A version of this story originally appeared on NationSwell

Climate change is destroying ancient murals in Texas

This group is racing to preserve what's left

Due to climate change, ancient murals in Val Verde County, Texas are at risk of being washed away. These archaeologists are preserving their historical record.

In Texas’ Lower Pecos Canyonlands, Shumla Archaeological Research & Education Center has been documenting some of the oldest narrative mural paintings in North America. Shumla is racing against time to document these murals, as local rivers that surround them are rising at an alarming rate, due to the changing climate, and are slowly degrading the original artwork. 

Image of cave painting in real color, on top, and corrected with a computer program to make the art more visible, bottom. In the Lower Pecos Canyonlands, Texas.

The art in real color and enhanced to see the designs.

Alan Thompson

Because of their location and condition, Shumla hopes that these murals, some of them 4,000 years old, might one day be displayed as 3D models or with the help of VR, in museums around the country, to raise awareness about their degradation.

To learn about the four-year program, called the Alexandria Project, watch the video above.