A Special Way to Give to Shumla
 
Are you 70½ or older? Do you have an IRA?
If so, you probably know that each year you’re required to distribute some of these funds. This “required minimum distribution” often results in higher taxes. But did you know that you can avoid these taxes? Federal law allows you to make direct transfers from your IRA to a charity, lowering your taxable income.
 
If you’ve reached your 846th month of life and must distribute funds from your IRA, Shumla would love to be the beneficiary! A gift from your IRA can help to neutralize the negative tax consequences of a required minimum distribution and it will help us to continue our work to preserve the oldest “books” in North America.
 
To qualify, the gift must come directly from your IRA administrator and should be made payable to Shumla, tax ID number 74-2869788.
 
Thank you!
 
(And thank you to the gentleman who alerted us to this special kind of giving. You know who you are. We are so grateful!)
 
Happy Holidays from the Shumla Bunch!
 
 
 
Shumla Archaeological Research & Education Center 
P.O. Box 627, Comstock, TX 78837 USA
enews@shumla.org   432-292-4848    www.shumla.org 
  • : Shumla Archaeological Research & Education Center