In the early 2000s, the City of Reno decided that they needed to dig a trench to lower the railroad tracks running through downtown.
They hired a team of archaeologists associated with the ReTRAC (Reno Transportation Rail Access Corridor) to oversee the project. Not only did they have to design the trench, but they were presented with a unique opportunity: Explore evidence of thousands of years of human history.
The trench is only 2 miles long, 54-feet wide and 30-feet deep at its lowest point. Its location creates a cross-section through the oldest part of the city and that means that investigators were able to access eighty-three archaeological sites, two prehistoric and eighty-one historical. They found that humans have been continuously inhabiting the banks of the Truckee River for over 5,000 years!
Investigators took this time to learn how the earliest inhabitants of our great city responded to changing seasons and long-term climate change. They also studied the creation of Reno’s early and modern infrastructure.
This lecture was presented by the Historic Reno Preservation Society, of which I am a long-time member and volunteer. HRPS is located on the University of Nevada campus and is dedicated to preserving and promoting historic resources to the Truckee Meadows through advocacy, education and leadership. Join me at their next event!