Friday, August 5, 2011

Bow of Historic Ship Unearthed at World Trade Center Site

Archaeologists helping to excavate the World Trade Center site have uncovered a second piece of the more than 200-year-old ship which was discovered there last summer.

The find came as workers began digging up the east side of the construction area, which once housed the World Trade Center complex.

Archaeologists first noticed remnants of the ship —  curved pieces of wood buried 25 feet below street level — last July and spent two weeks excavating the artifact, which turned out to be a 32-foot-long section of the boat's hull.

The piece that was found last Friday belongs to the very front of the ship, providing crucial clues as to its size, shape and use. Specialists working at the site estimate the ship was 50 feet long at its base, and 60 feet long on the deck.

Scientists spent two days removing the 6 feet long by 5 feet wide piece, which is being stored at a facility in New York, before being reunited with the rest of the ship's remains.The artifacts will be saved at Texas A&M's Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation until the Port Authority decides what to do with them. The authority may decide to undergo the lengthy process of preserving all of the remains —  to be reconstructed later - or  just preserve some of the artifacts.

Experts speculate the remains are from a merchant ship used to transport commodities such as sugar, salt, molasses and rum, up and down the Atlantic coast in the late 1700's.

By Peter Coyne /
August 5, 2011