Archaeologists Stumble Upon Pirate Shipwreck

| by Sheena Vasani
Anchor from the Queen Anne's RevengeAnchor from the Queen Anne's Revenge

Experts discovered the largest artifact yet from one of North Carolina's oldest shipwrecks -- the national treasure and infamous pirate ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge.

Archeologists stumbled upon the ship's 3,000-pound anchor and raised it onto land after spending nearly 300 years below sea, Cleveland reports.

According to the Queen Anne's Revenge Project website, the shipwreck was discovered in 1996.

“Several diagnostic artifacts were recovered from the site, designated North Carolina shipwreck site 31CR314, including a bronze bell dated 1705, a sounding weight, an English blunderbuss barrel, a lead cannon apron and two cannonballs,” the website explains. “These early 18th century artifacts, nine cannon tubes, and two large anchors led the discoverers to conclude that this was the wreckage of the pirate Blackbeard’s flagship, Queen Anne’s Revenge."

Since then, officials have been trying to locate as many of the ship’s artifacts as they can.

“Since the start of the Queen Anne's Revenge shipwreck project in 1996, tens of thousands of artifacts have been recovered,” the website reads, adding that the items discovered range from ship materials to scientific and medical instruments.

“By studying the artifacts, [archeologists] are beginning to gain valuable insight into the period's naval technology, colonial provisioning, the slave trade, shipboard life and the material culture of piracy,” they add.

Queen Anne’s Revenge was a French slave ship that was taken over by the pirate known as "Blackbeard," who is believed to be Englishman Edward Teach. He is said to have captured the ship in 1717 and grounded it in 1718.

Teach was killed one year later in a battle. Some estimate he may have only spent eighteen months as a pirate.

Yet these are mere rumors. Despite the fact he is considered one of history’s most infamous pirates, Teach’s name and background remains a mystery to experts.

"Because pirates tended to adopt one or more fictitious surnames while engaging in piracy, there is no absolute certainty of Blackbeard's real surname,” NCPedia said.

Still, most assume his last name was either Teach or Thatch.

Rumors about his life still abound, with many saying the man had fourteen brides.

In addition, he reportedly served during Queen Anne's War (1701 - 1714), becoming a pirate once the conflict ended.

Sources: ClevelandQueen Anne’s Revenge Website / Photo credit: Robert Willett, Raleigh News & Observer via Cleveland

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