oldest 'books' in
Like a book, each ancient mural in the Lower Pecos Canyonlands was authored and composed to communicate concepts and beliefs.
The paintings are not just lovely to look at, they are visual narratives that hold meaning and information. They were created by intelligent and creative people, like us, to share their stories and culture with one another. And now, thousands of years later, we are learning to read them. These 'books' will add new chapters to the prehistory of North America.
At Shumla, we work to preserve and share this 'library' of painted texts and the information they hold through documentation, research, stewardship and education.
Documentation: Recording the Fragile Artwork
We use the latest technological advances to document each painted narrative as a whole and each figure individually, creating an exhaustive searchable database that can be used by researchers for years to come, long after the paintings have disappeared.
Research: Unraveling the Mural's Mysteries
We painstakingly study the data we collect to learn how the paintings were produced and decipher the meaning of the images and the act of creating them. Our cutting-edge research will illuminate long-lost myths and beliefs.
Stewardship: Encouraging Interest and Awareness
Many murals are located on private property. Landowners are best able to protect the art on their land. We collaborate with them to access and document the murals in a respectful and un-intrusive way. We also increase overall awareness of the art to engage others in its protection.
Education: Connecting to Our Shared Past