UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 8:54am
COLLEGE STATION -- Last summer crews working at the Ground Zero memorial site found something a bit unusual and a little out of place, the remains of a Revolutionary War-era ship.
And now, those remains are being studied and stored in College Station.
Nobody expected to find a ship 20-feet below Ground Zero but for the graduate students at Texas A&M's Nautical Conservation and Research Program, they couldn't be more excited about it.
"The tree ring analysis dates it to roughly just after the Boston Tea Party and before the signing of the Declaration of Independence and therefore, and then found at Ground Zero, I mean this is really a true piece of America," said Chad Gulseth.
And while the remains don't look like much, Peter Fix a professor at A&M, said they are crucial to better understanding our country's history.
"The World Trade Center ship is a link to our past. We are a maritime country, people came here on a ship," Fix said.
Because of the size of the ship, it's believed to have been used as a work vessel, carrying people or cargo between colonies and there are a few theories about how the ship ended up at Ground Zero.
"One of the big ones is that during the construction of Manhattan Harbor it was purposefully sank to help build up the land there or the other one is that it was just a derelict ship at port that was left to rot and sink on its own," said Gulseth.
Regardless of why the ship ended up where it did, Gulseth said it's just a privilege to help uncover piece by piece more of our American history.