Project researchers offer update on QAR expedition
By Jannette Pippin - Enc Today
A large concretion-covered artifact pulled this week from the shipwreck site of the presumed Queen Anne’s Revenge is the latest piece of evidence of the life of Blackbeard the pirate.
A six-week dive expedition is underway to recover artifacts from the wreck believed to be Blackbeard’s flagship, and N.C. Maritime Museums Director Joseph Schwarzer said each artifact raised by underwater archaeologists verifies what was once only legend.
“Because of their efforts we’re given a group of tangible facts about Queen Anne’s Revenge and about Blackbeard,” he said.
During a news conference held Friday to provide an update on the dive expedition, Maritime Museum officials announced plans for a major QAR exhibit to open at the Beaufort facility in June 2011.
“In the near future you’ll see major shifting taking place at the museum,” said N.C. Maritime Museums Exhibit Curator Mike Carraway.
The Maritime Museum is the official repository for QAR artifacts; and as the items come out of the conservation process, the goal is to present them and the history of Blackbeard and the QAR to the public.
Long-term plans call for the opening of a QAR exhibit at the museum’s Gallants Channel annex in 2018, the 300th anniversary of the sinking of the Queen Anne’s Revenge.
“This truly is a national treasure that belongs to North Carolina,” Schwarzer said.
But after 300 years on the ocean floor, the QAR artifacts don’t emerge from the water looking shiny and new.
The largest artifact to be raised during this dive was brought in for display before being moved to the QAR conservation lab in Greenville.