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BLACKBEARD - Recovering "Queen Anne's Revenge"

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Author Topic: BLACKBEARD - Recovering "Queen Anne's Revenge"  (Read 8549 times)
Bianca
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« on: December 08, 2008, 12:10:14 pm »



BLACKBEARD
1734 Engraving








                                             E D W A R D   T E A C H


                                          c. 1680 - November 22, 1718






Nickname:

Blackbeard



Type:

Pirate



Place of birth:

Bristol, England



Place of death:

Ocracoke,
Province of Carolina



Allegiance:

None



Years of service:

1712 – 1718



Rank:
Captain



Base of Operations:

Atlantic



Commands:

Queen Anne's Revenge
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Bianca
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« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2008, 12:20:12 pm »



QUEEN ANNE'S REVENGE








Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, was a notorious English pirate in the Caribbean Sea and western Atlantic during the early 18th century, a period referred to as the Golden Age of Piracy.

His best known vessel was the Queen Anne's Revenge, which is believed to have run aground near Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina in 1718.

Blackbeard often fought, or simply showed himself, wearing a big feathered tricorn, and having multiple swords, knives, and pistols at his disposal. It was reported in A General Historie of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pyrates that he had hemp and lit matches woven into his enormous black beard during battle to intimidate his enemies.

Blackbeard is often regarded as the archetypal image of the seafaring pirate.
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« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2008, 12:25:34 pm »










Nothing is known about Blackbeard's early life.

While his real name is usually given as "Edward Teach," most primary source documents actually record it as "Edward Thatch" (or spelling variations thereof), including letters written by those who knew the pirate.

Some sources claim "Edward Drummond".

Most think Blackbeard was born in Bristol, but other documentation suggests that he was from either London, Jamaica, Philadelphia, or Accomack County, Virginia.

Edward went to sea at an early age. He served on a British ship in the War of the Spanish Succession which also included Queen Anne's War, privateering in the Spanish West Indies and along the Spanish Main.

After Britain withdrew from the war in 1713, Teach, like many other privateers, turned to piracy. He got his first taste of piracy from the pirate Benjamin Hornigold, who was based out of Jamaica.

When Hornigold decided to retire from piracy after King George I offered the two pardons, Blackbeard refused the pardon.

Blackbeard took over one of Hornigold's recently captured ships, French slave-ship named Le Concorde. He renamed it Queen Anne's Revenge; the 300-ton vessel was built by Britain in 1710. It was re-captured by the French a year later, upgraded with the latest technology and increased storage space, and renamed for a third time, again as "Le Concorde". Some think that the name was a tribute to the war where he got his first taste of piracy, Queen Anne's War. Queen Anne's Revenge was armed with 40 guns and used to conduct Blackbeard's most significant campaigns from 1717 through 1718.
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« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2008, 12:27:39 pm »










According to Charles Johnson, Blackbeard fought a running duel with the British thirty-gun man-of-war HMS Scarborough, which added to his notoriety. However, historian David Cordingly has noted that the Scarborough's log has no mention of any such battle.

Blackbeard would plunder merchant ships, forcing them to allow his crew to board their ship. The pirates would seize all of the valuables, food, liquor, and weapons. Despite his ferocious reputation, there are no verified accounts of him actually killing anyone.  He deliberately cultivated his barbaric reputation, and so could prevail by terror alone.

However, colorful legends and vivid contemporary newspaper portrayals had him committing acts of cruelty and terror. One tale claims he shot his own first mate, saying "if he didn’t shoot one or two crewmen now and then, they’d forget who he was." Another legend is that having had too much to drink, he said to his crew, "Come, let us make a hell of our own, and try how long we can bear it." Going into the ship's hold, they closed the hatches, filled several pots with brimstone and set it on fire. Soon the men were coughing and gasping for air from the sulphurous fumes. All except Blackbeard scrambled out for fresh air. When Blackbeard emerged, he snarled, "Damn ye, ye yellow-bellied sapsuckers! I'm a better man than all ye milksops put together!"

