Taking a Byte out of Rattlesnake: An Overview of the Rattlesnake Canyon Project


The Rattlesnake Canyon mural represents one of the most well-preserved and compositionally intricate rock art murals in the Lower Pecos Canyonlands, and perhaps the world. Deposited gravels from a major flood episode in June 2014, however, raised the canyon floor approximately 10 feet, enabling future floods to destroy the fragile panel. The Rattlesnake Canyon Project is an emergency collaborative effort among Texas Tech University, the National Park Service, and Shumla to document this invaluable cultural treasure before it is lost. Documentation and analysis of this mural includes: 3D modeling and other advanced photographic techniques engaging color management, digital field microscopy to examine paint layer stratigraphy, production of graphic databases for the 269 figures comprising the mural, elemental analyses of the pigments using pXRF, and the collection of detailed attribute data for each of the figures. This paper provides a brief overview of the Rattlesnake Canyon Project and sets the stage for subsequent Shumla presentations in this symposium.

Cite this Record

Taking a Byte out of Rattlesnake: An Overview of the Rattlesnake Canyon Project. Audrey Lindsay, Carolyn E. Boyd, Victoria L. Roberts, Jerod L. Roberts, Timothy J. Murphy IV. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403479)


Geographic Keywords
North America - Southwest

Spatial Coverage

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