18th-Century Ship Unearthed at Ground Zero
Archaeologists think vessel was used to extend lower Manhattan
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 15, 2010 7:20 AM CDT
A granite slab is lowered into the National September 11 Memorial, Friday, July 9, 2010, in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

(Newser) – Workers excavating at the World Trade Center site have unearthed the 32-foot-long hull of a ship likely buried in the 18th century. The vessel probably was used along with other debris to fill in land to extend lower Manhattan into the Hudson River, archeologists said. The ship was first uncovered Tuesday morning. "We notices curved timbers that a backhoe brought up," said one archaeologist who was on hand. "We quickly found the rib of a vessel and continued to clear it away and expose the hull over the last two days."

A firm has been hired to provide archaeologists to the World Trade Center site, to document any artifacts the crew might dig up. Now, they're scrambling to analyze the ship before the wood begins to deteriorate now that it's been exposed to air. "I kept thinking of how closely it came to being destroyed," said one archaeologist. They also found a 100-pound anchor yesterday, but aren't sure if it belongs to the same ship.