Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Things You Find Digging In The Mud

Digging at the WTC Ground Zero site continues as construction progresses. Lots of things have been found in mud. This site was actually part of the Hudson River at one point, and people have been putting in land fill for centuries. So you find things when you dig there. Things like bones of animals, bones of humans, shoes, plates, cutlery, a 60 foot Hudson Sloop... wait wat?

In July the remains of a 60 foot Hudson Sloop were found at the WTC site. Seriously. A shipwreck from the 18th century was found underneath the World Trade Center.

The ships ribs being pulled out of the mud at WTC Ground Zero

I commonly think that the United States really has very little history. That is normal for a guy like me. I grew up in the West where the first settlement (permanent settlement, not nomadic peoples) were constructed only about 120 years ago. For the most part, these "old" structures were torn down and newer buildings built in the 1970's and 80's during those decade's urban renewal programs. However the eastern United States has been settled since 1585 (Spanish in Florida had the first permanent settlement that year), and specifically New Amsterdam in 1625 (the Dutch even built canals in to the city). History is there. Sure the Grand Palace in Belgium had been completed for nearly a century before the first buildings were built in the US, sure the Great Buddha (Daibutsu) in Nara, Japan had been finished for nearly a millenia. But History is there.

Map of New Amsterdam, notice the canals!

It is simply fascinating to me that little more than 200 years passed by between the sinking of this ship, and the construction of the WTC above it. The people living and working above had no idea that the ship was there... Hell, when I was there in May of 2001, I had no idea it was there. Things like this I find infinitely cool...

For now, the ship was removed and its timbers are being preserved by scientists. Perhaps we will learn the name of the ship, and can find some documentation on what it was carrying... Coooooooooooool....

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