Analysis of the remains of two 18th century ships have revealed information on colonial and post-colonial American maritime history. The first ship was discovered in New York City in a pit below the underground parking of the new World Trade Center, and the other is kept at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
The ship was found in New York 4 years ago and was determined to be a Hudson River sloop from the late 18th century. Scientists used techniques of dendrochronology at the tree lab at Columbia University to date the timber. The ship was primarily used on rivers to transport goods and people. Archaeologists also recovered other artifacts, like cannonballs and ceramics, that will be analyzed to tell scientists more about life on the eastern coast during colonial times.
The second ship housed at the Smithsonian is a Revolutionary War gunboat that was found at the bottom of Lake Champlain in 1935. The gunboat has been identified as the USS Philadelphia and is the oldest surviving American fighting vessel and was found with several artifacts.