Friday, October 08, 2004


Divers uncover cannon from wreck of possible Blackbeard ship


Winston-Salem Journal

BEAUFORT, N.C. - Underwater archaeologists have found another cannon from the wreckage of what they believe was the flagship of the notorious pirate Blackbeard.

Historical records indicate Blackbeard had 40 guns on the French frigate he captured in 1717 and renamed Queen Anne's Revenge. Since 1996, when the wreckage of the ship was discovered in Beaufort Inlet, divers have found 22 on the site.

"We're pretty positive that we have cannon number 23," said QAR Project Archaeologist Chris Southerly.
It is a large cannon that probably shot a 6-pound or 8-pound ball, Southerly said. Divers uncovered the cannon while excavating an area of the shipwreck's northwest side where they had not previously dug.

In addition to the cannon, divers found a concretion with chain.

"It's probably part of the chain plate and the rigging for keeping the mast up," Southerly said.

They also found part of the mast rigging, and a 9- to 10-inch diameter cast iron kettle.

The dig, which began Monday, was actually a second priority for the divers, whose main goal was to survey the shipwreck site for storm damage.

Divers did find several scoured areas, likely the result of recent hurricanes, Southerly said.

The storms uncovered ballast stones and large concretions that had been buried, but nothing appeared to require emergency recovery, he said.

"What's there is going to be relatively stable," he said.

No further excavation was planned for the expedition, which ends Friday.

Associated Press

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