18th-Century Ship Section Uncovered at World Trade Center Site

July 15, 2010

(ChattahBox)—The early maritime history of Manhattan was on display 30 feet under the ground this week, when excavation workers uncovered an intact section of a wooden ship built in the 1700s. The modern construction site quickly became overrun with archaeologists and historians, whom quickly set to work documenting the 200-year old sailing timbers, before the vessel disintegrated before their eyes from the corrosive effects of exposure to the air.

An intact section of a 18-century sailing vessel has not been found in Manhattan, since 1982, according to the report by The New York Times:

“By Wednesday, the outlines made it plain: a 30-foot length of a wood-hulled vessel had been discovered about 20 to 30 feet below street level on the World Trade Center site, the first such large-scale archaeological find along the Manhattan waterfront since 1982, when an 18th-century cargo ship came to light at 175 Water Street. The area under excavation, between Liberty and Cedar Streets, had not been dug out for the original trade center. The vessel, presumably dating from the mid- to late 1700s, was evidently undisturbed more than 200 years.”

The new World Trade Center site is close to a former wharf and the old shoreline of the Hudson River.


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