This fall, Shumla offers guided treks to Texas rock art sites
Aug 25, 2021

Researchers examine a rock shelter near the Devils River. Pam LeBlanc photo

Every time I see one of the faded murals painted inside a cliff overhang in the prickly Lower Pecos Canyonlands of Texas, I wonder about the people who made the rock art.
What were their lives like? What do the figures – animals, humans, and an assortment of squiggly lines – mean? Were they trying to tell a story?
Researchers have documented more than 300 rock art sites in the Val Verde County, west of Del Rio, but many are located on private property. This fall, archaeologist Vicky Roberts from the Shumla Archaeological Research & Education Center will lead day-long treks to some of the rock art sites.

Archaeologist Vicky Roberts will lead treks to rock art sites in Val Verde County. Pam LeBlanc photo

Register for a rock art trek

During the treks, which cost $160 per person, Roberts will share information about the latest discoveries and explain how modern science is helping scientists understand the culture of the people who made the elaborate rock art panels.
Treks are limited to 25 people each, and participants should bring a sack lunch and plenty of water. Some of the hikes are strenuous.
Most of the excursions begin and end at Shumla Headquarters in Comstock, where participants will get to see the organization’s plasma oxidation lab, where rock art samples are prepared for radiocarbon dating.
For more information or to register, go to https://shumla.org/shumlatreks/ or email treks@shumla.org.

An example of rock art at Seminole Canyon State Park. Pam LeBlanc photo

Treks are scheduled for the following dates:

Sept. 5 – Halo Shelter
Sept. 18 – Black Cave and Sword Shelter
Sept. 19 – Vaquero Shelter and Painted Shelter
Oct. 10 – Meyers Springs panel and historic site
Oct. 16 – Fate Bell Annex, Fate Bell Shelter and Running Horse
Oct. 17 – Vaquero Shelter and Painted Shelter
Nov. 6 – Eagle Cave, Skiles Shelter and Kelley Cave
Nov. 7 – Black Cave and Vaquero Shelter
Nov. 26 – Fate Bell Annex, Fate Bell Shelter and Running Horse
Nov. 27 – Halo Shelter and Shumla HQ Tour
Dec. 4 – TBD
Dec. 5 – TBD

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