20 Mar 2013

Hull section of wooden ship dug up

6:15 am on 20 March 2013

A team of archaeologists and historians has dug up part of a wooden ship, thought to be some 200 years old, at Cape Foulwind on the West Coast.

The wreck was discovered in the 1970s when a farmer was digging a culvert in swampy ground. Local people only recently applied for the right to properly excavate.

Writer and historian John McCrystal told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme part of the hull has been found and samples will be analysed.

"We found the section of the hull of a ship, probably about five metres by five metres, which doesn't sound much but there was enough there to let us know we were looking at a wooden ship of considerable age."

At this stage, he says, it is hard to tell what ship it is but it was built between 1780 and the 1860s.