According to Captain Charles Johnson's A General History of the Robberies & Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates:



“ Before he sailed upon his adventures, he married a young creature of about sixteen years of age . . . and
this I have been informed, made Teach's fourteenth wife . . . with whom after he had lain all night, it was his custom to invite five or six of his brutal companions to come ashore, and he would force her to prostitute herself to them all, one after another, before his face. ”



Teach had headquarters in both the Bahamas and the Carolinas as well as Sonoma. He lived on the island of Nassau where he was named the magistrate of the "Privateers Republic". Legends circulate that Governor Charles Eden of North Carolina received booty from Teach in return for unofficial protection. (Eden would eventually offer Teach an official pardon.) Teach left Nassau to avoid meeting with Royal Governor Woodes Rogers, unlike the majority of the pirate inhabitants who welcomed the governor and accepted the royal pardons he brought.
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« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2008, 12:32:52 pm »










Blackbeard's chief claim to fame is his blockade of Charleston, South Carolina. In approximately late May 1718, Blackbeard entered the mouth of Charleston harbour with the Queen Anne's Revenge and three lighter vessels. He plundered five merchant freighters attempting to enter or leave the port. No other vessels could transit the harbour for fear of encountering the pirate squadron.

Aboard one of the ships that Blackbeard captured in the harbor mouth was a group of prominent Charleston citizens, including Samuel Wragg. Blackbeard held these hostages for ransom, making an unusual demand: a chest of medicines. He sent a deputation ashore to negotiate this ransom. Due partly to his envoys' preference for carousing rather than bargaining, the ransom took some days to be delivered, and Blackbeard evidently came close to murdering his prisoners.

Eventually, the medicines were turned over, and Blackbeard released the hostages, without their clothing, but otherwise unharmed. Blackbeard's whole squadron then escaped northward.

Shortly afterward, Blackbeard ran two of his vessels aground at Topsail Inlet (now Beaufort Inlet), including the Queen Anne's Revenge, and the ship Adventure when trying to 'save' the grounded ship.

He has been accused by many, including his own crew, of doing this deliberately in order to downsize his crew and increase his own share of the treasure. Deliberate or not, he stripped three of the ships of all treasure, beached or marooned most of his crew, and went to Bath, North Carolina, where he finally accepted a pardon under the royal Act of Grace.

He then went off to Ocracoke Inlet in the last of his four vessels to enjoy his loot.
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« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2008, 12:34:11 pm »



Blackbeard and Lieutenant Maynard











Having accepted a pardon, Teach had apparently retired from piracy.

Nevertheless, Governor Alexander Spotswood of Virginia became concerned that the notorious freebooter lived nearby. Spotswood decided to eliminate Blackbeard, even though he lived outside of Spotswood's jurisdiction.

 
Blackbeard operated in many coastal waters; it was difficult for ships of the line to engage him in battle. Two smaller hired sloops were therefore put under the command of Lieutenant Robert Maynard, with instructions from Spotswood to hunt down and destroy Blackbeard, offering a reward of £100, and smaller sums for the lesser crew members.

Maynard sailed from James River on November 11, 1718, in command of thirty men from HMS Pearl, and twenty-five men and a midshipman of HMS Lyme, and in command of the hired sloops, the Ranger and Jane (temporarily commissioned as His Majesty's Ships to avoid accusations of piracy themselves). Maynard found the pirates anchored in a North Carolina inlet on the inner side of Ocracoke Island, on the evening of November 21.

Maynard and his men decided to wait until the following morning because the tide would be more favourable. Blackbeard's Adventure had a crew of only nineteen,

"Thirteen crackers and six Negroes", as reported to the Admiralty.

A small boat was sent ahead at daybreak, was fired upon, and quickly retreated. Blackbeard's superior knowledge of the inlet was of much help, although he and his crew had been drinking in his cabin the night prior. Throughout the night Blackbeard waited for Maynard to make his move. Blackbeard cut his anchor cable and quickly attempted to move towards a narrow channel. Maynard made chase; however his sloops ran aground, and there was a shouted exchange between captains.

Maynard's account says,



"At our first salutation, he drank Damnation to me and my Men, whom he stil'd Cowardly Puppies, saying, He would neither give nor take Quarter",



although many different versions of the dialogue exist.

