TUNNELS IN CHINATOWN? City Sponsors Urban Archaeology Project

A well-loved urban legend in Fresno is that there is a lacework of tunnels throughout Fresno’s Chinatown, the area bounded by Fresno, Ventura, H and E Streets. Starting Friday August 3, 2007 archaeologists will test for subsurface deposits and features ---such as tunnels and backfilled wells---through the use of Ground Penetrating Radar as part of the City’s first-ever archaeological investigation.

Archeologists will be at China Alley between Kern and Tulare Streets at 9 a.m. on Friday August 3, 2007. Billy Silva, Jon Brady and Sarah Johnston (archaeologists/consultants to the City of Fresno) will be on site for comment.

Archaeologists will also hand excavate using test trenches at two separate late 19th century sites, in hopes of finding artifacts from Fresno’s oldest neighborhood.

Archaeology is among the most democratic forms of historical research, according to Karana Hattersley-Drayton, the City’s Historic Preservation Officer. Through systematic excavation and analysis of ceramics and other artifacts archaeologists can reconstruct the social fabric of an earlier era.

The project is funded by the City of Fresno’s Planning and Development Department in cooperation with Chinatown Revitalization Inc. For more information, please call Karana Hattersley-Drayton (Historic Preservation Project Manager) at 621-8520.

CONTACT: Rhonda Jorn, Public Affairs Manager (559) 621-7777 Karana Hattersley-Drayton, Preservation Officer (559) 621-8520

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