Alexandria, a Virginia city settled on the Potomac River, is known for its old town history that continues to unfold.

Earlier this year, archaeologists discovered three historic ships in the sparkling Alexandria waterfront. The city is working with a team of experts to research and excavate these exciting pieces of history. 

“I love being out on a beautiful day like this one, seeing history come out of the ground and contribute to our understanding of early Alexandrians and particularly our maritime history,” said archaeologist Eleanor Breen. “This is portside Alexandria archaeology. We are illuminating the past.”

A team of contract archeologists are carefully documenting the ship’s remains using traditional and 3-D documentation techniques and dismantling the ship’s timbers. One of their most unique discoveries was a piece of 18th century food — a ship biscuit.

“Alexandria’s industry, early one, was bakeries,” said Breen. “Making these ship biscuits… provided sailors sustenance.”

Experts tell us these ships are thought to have been used by late 18th and 19th century Alexandria residents for part of the process of filling in the Potomac River’s shoreline.

About 100,000 artifacts and stories are still waiting to be uncovered.