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Thread: Buried ship hull found at World Trade Center site

      
  1. #1
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    Default Buried ship hull found at World Trade Center site

    Buried ship hull found at World Trade Center site
    Vessel discarded as junk in early 1800s
    Friday, July 16, 2010
    By Verena Dobnik, The Associated Press
    NEW YORK -- The ship was buried as junk two centuries ago -- landfill to expand a bustling little island of commerce called Manhattan. When it re-emerged this week, surrounded by skyscrapers, it was an instant treasure that popped up from the mud near Ground Zero.

    A 32-foot piece of the vessel was discovered in soil 20 feet under street level, amid noisy bulldozers excavating a parking garage for the future World Trade Center. Near the site of so many grim finds -- Sept. 11 victims' remains, twisted steel -- this one was as unexpected as it was thrilling.

    Historians say the ship, believed to date from the 1700s, was defunct by the time it was used around 1810 to extend the shores of lower Manhattan.

    "A ship is the summit of what you might find under the World Trade Center -- it's exciting!" said archaeologist Molly McDonald. She first spotted two pieces of hewn, curved timber -- part of the frame of the ship -- peeking out of the muddy soil early Tuesday. By Thursday, she and three colleagues had dug up the hull from a muddy pit where the new trade center is being built.

    A steep, hanging ladder trembled with each step down into chaotic mounds of dirt, dwarfed all around by Manhattan skyscrapers rising into the July sun. People sank in the mud as they walked and grasped pieces of the historic wood for support -- touching the centuries-old ship that may once have sailed the Caribbean, according to marine historian Norman Brower, who examined it Thursday.

    Ms. McDonald and archaeologist A. Michael Pappalardo made the discovery about 6:15 a.m. Tuesday, just as they started their shift observing construction in a pit at the southern edge of Ground Zero. The two work for AKRF, a New York environmental consulting firm hired to document artifacts discovered at the trade center site.

    Mr. Brower, the historian, works in Mystic, Conn., which is renowned for its historic vessels. He told the archaeologists that it was an oceangoing vessel that might have sailed the Caribbean, as evidenced by 18th-century marine organisms that had bored tiny tunnels in the timber.

    The vessel's age will be estimated after the two pieces that first popped up are tested in a laboratory through dendrochronology, the science of using tree rings to determine dates and chronological order. Also unknown is what kind of wood was used to build the ship.

    A 100-pound iron anchor was found a few yards from the hull, possibly from the old vessel. The ship likely got there in the effort to extend lower Manhattan into the Hudson River in the 1700s and 1800s using landfill. Cribbing usually consisted of logs joined together -- much like a log cabin -- but a derelict ship was occasionally used.

    The ship discovered Tuesday was weighted down and sunk to the bottom of the river, as support for new city piers in a part of Manhattan tied to global commerce and trade. A similar find emerged in 1982, when archaeologists found an 18th-century cargo ship on Water Street.

    The remains of the ship will be removed in the coming days, but the timber is so delicate that it's unclear how much of it will remain intact. The surrounding water acted as a preservant for the wood for centuries, Ms. McDonald said, but the remains began to deteriorate immediately upon contact with oxygen.

    "We're mostly clearing it by hand because it's kind of fragile," she said, meaning shovels are used.

    On Thursday, archaeologists were quickly sketching, measuring and photographing the ship remnants to help them analyze the find later.



    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10197...#ixzz0uEV1xQto

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    Default Re: Buried ship hull found at World Trade Center site

    I saw this in the newspaper (I think). First thing I thought was "shouldn't they be a hell of a lot further along with the new high rises than they are? I thought they were already erecting the new World Trade Centers/Liberty building or whatever it's going to be called. Didn't know they were still digging. From the picture, it didn't look any different than the last time I visited the Ground Zero site in 2007
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    Default Re: Buried ship hull found at World Trade Center site

    I wouldn't have thought digging to any extent would yet be in progress.
    The base pouring of concrete surely is somewhat overdue I would think!

    Another short article -Pictures-----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Ancient ship unearthed at World Trade Center site
    NEW YORK | Thu Jul 15, 2010 3:49pm EDT

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - The decayed hull of a centuries old ship was unearthed at the World Trade Center construction site in New York city, providing a glimpse into the history of Manhattan, archeologists said.

    Parts of lower Manhattan, including the twin towers which fell on September 11, 2001 when two hijacked aircraft crashed into them, were built over the Hudson River, archeologist Michael Pappalardo told reporters gathered at the site.

    The ship, Pappalardo explained, likely dated back at least 200 years when part of the river was filled in with trash, debris and wooden beams in order to expand a fast-growing Manhattan.

    The 32-foot long (9.7 meter) craft was discovered on Tuesday and made public late on Wednesday. Many other kinds of antique debris have also been found.

    Pappalardo, a muddy trowel in his back pocket, said the discovery was indeed a good find, but added "we've found bottles and dishes, and that's exciting too."

    (Reporting by Basil Katz; Editing by Mark Egan and Vicki Allen)
    Last edited by Viz-id/Vigilancer; Jul-20-2010 at 08:43 PM.

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    Default Re: Buried ship hull found at World Trade Center site

    Makes you wonder how they ever got the city built in the first place. Kinda like watching road construction projects these days and wondering how the national interstate highway system ever got built...

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