More than 14 months of archaeological investigation and preservation is concluding at Old Town Alexandria’s Robinson Landing as construction continues on the residential community. An estimated 100,000 artifacts have been recovered at the site, including portions of three 18th century sailing vessels.
Thunderbird Archeology, a firm hired by EYA-affiliated companies, is uncovering, curating and documenting artifacts. The companies plan to donate all the discoveries to the City of Alexandria.
“Working in Alexandria for more than 20 years, we recognize and respect the rich history of the city and the importance of preserving discoveries of this kind,” Evan Goldman of EYA, LLC said. “We’re committed to this unprecedented effort to protect the archeological history of Old Town. The results have gone well beyond what we expected, and we are thrilled by the significance of the findings and their unique ability to preserve the legacy of the city for years to come.”
Acting Alexandria City Archaelogist Eleanor Breen says the discoveries are gaining international attention.
“The combination of Revolutionary War-era ships, early building foundations, and thousands of other artifacts makes Robinson Landing one of the most archaeologically significant sites in Virginia,” she said.
Discovered in March, the ship fragments include intact timbers and partial hulls that are being excavated and gifted to the City for future preservation.
According to Thunderbird’s archeologists, additional finds have included:
- Artifacts from numerous late 18th/early 19th century foundations that will help historians gain a better view of the residential and commercial use of the waterfront property.
- Foundations of several important industrial buildings, including a circa 1783 warehouse constructed by Robert Townsend Hooe (former mayor of Alexandria) and the circa 1854 Pioneer Mills, a large flour mill.
- Foreign coins demonstrating the city’s important role in trade throughout the world.
“Robinson Landing has made all of this possible,” Goldman said. “Without its development, this history would remain buried and lost. It’s giving historians a much better understanding of the birth of Alexandria and its early residential and industrial past along the waterfront.”
When complete, Robinson Landing will feature 26 neighborhood townhomes, 70 condominiums, retail, a restaurant with indoor/outdoor seating on the Potomac River waterfront and more. The renovated Robinson Landing pier will include floating docks, areas for public seating and entertainment, and an outdoor lounge.
The community’s first townhomes will deliver later this year with the condominium buildings on schedule for a winter 2019/2020 completion. For more information or to preview one of Robinson Landing's townhomes or conduminiums, please visit the website at RobinsonLanding.com.
Robinson Landing is a joint venture among EYA-affiliated companies; JBG Fund IX, a private fund managed by JBG SMITH Properties; and Mitsui Fudosan America (MFA).
This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/three-250-year-old-ships-discovered-at-robinson-landing/13839.
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