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Construction crews discover historic ship at site of new Alexandria hotel

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. --  People living in Alexandria are buzzing about a surprising find at a construction site. Part of a ship, believed to be from the 1800s, was uncovered Tuesday afternoon as construction crews started working on a new hotel. Hundreds of people rushed to get a glimpse at a piece of history, as archaeologist worked to document the discovery.

"I thought what a great opportunity to see an archaeological dig in process so close."  said Bev Howard as she watched crews sweep and brush away the dirt.

The artifact is roughly 50-feel long, according to archaeologist Francine Bromberg. She said it may only be about one-third of the vessel's hull.

"The founders of the city had incredible aspirations to become an international port," Bromberg added.

Workers who found the ship were working on the new Hotel Indigo at 220 South Union Street in Old Town. While they don't know yet what the ship was used for, they do think it could've been used for military purposes.

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

Bromberg said once they removed the wood, they planned to keep the new find in a wet environment to preserve it.