Superfund Site Gowanus Canal Is An Archaeological Trove

02/10/2011 10:18 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

It's toxic, cancerous and .... full of treasure?

The Environmental Protection Agency has found evidence of several sailing vessels, including the 60-foot -long wooden hull of a vessel, possibly dating back to the 18th century, when the canal was an industrial highway.

The ship was found by archeologist John Vetter.

"It looks like it might have been a working boat," Vetter said.

From the Brooklyn Paper:

Sonar images also show the hull of a 126-foot-long barge, a 110-foot-long barge, a small boat, debris, tires, and a "mysterious U-shaped object between the Union and Carroll Street bridges," according to EPA documents.

This is the first positive press the canal has received in some time. After it was declared a Superfund site in need of a $500 million cleanup effort, the EPA then released a report detailing just how contaminated the canal is.

The Brooklyn Paper notes that most of what will be found at the bottom of the Superfund site will be junk, but Vetter will conduct an analysis of the sonar data to determine how the cleanup effort could affect items of historical value.

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