Cannon and other artifacts from Blackbeard’s pirate ship

Conservators Sarah Watkins-Kenney and Wendy Welsh clean one of the cannons recovered from Blackbeard's ship, Queen Anne's Revenge

From The Raleigh Telegram

Recovered artifacts from the Queen Anne’s Revenge, the sunken ship of famous pirate Blackbeard’s sunken ship, will be on display and open to the public next month.

Items that will be part of the open house will include a 12 foot anchor and a ship’s cannon that is over eight feet long.

The Queen Anne’s Revenge Conservation Lab at East Carolina University in Greenville will host an open house on Saturday, April 21st, from 11am to 3pm as underwater archaeologists will demonstrate the process of taking artifacts from ocean floor to museum door.

Queen Anne’s Revenge is Blackbeard’s flagship that ran aground near Beaufort, North Carolina in 1718 and was abandoned by the pirate. Some have speculated that the fearsome and cunning pirate intentionally beached his ship to divide up the crew, giving him a larger share of any treasure.

The discovery of the ship has been a major find in North Carolina and is viewed by many as one of the most intriguing under water archaeology discoveries on the eastern seaboard.

Since 1997, the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources’ Underwater Archaeology Branch has led research at the shipwreck site and plans full recovery of the artifacts at the site by 2013. According to the branch, to date more than 280,000 artifacts have been recovered.

At the open house, cannons, anchors, ballast stones, and other recovered artifacts housed at the lab will be presented in various stages of conservation.

“Through hands-on demonstrations, archaeologists, conservators and other scientists will explain their work,” says the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.

“Visitors will be able to learn first-hand as they look down a microscope at some of the smallest artifacts, determine how much a ballast stone weighs, guess the weight of the largest artifact, see x-rays of objects encased in a cement-like shell during the early stages of conservation, and much more.”

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