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News: Ship Excavation at World Trade

Ground Zero Buried ShipEarlier this month, workers at the site of the World Trade towers unearthed what appeared to be a ship and since then, archaeologists have been digging to quickly excavate the site while construction continued around them. The ship was not disturbed by the construction of the original Twin Towers but today, that land is being used for a new vehicle ramp. Because construction can no longer be haulted in the area, the ship is being carefully packed for removal to the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Library.

Historians believe the ship had been junked by the time it was used around 1810 as landfill to extend the shores of lower Manhattan. The ship’s exact age will be determined by lab analysis.

Warren Riess, a historian at the University of Maine whose specialty is 18th-century ships, said the buried fragment appeared to be the ship’s bow. “It’s probably something that was like a coastal schooner or brigantine or sloop,” he said.

Riess said the ship likely sailed from New York to Boston or to Virginia or Barbados carrying goods such as flour, bricks or hay.

“A merchant ship, a jack of all trade — that’s my first guess,” he said. “It’s the kind of ship that made New York, when you think about it.” – AP Newswire

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