18th century. That’s how old a wooden ship beneath the World Trade Center is.

About four years ago, construction workers at the site of the new World Trade Center spotted the remains of an old, wooden ship. A team of archaeologists were brought in to excavate the ship before work could continue.

They found a 32-foot piece of the ship 20 feet below the street.

The team dated the ship by analyzing wood samples. In particular, they examined tree rings from the wood of the ship’s hull. They believe the ship was likely built at a shipyard near Philadelphia in 1773.

How can the archaeologists be so specific? The tree rings point to the wood coming from a forest of White Oak trees near Philadelphia. Plus, the samples line up with wood samples taken from Independence Hall and other buildings in Philadelphia.

During the excavation of the boat, archaeologists found ceramic dishes, shoes and animal bones.

The team believes the boat sailed for around 30 years before the ship was junked in a landfill to extend lower Manhattan.

The above findings were published in this month’s Tree Ring Journal.


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