City of Alexandria Announces New Archaeological Discovery of Remains of Two Historic Ships

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City of Alexandria Announces New Archaeological Discovery of Remains of Two Historic Ships

For Immediate Release: March 19, 2018

HistoricShipsThe City of Alexandria has announced 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.

For more information about Alexandria Archaeology, visit

For media inquiries, contact Melissa Riddy, Senior Communications Officer, at or 703.746.3961.

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This news release is available at