Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Update on the Ground Zero Shipwreck

If you read the blog back in July or followed various news websites you would have already heard about the eighteenth century wooden ship found below the rubble and under the foundation of what was once The World Trade Centers. Archaeologists were on the scene quickly to preserve the historical piece and learn about why it was there and maybe give us a small glimpse into what life was like in early America. For months the team of scientists, historians, and archaeologists have been examining the wreckage and revealed to the public some of there finding the other day.

They believe the ship was a two-masted trading vessel. It is still unclear if the boat sank on its own or was purposely sunk in that spot in order to fill more land for the ever expanding Manhattan Island. From what researchers can tell the ship was in the stages of deteriorating from what one marine biologist believes is a tiny burrowing clam found mainly in warm waters. Along with finding seeds, pits, and nuts it has some speculating that the ship was used to make trade runs between the Caribbean and New York harbor. Currently the ship is submerged in purified water to prevent additional decay until the money and okay is given to pursue better, more permanent means of preserving the ship, which will allow researchers the opportunity to study it further. One of the other interesting finds they made, which allowed them to better date the ship, was a coin inside one of the ships joints. Apparently, this is a custom which is still used today. The coin which they found was analyzed by an expert from the Smithsonian and determined to be a British coin issued during the reign of King George II, who ruled from 1727 to 1760. Aside from the shipwreck numerous other artifacts such as ceramic dishes, stemmed glasses, dozens of shoes, and much more have been found around the same area the ship was buried. It all makes one wonder what other revelations will be unraveled and interesting discoveries will be revealed about the people and life of eighteenth century America. 


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