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Now THREE Historic Ships Found During Waterfront Development

Unearthing THREE ships circa 1790 is a rare archaeological find, not just in Virginia, but nationwide. (Courtesy photo)

The City of Alexandria announced on Monday, March 19, 2018 that archaeologists under contract with a developer have found the remains of two historic ships at the construction site in Old Town where Robinson Terminal South was previously located. Preliminary evaluation suggests that the ships are likely from the late 1700s or 1800s, the same period from which a ship was discovered nearby at the Hotel Indigo site in late 2015.

“The discovery of three historic ships in a two-block area is absolutely incredible,” said Eleanor Breen, acting City Archaeologist. “There have been very few ships from this era excavated in Virginia or nationwide.”

The City will oversee an analysis to help determine next steps, and will continue to provide updates. As part of a private construction site, the artifacts are not currently open to public view and are not visible from the street.

The Alexandria Archaeological Protection Code requires developers to have archaeologists on site to monitor all phases of ground disturbance. This ensures that any historic features encountered during demolition and construction are dealt with properly so that Alexandria’s history is enriched though archaeological study. As development of the Alexandria waterfront continues, excavations have the potential to continue to unearth additional evidence of early wharves and piers, maritime vessels, early industries, and commercial and domestic activities.


Mary Wadland

Mary Wadland is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of The Zebra Press, founded by her in 2010. Originally from Delray Beach, Florida, Mary is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hollins College in Roanoke, VA and has lived and worked in the Alexandria publishing community since 1987.

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