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18th-century shipwreck found at Ground Zero in New York

I thought this was pretty incredible. A construction crew excavating at the World Trade Center site in New York have found an 18th-century shipwreck! [Thx Daniel]

On Tuesday morning, workers excavating the site of the underground vehicle security center for the future World Trade Center hit a row of sturdy, upright wood timbers, regularly spaced, sticking out of a briny gray muck flecked with oyster shells.

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.

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.

[Full story]

3 thoughts on “18th-century shipwreck found at Ground Zero in New York

  1. I think that this is really amazing but who is going to be paying for the transportation to Maryland and refurbishing of this shipwreck. Obviously if it was used as landfill to extend the land in NYC it could not have been to important back then. I am all for preserving history, but with the economic crisis going on at this time in history dont you think rebuilding a ship that has been buried for over 100 years would not be on the priority list.

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