16 Jul 2010

Hull of old ship unearthed from 9/11 site

9:58 pm on 16 July 2010

Workers at the World Trade Center site in New York are excavating the hull of a ship believed to have been buried in the 18th century.

Archaeologists believe the ship was used as filler material to extend lower Manhattan into the Hudson River, the BBC reports.

It is unclear if any large portions of the hull will remain intact, but archaeologist Molly McDonald hopes to salvage some timbers.

"We're mostly clearing it by hand because it's kind of fragile," she says.

Ms McDonald was at the site when the ship was discovered on Tuesday morning by workers building the new World Trade Center, the old one having been destroyed by terrorists on 11 September 2001.

"We noticed curved timbers that a back hoe brought up," she says. "We quickly found the rib of a vessel and continued to clear it away and expose the hull over the last two days."

A large anchor was also found a few metres away from the hull, but archaeologists are unsure if it belongs to the vessel.

Archaeologists are now quickly working to record and analyse the ship before the wood begins to deteriorate because of exposure to the air.