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Texas A&M Professor hosting virtual lecture this month on buried ship findings

Five years after buried ship timbers in Old Town were shipped off to Texas A&M for study, the director of that research team is hosting a virtual lecture to discuss their findings.

Christopher Dostal is the Director of the Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation and the Director of the Analytical Archaeology Laboratory that scanned four 18th century ships dug up in Old Town.

“To study them, each ship was disarticulated and the individual timbers were laser scanned, allowing researchers to virtually reassemble the ships and develop theoretical reconstructions of how they would have looked when they were in use,” the City of Alexandria said in a release. “These highly accurate digital timber models were 3D printed and assembled by a master ship model maker, further informing these reconstructions.”

The process of dendrochronology — the study of dating tree rings that can help identify information about timber — has already provided some insight into the storied lives of these ships.

Now, the fleet is scattered once more. The ship found at the Hotel Indigo site was sent off to Texas A&M for conservation work. The other three ships found at the Robinson Landing site were re-sunk at a pond in Ben Brenman Park earlier this year.

The release said the lecture will discuss the latest findings from efforts to digitally reconstruct the four ships.

The lecture if scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 26, from 7-8 p.m. The lecture is free, but registration is required.

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