A remarkable piece of scientific detective work has revealed the wooden ship found beneath the wreckage of the World Trade Center was built just before, or during, the American War of Independence. Even the location where the wood was grown appears to have been settled.
In 2010, when digging the foundations for the buildings that will replace the twin towers, workers found a 9.75m long oaken partial hull 7m below what is now street level. Hickory in the keel indicated the ship was almost certainly of North American origin, but its age and specific place of construction were initially a mystery.

Isotopic dating isn’t precise enough to tell us the age of the wood from which the ship is made, so instead researchers from Columbia University used the tree rings. As they report in probably the most attention grabbing story ever published in Tree-Ring Research the rings in timber from different parts of the ship were found to be highly similar. Source

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