Living history

A cool story from The New York Times this morning – excavators at the site of the Trade Towers have unearthed an 18th century wooden ship. The archeologists have been called in. I hope they’re able to actually expose the entire thing.

Nope. Reading further, it appears that’s not going to happen:

The area under excavation, between Liberty and Cedar Streets, had not been dug out for the original trade center. The vessel, presumably dating from the mid- to late 1700s, was evidently undisturbed more than 200 years.

News of the find spread quickly. Archaeologists and officials hurried to the site, not only because of the magnitude of the discovery but because construction work could not be interrupted and because the timber, no longer safe in its cocoon of ooze, began deteriorating as soon as it was exposed to air.

For that reason, Doug Mackey, the chief regional archaeologist for the New York State Historic Preservation Office, was grateful for the rainfall. “If the sun had been out,” he said, “the wood would already have started to fall apart.”

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