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 18th-century ship found under WTC site 
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Post 18th-century ship found under WTC site
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Wednesday morning's excavation of the future world trade center site unearthed the remains of an 18th century ship. Workers uncovered regularly spaced, sturdy, upright timbers with oyster shells on them. The vessel has been undisturbed for more than 200 years. The timber is deteriorating now that it is exposed to air. Archaeologists are working quickly to gather information about the ship.

City Room reports, "Obviously, these were more than just remnants of the wooden cribbing used in the late 18th and early 19th centuries to extend the shoreline of Manhattan Island ever farther into the Hudson River. (Lower Manhattan real estate was a precious commodity even then. "They were so perfectly contoured that they were clearly part of a ship,” said A. Michael Pappalardo, an archaeologist with the firm AKRF, which is working for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to document historical material uncovered during construction."

MSNBC says, "A 30-foot wood-hulled vessel was discovered about 20 to 30 feet below street level at the World Trade Center site, according to the New York Times. The area, between Liberty and Cedar Streets, had not been dug out for the original trade center in the 1960s."

"Because construction work could not be interrupted and because the timber began deteriorating as soon as it was exposed to air, Doug Mackey, the chief regional archaeologist for the NYS Historic Preservation Office, told the NY Times. Were trying to record it as quickly as possible and do the analysis later," Mackey told the paper. This finding is the first of its magnitude since 1982, when an 18th-century cargo ship was discovered at 175 Water Street. A 1797 map shows that the excavation site is close to Lindseys Wharf, which was on the Hudson River at the foot of Liberty Street, and Lakes Wharf, on the Hudson River at the foot of Cedar Street, once projected into the Hudson.

Construction workers at the new world trade center site unearthed the remains of an 18th century ship Wednesday morning. Archaeologists are working rapidly to record the find which will deteriorate now that it is exposed to air.


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