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Workers unearth 18th Century ship at 9/11 site

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Media captionThe 32ft-long ship hull is believed to have been buried in the 18th Century.

Workers at the World Trade Center site are excavating a 32ft-long ship (9.8m) hull believed to have been buried in the 18th Century.

Archaeologists believe the ship was used as filler material to extend lower Manhattan into the Hudson River.

Archaeologist Molly McDonald hopes the ship, discovered on Tuesday, would be retrieved by the end of the day.

It is unclear if any large portions of the hull would remain intact, but Ms McDonald hopes to salvage some timbers.

"We're mostly clearing it by hand because it's kind of fragile," said Ms McDonald.

'Fragile artefact'

Ms McDonald and archaeologist Michael Pappalardo were at the site when the ship was discovered on Tuesday morning by workers building the new World Trade Center.

The two archaeologists work for AKRF, a firm hired to document artefacts discovered at the site of the 11 September 2001 attacks.

"We noticed curved timbers that a back hoe brought up," Ms McDonald said.

She added: "We quickly found the rib of a vessel and continued to clear it away and expose the hull over the last two days."

A large anchor was also found a few metres away from the hull, but archaeologists are unsure if it belongs to the vessel.

Archaeologists are now quickly working to record and analyze the ship before the wood begins to deteriorate because of exposure to the air.

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