Pirate cannon leaves its watery grave
WILMINGTON, N.C. — Archaeologists have raised another cannon from the sunken wreck of pirate Blackbeard’s legendary ship off the coast of North Carolina.
The 8-foot cannon, which had rested at the bottom of Beaufort Inlet since the ship Queen Anne’s Revenge sank in 1718, was covered in a cementlike shell of sand, salt and sea life.
“It’s like Christmas,” project director Mark Wilde-ramsing said in a statement last week.
Blackbeard, whose real name was widely believed to be Edward Teach or Thatch and who had a residence in North Carolina, captured a French slave ship in 1717 and renamed it Queen Anne’s Revenge.
He was killed by volunteers from the British Royal Navy in November 1718, five months after the ship believed to be Queen Anne’s Revenge sank.
Researchers have spent the fall recovering artifacts from the shipwreck site, located in 1996 by Florida-based Intersal Inc.
The state’s Department of Cultural Resources said the expedi- tion had already retrieved a number of artifacts, including shackles, a crystal wine glass fragment and various items associated with the ship’s rigging.
In all, 12 cannons have been lifted and recovered through a cleaning process that can take up to five years.
“Four cannons were all found to be loaded, with cannon shot and wads in place ready to be fired,” the project’s chief conservator, Sarah Watkins-kenney, said.