Preserving our Legacy: Understanding Transformation Processes for Rock Art Conservation

Author(s): Victoria Munoz; Jeremy Freeman; Carolyn Boyd

Year: 2015


The Lower Pecos Canyonlands of southwest Texas retain hundreds of rock art murals exhibiting varying degrees of preservation. Since 2009 Shumla Archaeological Research and Education Center has been documenting the murals, some of which date back 4,000 years. As part of this project, we collect Legacy Photographs to assess historic deterioration of the art. Analysis of these photographs has revealed significant changes in the imagery over the past 50 years; however, the factors affecting its preservation are poorly understood. Shumla is now launching a project aimed at understanding the transformation processes affecting its preservation. This will be a long-term study aimed at collecting data for inter- and intra-site comparisons. Some of the tools we are using include: protimeters (to collect substrate moisture readings), light meters (to record light intensity), FLIR thermal imaging cameras (to monitor temperature variation), game cameras (to monitor human and animal traffic), and weather stations (to record relative humidity, temperature, rainfall, wind speed, and wind direction). This data will help us better understand the processes affecting preservation at each site. Working with conservators, we will be able to offer recommendations to site stewards who are working to preserve the art for future generations.

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Cite this Record

Preserving our Legacy: Understanding Transformation Processes for Rock Art Conservation. Jeremy Freeman, Victoria Munoz, Carolyn Boyd. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395171)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;