Construction Workers Unearth Centuries-Old Ship in Virginia
History has come alive at a construction site in Alexandria, Virginia. Workers in the Old Town section of the city have discovered a ship dating back to the 1700s. The large, heavy ship seems to date between 1775 and 1798, which is not surprising considering Old Town is an area with a rich Revolutionary past, including several cobblestone streets and buildings that date back to around the same time. The city is in the midst of major development along the Potomac River, and the site where the ship was found is scheduled to become the 120-room boutique Hotel Indigo.
Due to the historic nature of the area, the builders of the new hotel were required by Old Town to have an archaeology firm on hand. Dan Baicy, the field director for Thunderbird Archeology, told The Washington Post that the ship was so well-preserved because it was protected from elements that would normally cause decay. Baicy added that this discovery is extremely rare. “This almost never happens. In 15 years that I’ve done this work, I’ve never run into this kind of preservation in an urban environment where there’s so much disturbance,” said Baicy. The bow of the ship was discovered first, followed by a large 50-feet long portion of the hull. The ship is being taken apart piece by piece to carefully store until there’s room in a preservation lab. Fans of history can be glad that construction workers didn’t miss the boat on this discovery.
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