The excavators and archaeologists involved in the marine project to unearth the artefacts of the legendary pirate Blackbeard received a huge and bolstering success this week. A 900-kg cannon used in the pirate’s flagship Queen Anne’s Revenge was found in the site of the shipwreck in Beaufort, North Carolina on the 27th October.
Named C13, the cannon measures eight feet in length and is covered with sand, barnacles and other grit accumulated over the period of countless years. Extensive research and studies – extending to around three to five years – will be carried out on the cannon in the East Carolina University (ECU) in the coming days.
These studies will encompass both, the cannon as well the covering surrounding its exterior. At present, the cannon is being exhibited in the North Carolinian Maritime Museum in Beaufort where enthusiasts and fans are thronging to get a glimpse of an artefact belonging to the infamous shipman.
The marine project, which shares its name with the flagship has been in operation since the past 14 years and so far has managed to excavate almost 3, 00,000 objects from the pirate vessel. These artefacts discovered include gold particles, 12 other cannons, other small-scaled arsenal, fetters, medicines and jewellery typical to the African community of that era.
The ship was originally a French vessel known as the Le Concorde and was used a vessel for trading slaves. Blackbeard is well-known for capturing it and renaming it as Queen Anne’s Revenge, making her his flagship. This is why the fetters found as a part of the wreck of the vessel bear a very huge relevance about the ship’s original utility and purpose as a slave trading ship.
Operated in collaboration with the ECU, the Cultural Resources and Environmental and Natural Resources’ Department and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, the Queen Anne’s Revenge project is regarded to be one of the hugest marine excavation projects being conducted in today’s times. The project operators used the North Carolinian piscaries’ RV (Research Vehicle) Shell Point in order to carry out the operations for the cannon excavation.
Bad weather conditions caused an unprecedented delay in the excavation operations but ultimately the cannon unearthing was carried out successfully. Post the success of this discovery, the project operators are highly optimistic of further such discoveries being made and the allegory of the dreaded pirate and his vessel being solved quite substantially.