NYC Unearthed: 5 Notable Archaeological Sites in Manhattan

Burial Vault-Washington Square Park-Chryalis Archaeology-NYC-3Photo via Chrysalis Architecture

On a regular basis, sites of an older New York City are exposed by heavy construction, allowing archaeologists to give New Yorkers a more detailed history of their city’s roots. Here are a few notable archaeological sites found in Manhattan.

1. 18th Century Ship Hull Underneath The World Trade Center

World Trade Centel-Ship hull-Archaeology-Financial District-NYC-Untapped Cities-Vera PenavicWorkers standing on the ship’s hull at Ground Zero. Photo via National Geographic by Lucas Jackson

In 2010, during the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site, work came to a halt as a 32-foot-long ship hull was uncovered about 30 feet underground. A 2014 analysis of the wood suggests it was cut down in 1773 from a white oak forest near Philadelphia. The ship is thought to be a Dutch vessel called a Hudson River Sloop used to carry people and cargo.

After decades of use the ship was eventually retired, permanently docked and eventually buried under garbage throughout the 1800s only to reemerge after 9/11. Along with the hull, a few smaller items were uncovered, including some ceramic dishes, a leather shoe sole, and bones of an ancient horse or cow crushed by the ship’s sinking.

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