Pi­rate can­non leaves its wa­tery grave

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - NEWS -

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.

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