Ancient ship?

July 20, 2010

Ancient ship unearthed at World Trade Center site

SEPT11-SHIP/Parts of lower Manhattan, including the twin towers which fell on September 11, 2001 when two hijacked aircraft crashed into them, were built over the Hudson River, archeologist Michael Pappalardo told reporters gathered at the site.

The ship, Pappalardo explained, likely dated back at least 200 years when part of the river was filled in with trash, debris and wooden beams in order to expand a fast-growing Manhattan.

Please, gang, in no way is a 200-year-old ship ‘ancient.’ It just ain’t. Ancient. And in the head, no less.

Centuries old, yes, or Colonial-era, or early New York, or (possibly) pre-Revolutionary, but not ancient.

And it’s also inaccurate to say that parts of Manhattan were ‘built over the Hudson River.’ They were built on land reclaimed from the Hudson, or built out into the Hudson, or on land-fill created along the Hudson, or on an extended shoreline created by filling the water w/ trash, etc. But ‘built over the Hudson’ conjures the image of stilts.

I smell overwork, or perhaps this story slipped through w/o the attention of a copy editor. IMHO Reuters should be way above and way beyond this sort of imprecision; please don’t undermine my faith in a legend. I’m sure Santa and the Easter Bunny would agree with me.

Harry J.

Several readers disputed our use of the word “ancient,” and they have a point. “Colonial-era” or even just “Old” would have done fine: GBU Editor

Archeologists examine the remnants of a centuries old wooden ship at the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan in New York July 15, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

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