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Credits & Sources

The Lower Pecos exhibit was written by TBH Co-Editor Steve Black and Phil Dering and first appeared in October, 2001. The Amistad National Recreation Area, National Park Service (ANRA-NPS) provided support for the exhibit. With additional support from ANRA-NPS, Black wrote the "Before Amistad" section, which appeared in December, 2004. Updates were added in May, 2008. Dering and Black furnished many photographs, but the bulk are taken from the ANRA-NPS archives housed at TARL. The artwork of Nola Davis appears courtesy of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The paintings and pastel drawings of artist/archeologist Reeda Peel demonstrate her passion for the rock art and environment of the region. Vaughn M. Byrant and NPS archeologist Joseph Labadie contributed to the writing of the Before Amistad section. Ken Brown wrote the "wooden artifacts" subsection in Everyday, Extraordinary Things and provided photographs.

Author Dr. J. Philip (Phil) Dering is an archeologist who specializes in the study of plant remains from archeological sites. Born in Fort Worth and raised in Corpus Christi, his lifelong interest in natural history was fostered by the islands, bays, and rivers of the Texas coast. He received a B.A. in Anthropology, with many hours in biology, from Texas A&M University in 1975 and immediately began work on an M.S. in Botany at the same institution. He established a plant collection suited specifically for analysis of dry cave deposits, and analyzed the plant remains from Hinds Cave and other archeological sites in southwestern Texas. His Ph.D. dissertation research at Texas A&M was a study of prehistoric agriculture, based on the analysis of plant remains from 52 Classic period archeological sites in Tonto Basin, Arizona.

Dering's research interests center on relationships between plants and people, particularly Archaic period hunters and gatherers of the Southern Plains, the Gulf Coast, and the Chihuahuan Desert. He has always been interested in how people lived directly off the land—techniques that many consider "survival skills" but he thinks of them as "living skills." This curiosity has led to a long-term study of plant foods. He is particularly interested in how people baked foods in earth ovens. Since 1993 he has constructed over 60 earth ovens, using them to cook lechuguilla, sotol, yucca, false garlic, and onions. Although he analyzes plant remains from every corner of Texas, his favorite archeological area is the canyonlands of the Lower Pecos. Today (2008) he lives in the region and continues to carry out archeological research with his wife, Carolyn Boyd, an expert in prehistoric art and the executive director of the Shumla School.


Ethnobotany of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands
Special TBH exhibit details the many ways that native peoples made use of the region's wild plants.

Bonfire Shelter
Featured TBH site exhibit on the oldest and southernmost bison kill site in North America. This site lies near the upper edge of the Amistad Reservoir flood pool near Langtry.

Hinds Cave: A Perishable Scientific Treasure
Featured TBH site exhibit on a dry rockshelter along the Lower Pecos River that proved to be a veritable scientific treasure chest, yielding amazingly well-preserved organic remains. the oldest and southernmost bison kill site in North America.

Visitor information on the Amistad National Recreation Area.

History & Culture
Introduction to culture history of the Amistad Reservoir area.

How to See Rock Art
Check out the link to the zoomable panoramic view of Panther Cave, a site few people get to see up close.

Shumla School
Archaeological education and research center carrying out state-of-the-art documentation of the world-class rock art of the Lower Pecos. Extensive organizational website.

Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site
Information on Seminole Canyon State Park on Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website.

Seminole Canyon
Article in The Handbook of Texas Online.

Rock Art Foundation White Shaman Preserve, Witte Museum
Register for tours of this spectacular Lower Pecos rock art site.

Print Sources

(For additional printed sources related to the Lower Pecos see Credits and Sources sections of the Bonfire Shelter and Hinds Cave exhibits.)

Acker, G. Elaine
1996   Life in a Rock Shelter: Prehistoric Indians of the Lower Pecos. Hendrick-Long
Publishing Company, Dallas.
[Readable account appropriate for children.]

Bousman, C. Britt and Michael Quigg
2006   Stable Carbon Isotopes from Archaic Human Remains in the Chihuahuan Desert and Central Texas. Plains Anthropologist 51(198):123-139.
[Study presenting evidence for the existence of two distinct dietary populations in the Lower Pecos during the Early and Late Archaic periods. The authors argue this may be the result of mate exchange between neighboring groups with different diets.]

Boyd, Carolyn E.
1996   Shamanistic Journeys into the Otherworld of the Archaic Chichimec. Latin American Antiquity 7(2):152-164.

2003   Rock Art of the Lower Pecos. Texas A&M University Press, College Station.

2016   The White Shaman Mural: En Enduring Creation Narrative in the Rock Art of the Lower Pecos. University of Texas Press, Austin. ["A landmark in the study of rock art."]

Boyd, Carolyn E. and J. Philip Dering
1996   Medicinal and Hallucinogenic Plants Identified in the Sediments and Pictographs of the Lower Pecos, Texas Archaic. Antiquity 70: 256-275.

Danielson, D.R., and Reinhard, K.J.
1998   Human dental microwear caused by calcium oxalate phytoliths in prehistoric diet of the lower Pecos region, Texas. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 107:297-304.

Dering, J. Philip
1999   Earth-Oven Plant Processing in Archaic Period Economies: An Example from a Semi-arid Savannah in South-central North America. American Antiquity 64(4):659-674.
[Ground-breaking article, literally and figuratively, that casts serious doubt on the viability of an economy based mainly on earth-oven cooking.]

Kirkland, Forest and W.W. Newcomb, Jr.
1999   The Rock Art of Texas Indians, reprinted edition, University of Texas Press, Austin.

McGregor, Roberta
1992   Prehistoric Basketry of the Lower Pecos, Texas. Prehistory Press, Monographs in World Archaeology 6.

Maslowski, Robert F.
1978   The Archeology of Moorehead Cave, Val Verde County, Texas. Prehistoric Basketry of the Lower Pecos, Texas. Unpublished dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Available through UMI Dissertation Services).

Pearce, J. E. and A. T. Jackson
1933   A Prehistoric Rock Shelter in Val Verde County, Texas. The University of Texas Bulletin 3327.
[First detailed excavation report on a Lower Pecos site.]

Powell, Eric A.
2017   "Reading the White Shaman Mural." Archaeology Magazine, November/December edition.
[Popular article, available online.]

Shafer, Harry J. (editor)
1986   Ancient Texans: Rock Art and Lifeways along the Lower Pecos. Texas Monthly Press, Austin.

2013   Painters in Prehistory: Archaeology and Art of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands. Trinity University Press, San Antonio. [Excellent, well-illustrated popular book updating 1986 Ancient Texans.]

Turpin, Solveig A.
1995   The Lower Pecos River Region of Texas and Northern Mexico. Bulletin of the Texas Archeological Society 66:541-560. [Summary article.]

Turpin, Solveig A. (editor)
1991   Papers on Lower Pecos Prehistory. Studies in Archeology 8, Texas Archeological Research Laboratory, The University of Texas at Austin.

1994   Shamanism and Rock Art in North America, Rock Art Foundation, Special Publication 1.

Turpin, Solveig A. (compiler)
1988   Seminole Sink: Excavation of a Vertical Shaft Tomb in Val Verde County, Texas. Memoir 22, Plains Anthropologist.