Although many in Eastern North Carolina suffered as a result of Hurricane Irene and there was significant damage and loss of trees in the area, some good news did come from post-hurricane inspections: The wreck of Blackbeard’s flagship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge, remained intact and without significant disruption as a result of the swirling waters and heavy winds.
That’s very good news for the marine archaeologists, lab personnel, divers and other team members involved in excavating the ship’s ruins, which were discovered on the ocean floor off Carteret County about 15 years ago.
Because the pirate’s ship has remained in its home on the bottom of the ocean for nearly 300 years, the site is both unprotected from the whims of nature and delicate by virtue of its antiquity.
Since discovery of the vessel, archaeologists attached to the project have worked feverishly to prevent additional damage to the artifacts associated with the ship. A hurricane coming ashore so close to the wreck was not fortuitous.
Archaeologists say they were worried about additional “scour” to the ship and its contents. Scour is a term that describes protective layers of sand washing away and exposing artifacts.
However, preliminary examinations of the site left the excavation team feeling optimistic about the project’s future and that’s a good thing, both from historical and economic perspectives.
Blackbeard, or Edward Teach, was an English-born pirate who worked the East Coast of the U.S., as well as nearby islands.
Although reports say he rarely (if ever) put to death those upon which he preyed, historians also admit there would be few (if any) witnesses to testify to those fatalities, if they had taken place.