Four years ago, archeologists made a chilling discovery while examining the excavation site of the former World Trade Center — they found the skeleton of an ancient sailing ship buried 20 feet below the ground’s surface.
After making the ghostly discovery in July 2010, historians offered various theories on how a 30-foot piece of the vessel made its way to lower Manhattan.
No one was, however, able to say with confidence where it came from and the mystery largely endured — at least until today.
Tree ring scientists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory analyzed the ship’s remains and concluded this month that a forest in the Philadelphia area provided the white oak for the vessel’s frame.
According to their findings, published in the journal Tree Ring Research, the trees were likely cut in 1773 — just years before the American revolution.
Wood sampled from Philadelphia’s Independence Hall matched those of the ship, indicating the two probably came from the same region.
Scientists believe that the ship was, thus, built in Philadelphia. It appeared to have been designed to carry Dutch passengers and cargo over shallow waters.
The vessel likely found it’s final resting place on Manhattan’s lower west side, but was buried as the shoreline gradually pushed further west, according to experts.
Scientists say by 1918, the ship would have vanished from site completely until it was later discovered buried during the examination of the 9/11 site.
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