- On 29/07/2010
- In Marine Sciences
By David W. Dunlap and Fred R. Conrad - The New York Times
Whatever the antique vessel was, and whenever in the 18th century it arrived on the Lower Manhattan waterfront, one thing can be said almost certainly: Its journey in was easier than its journey out.
The vessel was discovered by workers on July 13, about 20 to 30 feet below street level, during the excavation of a site bounded by West, Washington, Liberty and Cedar Streets.
This area — which had not been disturbed during the construction of the original World Trade Center — will one day house the vehicle ramps leading to the network of roadways, loading areas and parking spaces under the new World Trade Center.
The wood-hulled ship was an object of instant archaeological interest and popular speculation. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey worked around it as much as possible while keeping the excavation on track.
But the time for salvaging and removing the vessel finally arrived on Monday. Among those on site for the delicate operation were the archaeologists A. Michael Pappalardo, Diane Dallal and Molly McDonald of AKRF, the consulting firm working for the Port Authority; Warren Riess of the Darling Marine Center of the University of Maine, who worked on the last vessel unearthed in Lower Manhattan in 1982; and Nicole Doub, the head conservator of the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Library in St. Leonard, to which the remnants of the ship are bound — piece by piece.