Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Rebuilding of Ground Zero, Part 106

Archeologists have discovered the remnants of an early 18th Century boat while excavating near West Street.
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.

Archeologists Molly McDonald and A. Michael Pappalardo were at "ground zero," the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on Tuesday morning when workers uncovered the artifacts.

"We noticed curved timbers that a backhoe brought up," McDonald said Wednesday. "We quickly found the rib of a vessel and continued to clear it away and expose the hull over the last two days."

The two archeologists work for AKRF, a firm hired to document artifacts discovered at the site. They called Tuesday's find significant but said more study was needed to determine the age of the ship.

"We're going to send timber samples to a laboratory to do endocrinology that will help us to get a sense of when the boat was constructed," said McDonald, who added that a boat specialist was going to the site Thursday to take a look at the ship.

The workers and archeologists also found a 100-pound anchor in the same area on Wednesday, but they're not sure if it belongs to the ship.
It's not the first time that they've found archeological relics in the course of the excavations in Lower Manhattan and the area comprising Ground Zero, which is why they had archeologists on staff working during the excavations as they expected to find stuff since most of the area comprising Ground Zero was originally landfill (all of Battery Park City was landfill from the expanded excavation of the original WTC).

During the course of renovating the South Ferry MTA train station, excavations discovered a pre-Colonial era sea wall, which caused significant delays. There are also Colonial and post-Colonial era burial grounds found from time to time around Lower Manhattan (part of City Hall park was a burial ground at one time).

Meanwhile, the GOP should be embarrassed by this tripe that they've released in opposition to the Cordoba House proposal. This ad is blatantly dishonest and a smear campaign in opposition of the proposal to build a community center and mosque two blocks from Ground Zero, which the opponents keep saying is being built at Ground Zero. CBS and NBC wont air it (though the news reports and blogs (including this one) are showing it for illustrative purposes - so it is getting the airplay that its proponents so desire):

A "monstrous 13-story mosque at Ground Zero"? Sorry, that's incredibly disingenuous, considering that the proposed structure wouldn't even be the tallest building on its block, and the two blocks between it and Ground Zero block the view at ground level. The community center/mosque isn't being built at Ground Zero but two blocks away.

Here's a good photo of the ship, which was found near West Street on the Southern Side of Ground Zero. You can see the former Deutsche Bank building in the background covered in blue security screening.
More photos can be seen here.

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