Institute of Archaeology

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First for Archaeology in UK 2015

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Martin Bridge on find at World Trade Center site

6 August 2014

Mary Rose Tudor warship

Martin Bridge was recently invited to comment on the discovery of a wooden ship unearthed at the World Trade Center site in New York.

Martin's dendrochronological research and practice includes the use of tree-rings in dating historic timbers of medieval and post-medieval standing buildings and artefacts and the examination of relationships between tree-rings and various influences on growth, including climate, woodland management and natural pests.

He has been involved in a long-term study of the timbers of the Tudor warship Mary Rose in conjunction with Christopher Dobbs of the Mary Rose Trust (Portsmouth).

In the article for National Geographic News, Martin explained how timber used to build ships is often used as soon as it is cut down and therefore tree rings can be a reliable way of dating a ship.

He agreed that the ship found at the World Trade Center site was likely built in 1773 or soon after, and has been linked to Revolutionary War-era Philadelphia.