Heritage, Volume 7, Number 4, Fall 1989 Page: 11
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clean stone panelscanvases
The next step up in sophistication of
technique is stereophotogrammetry-3-D
photography. The additional value of
stereo photographs of rock art, however,
can be outweighed quickly by the increased
weight of gear and delicate handling needs
of precision instruments. Photogrammetry
requires a trained technician, who expects
The TAS rock art survey was a combined
effort of professionals and laymen.
The crew brought their everyday talents to
the project-knowledge of photography,
an eye for pencil drawing, just plain common
sense-and with their energy and
skills applied to the method, they drove the
project to success. If the method had been
too complex to master in a field school
setting, it wouldn't have worked.
Finally, because the method incorporates
color renditions as part of the drawing
tier, the rock art survey closed a cycle of
anthropological research in the Lower
Pecos culture region. Forrest Kirkland was
a pioneer Lower Pecos rock art scholar, and
he recorded in watercolors, not photographs.
All rock art recording possesses an
aspect of rescue salvage, and some of
Kirkland's watercolors, executed in the
1930s, are the sole known record of important
sites destroyed by the flood of 1954 or
inundated by Amistad Reservoir.
Kirkland's work proved that although a
record may not have been taken at the
highest technological levels, it may assume
much greater importance later simply because
it is unique.
Rock art recording in the region is
ongoing. Additional surveys using the
TAS recording method are being conducted.
As of this writing, Texas Parks
and Wildlife Department is preparing an
instructional handbook on learning and
applying this recording method for continuing
survey in the Devils River State
Natural Area and other lands in west and
Regardless of strict adherence to any
method, however, those interested in rock
art preservation should always carry a
camera or sketchbook and pencil while
hiking or hunting in rough country. Any
Red Linear hunting scene, 41VV888. Remains of
stick figure hunters. Stylized net structure or corral
trap is at the bottom. Drawing by David Robinson.
record of rock art is better than none because
all rock art, discovered or not, is
gradually fading and eroding away.
The best possible way to become active
in Texas rock art preservation is through
membership and support of the Texas
Historical Foundation and Texas Archeological
Society. The benefits are many.
Any activity that results in visits to rock art
in its natural setting is a journey through
living time-and a conversation with the
David G. Robinson is a staff archaeologist at Texas
Archeological Research Laboratory, who has a
special interest in Lower Pecos rock art and
methods of rock art recording.
HERITAGE * FALL 1989 1 1
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 7, Number 4, Fall 1989, periodical, Autumn 1989; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45433/m1/11/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.