Monday, April 16, 2012

World Trade Center Discovery!

With all the hub-bub about the 100th Anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, I got to thinking about what 18th Century ship of note may have sunk in an unusual way. Of course, there were many, hundreds in fact, sunk in battles, but what others?

Researching a bit, I found a very interesting story!                         

In 2010, while excavating the World Trade Center site for the new building to be erected (in due time), the remnants of a 30-foot length of wood-hulled vessels was discovered about 20-30 feet below the street level! It is the first such large-scale archaological find along the Manhattan waterfront since 1982, when another 18th century cargo ship was unearthed.

This new find dates to about mid-1700's, and has not been disturbed for more than 200 years! Archaeologists hurried to the site, not only because of the importance of this discovery, but because now that the timber was exposed to the air, it could begin deteriorating immediately. Currently, pieces of pottery have been found (at left) and even a shoe (below)!

An old map from 1797 shows that the excavation site is close to Lindsey's Wharf, that projected into the Hudson River. A name is not currently known for this vessel, but it's probably only a matter of time, when records are researched indicating ships harbored in the area. Then, we might know what happened to this ship and its crew. A mystery to be uncovered!

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