Ship remains found buried blocks from Seaport seawall

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BOSTON Crews working a construction site in South Boston’s Seaport District stumbled upon the remains of an 1800s cargo ship, according to a WBZ-TV report.

The city’s official archaeologist, Joe Bagley, told the station that it is the largest “shipwreck” to be found in an area that had been filled in as the city expanded. The site is two blocks from the harbor near the Institute of Contemporary Art.

The remains of the vessel, believed to date back to the mid-to-late-1800s, were discovered 25 feet below ground level last week as workers prepared the site at 121 Seaport Boulevard for a planned 400,000-square foot office building.

Bagley determined that the wooden sailing ship had been carrying barrels of lime, commonly used for masonry and construction work in the 19th century, WBZ-AM radio said. Bagley said it appeared that part of the ship had burned, theorizing that it was purposely torched to reduce its weight after it sank in the mud of what was once called Dorchester Flats. The marshland has since been filled in.

WBZ reported that Skanska, the construction company in charge of the building job, agreed to temporarily halt work to give archaeologists a chance to examine the find.