Preserving the oldest “books” in North America

Shumla is a global leader in rock art research and education. We use advanced science and technology in our fight to preserve the information held in the oldest “books” in North America — the endangered murals of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands of Texas.

Our discoveries are adding chapters to the history of our state, our continent and the world.
Our work is preserving an untapped ancient library for future generations.

Culminating Over 25 Years of Research

The White Shaman Mural: An Enduring Creation Narrative

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The latest news from Shumla

The Latest

We’re working on a new and improved website! You are currently viewing Phase 1 of our ongoing endeavor. New content will be added throughout the coming months to build us up to Phase 2. Keep checking in to see what’s new!

Rock art mural close up

Our Story

The story of Shumla began over 4,000 years ago when the ancient people of the Lower Pecos began to paint their sophisticated myths and beliefs on the limestone canyon walls. We work to protect and share the “library” of painted texts and the information they hold. Learn more…

Group at White Shaman mural

Give to Shumla

Shumla needs your help! We’re not a government agency or funded by a university. We’re a non-profit 501(c)(3). Visit our Support Us page to discover how you can contribute.
SPECIAL NOTE: Once again, this year, we have been offered a $100,000 matching challenge. When you give to Shumla, your gift will be matched dollar for dollar!

Preservation Projects

panther_cave_animalThe Panther Cave Pictograph 3D Modeling Project is a great example of the collaborative work Shumla conducts as part of our ongoing conservation and education efforts in the Lower Pecos River basin. Panther Cave, named after the giant panther at the far end of the site, contains Pecos River and Red Linear style pictographic imagery dating back approximately 4,000 years. The site, situated in Seminole Canyon State Park, is endangered by periodic flooding and is accessible only by boat. The 3D model was part of a documentation project with our partners to digitally preserve the site for future generations.

Take the 3D tour of the Panther Cave rock art panel

Ongoing Projects

Border Canyonlands Archaeological Project (BCAP)
BCAP is Shumla’s flagship preservation and research project. The primary objective of the project is to intensively document threatened rock art murals in the Lower Pecos using cutting-edge technology and to collect iconographic and geospatial data required for a continued study well into the future after the murals have been destroyed.

“The chief export of the Lower Pecos is amazement.”

Where We Are

Shumla is located in Comstock, TX, about 30 miles west of Del Rio. We welcome visitors to our headquarters and to this beautiful desert savannah region. Though many of the ancient murals are on private land, there are some spectacular sites that are open to the public. Our partners at the Rock Art Foundation and Seminole Canyon State Park offer scheduled tours. You can see in this photo gallery a visual sample of our uniquely beautiful and historically significant surroundings.

Give to Shumla

Help us preserve the oldest “books” in North America for future generations. Donate Now