Construction workers in Boston have stumbled upon a 19th-century shipwreck, an unusual find—at least on land. Apparently it was buried more than a century ago as the city filled in swampy areas to create more real estate.

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Boston.com reports on the find in the Seaport District:

Boston’s archeologist, Joe Bagley, said so far he and his colleagues, who were called to the scene, have determined, based on the ship’s nails, that the vessel is from the mid-to-late 19th century. The area where the ship was found used to be called Dorchester Flats and was made up of mudflats, he said. It was filled in 1880 to create more buildable land, so the shipwreck must have occurred before then.

According to Bagley, the ship was carrying barrels of lime, possibly brought from Maine for “use in mixing concrete and paper making.” “It’s not terribly old, but it’s part of the maritime history of Boston either way,” he said.

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It’s just not feasible to relocate the fragile remains of the ship, so archeologists are working quickly to document as much as they can, before it’s removed or buried once more beneath concrete (though they’re hoping to preserve pieces). But Bagley thanked the construction company for getting in touch and giving them the chance to record as much as possible.


Photo via AP Images.