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Milestone Reached at Robinson Landing; Ship Excavated and Construction Continues in Old Town

Loading the bow half of the keel. (Photo Credit EYA, LLC)

Waterfront Townhomes Remain on Schedule for Fall Delivery

Alexandri,VA, June 27, 2018 — A team of archaeologists has successfully dismantled and removed a mid-18th Century ship found at Robinson Landing, a new residential community being developed in Old Town Alexandria by EYA-affiliated companies.

The ship, uncovered earlier this year, appears to date to the mid 1700s and likely sailed coastal waters for decades before it was dragged to the Duke Street side of the current Robinson Landing site prior to 1798.  Earlier this week, archaeologists completed work to remove the boat’s timbers in layered sections with documentation and photography taking place throughout the process.

EYA has donated the ship to the City of Alexandria. Off site, archeologists and other experts will study and document details of its construction and attempt to date the wood using dendrochronology.

Every timber is identified with a number before they are carefully pulled away to be reassembled on the other end. (Photo Credit EYA, LLC)

“This marks another milestone as we move toward the completion of the archaeological work at the site and stay on pace with construction of the new townhomes and condo buildings,” Evan Goldman, EYA LLC Vice President of Acquisition and Development, said.

“We’ve uncovered some significant finds that tell the story of how the early residents of Alexandria built the waterfront and conducted commerce. It’s history we’re proud to share with our neighbors and the future homeowners of the community.”

MAC LAB conservators setting straps to lift stern post and aft portion of keel. (Photo credit: EYA, LLC)

EYA-contracted Thunderbird Archeology, a division of Wetlands Studies and Solutions, Inc., oversaw the removal in coordination with City of Alexandria staff and the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Lab.

Remnants from the starboard side of the ship from bow to stern include the keelson, framing, hull planking, sacrificial planking and keel.  It measures about 43-feet in length, but would have been longer if other portions of the bow and stern were present. (Photo credit: EYA, LLC)

The boat’s frame, which exhibits evidence of hand-hewn axe and handsaw marks, was purposely dismantled years ago to create new land as the waterfront shoreline was in-filled and expanded eastward into the Potomac River shortly after the town of Alexandria was established. It was integrated into a bulkhead wharf system, which consisted of stacked and interlocked long timbers designed to retain the newly made land.

When complete, the new Robinson Landing development it will feature 26 neighborhood town homes, 70 condominiums, retail, and a restaurant with indoor/outdoor seating on the Potomac River waterfront.  The renovated Robinson Landing pier will include floating docks, areas for public seating and entertainment, and an outdoor lounge.

Brick facades have been completed and interior work continues on the first townhomes that will deliver in the fall. The condominium buildings are on schedule for a winter 2019/2020 completion. EYA Marketing, LLC is the sales agent for the project. For more information, visit

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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