Aggies Studying and Preserving Ship Found at The World Trade Center

By: Shane McAuliffe Email
By: Shane McAuliffe Email

Chad Gulseth is a graduate student at Texas A&M working at the Conservation Research Laboratory on A&M's Riverside campus.

In each and every corner of the lab you'll find an incredible piece of history and now the Aggies are working on something with historical significance found in an unusual spot.

"This is something that was not supposed to be there," said Peter Fix, a professor at Texas A&M.

Last summer, crews working at World Trade Center site in New York found a ship, over 20 feet below ground level. It possibly sunk there hundreds of years ago as part of the expansion of lower Manhattan.

"It's smells pretty bad. Every shipwreck has its own smell," said Gulseth.

This ship is estimated to have been built in the 1770s or 1780s and was a work vessel, perhaps carrying cargo before the Revolutionary War.

"To actually find one that we have yet to study is what's most interesting," said Gulseth.

"It's history, it's culture, it's a way of finding out about the past that we didn't know about before. And this is just one more piece in that great puzzle," said Fix.

Peter Fix works at the Conservation Research Laboratory and to be called upon to preserve such a find is an honor for the Aggie.

"It's a privilege that whenever a ship is found that Texas A&M and this lab is thought of for a repository and for preservation work," said Fix.

But for the graduate students it's all part of being a part of history.

"This ship has its own story but in 2011 as we come in contact with it, we ourselves become a part of the ship's story," said Gulseth.

A story that has been well documented thanks to the efforts of archeologists from New York City to College Station, Texas.

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