Archaeologists dug in to analyze the mysterious ship, which was unearthed while the excavation team was doing their job to clear the site of the 9/11 attacks.
Every nation witnessed the collapse of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. As the skyscrapers crumbled down from the dual attacks of the terrorists, what was left in its aftermath was nothing but death and disaster. However, while unearthing the area in 2010, nine years after the tragic incident, a mysterious wooden ship was excavated from beneath the rubble of the Twin Towers while they were working on the site, per BBC.
The ship was identified as a Hudson River sloop, possibly designed by the Dutch to carry cargo and passengers over the Hudson River, which has a rocky bottom. As many wondered how the ship ended up underneath the debris of the World Trade Center, historians believed that the ship had been at the river providing service for about 20 to 30 years. The ship most probably sunk around the lower Manhattan area and the cause of its sinking has not been determined yet. Scientists also suspect purposeful submersion of the ship.
According to the outlet, the ship was eventually buried deep with rubbish and other materials like rock and soil and was used to expand the lower Manhattan area. The oysters found on the hull of the ship suggested that it had remained underwater for a long time before it disappeared under the landfill and building blocks, like the Twin Towers were constructed upon it. Archaeologist Molly McDonald spoke to CNN back then as she was among the first few people who discovered the ship's remains.
"This ship was most likely sunk for the same purpose, to retain land, to create new land," she said. McDonald added that a handful of ships have been found in the past 40 years, "but it's quite unusual and exciting to find it here on the World Trade Center site." Doug Mackey, the chief regional archaeologist for the New York State Historic Preservation Office, said that finding the ship is very exciting. "We've known that those things exist, but we don't get the opportunity to record them very often. It is a unique experience." They found the ship just south of where the World Trade Center towers used to stand, about 20 feet below the surface.
It was untouched by earlier construction. McDonald and her AKRF colleagues, Elizabeth Meade and A. Michael Pappalardo, have been monitoring the site for over a year. The archaeological investigation went on for four years, where they analyzed and studied the ship. The archaeologists were able to determine that the ship had been built in the 1770s, around the same era as the Declaration of Independence. Researchers also determined that the type of oak used to build the ship would have come from Philadelphia. Strangest of all was that the rings on the wooden hull matched other samples of wood rings that had been used to build Independence Hall, where both the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were signed.
The discovery might have been interesting, but the destruction which unearthed it was devastating. On the morning of September 11, 2001, 19 terrorists hijacked four commercial passenger planes in the United States. Two planes were flown into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, causing both towers to collapse. The third plane crashed into the Pentagon and the fourth plane crashed in rural Pennsylvania, per the Imperial War Museum. The ship's remains are currently resting in the New York State Museum located in Albany and are being conserved and exhibited to visitors.