Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Student Katy Schmidt at the Lower Pecos Rock Art Recording Center and Preservation Project

I spent this past summer in Comstock, Texas participating in a field school through the Lower Pecos Rock Art Recording and Preservation Project sponsored by SHUMLA, a nonprofit archaeological education and research center. In the field school we learned reserch methods and how to properly record the rock art of the area. Some of the stages of the recording process are figure identification, initial figure counts, figure photographs, making forms for the figures, figure illustration, and putting all of the information about a figure into a data base. Each figure got its own set of forms in which we recorded all information about that figure. During the field school we recorded a site known as Panther Cave in Seminole Canyon. The site is endangered due to rising humidity resulting from the Amistad Reservoir and from mud-daubers nesting in the cave. During the field school we clocked in thousands of man hours and recorded hundreds of figures.

After the field school ended in June and the other students left I stayed on at SHUMLA as an intern until the beginning of August. For the internship I was responsible for figure illustrations, attribute checks on the figures, field checks of all of the attributes in the field, and entering data into the SHUMLA database for each figure recorded. During the internship I also had the chance to work on rock art from the site of Delicato. The figures at Delicato are badly damaged from dust deposits and very difficult to see at times. This is one of the reasons why it needed to be recorded. Luckily we managed to finish the recording process during the summer. All in all, my field school and internship experiences this past summer were very rewarding and enjoyable.

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