Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory - Virginia


Alexandria Shipwreck

Alexandria Shipwreck and Wharf, 220 South Union Street, Alexandria, Virginia (38.802157, -77.040313))

Felling Dates: Shipwreck TimbersAfter 1741

Felling Dates: Wharf TimbersWinter 1773/4

A) Floors (0/2); Frames (3/9) 1726 (15NM), 1712 (24NM), 1704 (12NM). Site Master 1603-1726 (oak) ALEXx1 (t = 6.96 OCP; 6.40 WACHU; 6.16 OGC).

B) Posts (3/3) 1773 (C), 1753 (6NM), 1726. Site master 1638-1773 (oak) ALEXx2 (t = 6.66 MTVx1; 6.64 DC-AREA2; 6.48 EYREHALL).

Archaeological excavations carried out prior to the construction of a hotel in downtown Alexandria, Virginia, revealed the remains of a shipwreck and a nearby wharf in 2015. A dendrochronological study was undertaken in an attempt to date the primary construction phase of each structure. It was also hoped that dendro-provenancing might be able to determine where the ship was originally built.

Dendrochronological analysis has shown that the ship was built from timbers that were grown in Massachusetts. One of the timbers used to construct the ship produced a felled-after date of 1741, indicating that the ship was constructed sometime after this date. One of the posts used to construct the wharf was felled in the winter of 1773/4, suggesting that the wharf was built at this time or sometime after this date.


Worthington and Seiter 2016 The Tree-Ring Dating of the Alexandria Shipwreck and Wharf, Alexandria, Virginia Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory 2016/12.

Link to the City of Alexandria - Archaeology at the Hotel Indigo Site here




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Contact Information

Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory

Michael Worthington
Jane Seiter, Ph.D

25 E. Montgomery St.
Baltimore, MD 21230