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Archaeologists discover part of a vessel on construction site in Alexandria

Construction workers began digging for a new hotel in Alexandria when they found what archaeologists believe is part of a vessel (ABC7).

Dozens of people came out to a construction site in Old Town Alexandria on Tuesday morning to get a glimpse of a piece of history as archaeologists meticulously worked to document what was uncovered.

"It will be interesting to see what becomes of it," said Bev Howard.

"It is a treasure to us," said Francine Bromberg, the city's archaeologist. "There is no way to put this into words how excited we are to get this find on the waterfront."

The nearly 50-foot-long remains of the hull were discovered after construction workers started working on the new Indigo Hotel at 220 South Union Street. Bromberg believes it's only about 1/3 of the hull of a vessel.

"This may be the first archaeological example of this kind so from the point of view of understanding ship building practices in the past, this is an extremely important find," she said.

She says they believe the ship was dismantled in the late eighteenth century and used as the framework to artificially extend the waterfront to the deeper part of the Potomac River.

"It gives us so much insight into the early years of the city," she said. "The founders of the city had incredible aspirations to become an international port."

While she says they still don't exactly what the ship was used for they do think it could've been used for military purposes.

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