Author to talk about ‘Prehistoric Nevada’
Northern Nevada author and historian Dennis Cassinelli will present his annual lecture and book signing March 4 at the Gold Hill Hotel.
Titled “Prehistoric Nevada,” the presentation will focus on the culture, tools and subsistence techniques of early Great Basin inhabitants. Cassinelli also will discuss the Spirit Cave Man, a 10,000-year-old human mummy discovered near Fallon in 1940 and the oldest mummy ever found in North America.
“Prehistoric Nevada” is part of the Gold Hill Hotel’s Tuesday night dinner and lecture series. Dinner begins at 5 p.m., with the lecture following at 7:30. The cost is $15 for dinner and the lecture and $5 for the lecture only.
For more information or to make a reservation, call (775) 847-0111 or visit web.mac.com/denniscassinelli or http://www.goldhillhotel.net.
Illustrating the lecture will be display boards from the Cassinelli-Perino Artifact Collection, a permanent exhibit of Indian artifacts housed at the Carson Valley Museum and Cultural Center.
When Cassinelli inherited the artifacts from an aunt in the early 1990s, he typed and dated them so they could be donated to a local museum. The experience provided the framework for his first book, “Gathering Traces of the Great Basin Indians.” An updated second edition appeared in 2006 with the new title “Preserving Traces of the Great Basin Indians.”
Both of Cassinelli’s books will be available for purchase and for signing at the lecture.
“I wanted to place an emphasis on preserving as opposed to gathering,” Cassinelli said. “These artifacts are the key to unlocking how these past cultures lived.”
Cassinelli also is the author of “Legends of Spirit Cave,” a novel that focuses on the Spirit Cave Man and his family. The book contains detailed descriptions of the landscape of prehistoric Nevada ” which included vast marshes and the enormous Lake Lahontan ” and examines how Northern Nevada’s earliest inhabitants may have lived 10,000 years ago.
“The Spirit Cave Man and his people were fully developed human beings ” not cavemen in the sense that we typically think of them,” Cassinelli said. “They faced a daily struggle of survival, which I depict in the book.”
The subjects reflect Cassinelli’s lifelong fascination with past cultures. “I’ve always loved anthropology and archaeology,” Cassinelli said. “Our area especially has such a rich and vivid history. My goal is to understand the people who lived here before us ” to get an idea of how they survived and carried out their day-to-day lives.”
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