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World Trader Center boat accidentally cut in half

The 18th century boat found at the World Trader Center site two weeks ago was accidentally cut in half when workmen poured a concrete wall last year.

The Port Authority did not see the boat while building the wall last year because they had just dug a narrow trench and poured concrete into it, while now they are doing a broader excavation, said Steve Coleman, a Port Authority spokesman.

David Allen, professor of maritime history at the State University of New York Maritime College, said the entire boat would have offered a more complete picture of its past.

“It’s always helpful to have everything,” Allen said. “Sometimes a lot of artifacts are on one end of the boat and not the other.”

Allen said the captain and officers’ quarters were usually in the back of the boat, while the crew lodged in the front.

“It’s always better to have the entire artifact,” agreed Amanda Sutphin, director of archaeology at the city Landmarks Preservation Commission. “But any part of an 18th-century ship is still great and exciting.”

It is possible that the boat’s rear, or at least pieces of it, could still be buried on the other side of the slurry wall, beneath the Deutsche Bank building, Sutphin said.

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