03/24/2019 12:30 pm - 1:00 pm
Mark Demuth, environmental consultant and University of Nevada, Reno adjunct faculty member, presents ReTRAC Railroad Trench project archaeology and architecture. When the City of Reno decided in early 2000s to create a trench to lower the railroad tracks that ran through its center, archaeologists associated with the ReTRAC (Reno Transportation Rail Access Corridor) project had a unique opportunity to explore the evidence of thousands of years of human history. The trench – 2 miles long, 54 feet wide, and 30 feet deep at its lowest point – created a cross-section through the oldest part of the city and gave investigators access to eighty-three archaeological sites, two prehistoric and eighty-one historical. The sites record continuous human habitation along the banks of the Truckee River for over 5,000 years, allowing investigators to learn how the earliest inhabitants responded to changing seasons and long-term climate change, and to study the creation of Reno's early and modern infrastructure.