Eventually, Maynard's sloops were able to float freely again, and he began to row towards Blackbeard, since the wind was not strong enough at the time for setting sail. When they came upon Blackbeard's Adventure, they were hit with a devastating broadside attack. Midshipman Hyde, captain of the smaller HMS Jane, was killed along with six other men. Ten men were also wounded in the surprise attack. The sloop fell astern and was little help in the following action.

Maynard continued his pursuit in HMS Ranger, managing to blast the Adventure's rigging, forcing it ashore. Maynard ordered many of his crew into the holds and readied to be boarded. As his ship approached, Blackbeard saw the mostly empty decks, assumed it was safe to board, and did so with ten men. Blackbeard's assault was preceded by several grenades made by filling rum bottles with gunpowder. Broken glass swept the deck and gunpowder smoke obscured Maynard's view of Blackbeard's boarders.

 
Maynard's men emerged, and the battle began. The most complete account of the following events comes from the Boston News-Letter:



“ Maynard and Teach themselves begun the fight with their swords, Maynard making a thrust, the point of his sword against Teach's cartridge box, and bent it to the hilt. Teach broke the guard of it, and wounded Maynard's fingers but did not disable him, whereupon he jumped back and threw away his sword and fired his pistol which wounded Teach. Demelt struck in between them with his sword and cut Teach's face; in the interim both companies engaged in Maynard's sloop. Later during the battle, while Teach was loading his pistol he finally died from blood loss. Maynard then cut off his head and hung it from his bow. ”



Despite the best efforts of the pirates (including a desperate plan to blow up the Adventure), Teach was killed, and the battle ended. Teach was reportedly shot five times and stabbed more than twenty times before he died and was decapitated.

Legends about his death immediately sprang up, including the oft-repeated claim that Teach's headless body, after being thrown overboard, swam between 2 and 7 times around the Adventure before sinking.

Teach's head was placed as a trophy on the bowsprit of the ship (it was also required by Maynard to claim his prize when he returned home).

After the sheer terror of the battle with the pirates, and the wounds that the crew received, Maynard still only acquired his meager prize of £100 from Spotswood.

Teach's head was placed on a pike or pole on the north shore of the Hampton River in Virginia, at a place now called Teach's Point, as a warning to other sailors who thought of taking up a life of piracy.
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« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2008, 12:44:56 pm »









History has romanticised Blackbeard.

Popular contemporary engravings show him with the smoking ends of his pigtails or with lit cannon fuses in his hair and pistols in his bandoliers, and he has been the subject of books, movies, and documentaries.

There is a Blackbeard Festival in Hampton, Virginia every year and the crew of the modern day British warship HMS Ranger commemorate his defeat at the annual Sussex University Royal Naval Unit Blackbeard Night mess dinner in November.

Another legend in coastal North Carolina holds that Captain Teach's skull was used as the basis for a silver drinking chalice. A North Carolina judge claimed to have drunk from it one night in the 1930s at a closed dinner with a university student. (Blackbeard's Cup and Stories of the Outer Banks by Charles Harry Whedbee.)

Teach was prone to burying treasure. He would allegedly take a treasure chest ashore with one sailor in a small boat, and return alone. The sailor's corpse was said to lie atop the chest in the excavation to discourage the squeamish from continuing the treasure hunt.  In times as difficult as the American Revolution, it was common for the credulous to dig along the beaches in search of hidden treasure.



A wreck believed to be Blackbeard's Queen Ann's Revenge was discovered near Beaufort,

North Carolina in 1996 and is now part of a major tourist attraction.



Blackbeard was thought to have fourteen "wives" throughout his life, living on various islands, as well as a wife and son in England.



In 1723, the book 'A General Historie of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pyrates' was released by a Captain Charles Johnson, often attributed to Daniel Defoe.

This book describes the adventures of various pirates besides Edward Teach: e.g. Anne Bonny and Mary Read. The General Historie's descriptions, which have found their way into serious history-writing, are a mixture of historical evidence and fiction woven together in a way so complex that it is nearly impossible to divide them again. Even Defoe's authorship cannot be proved without doubt.

The problem appears especially in the case of Edward Teach's life and appearance. The description of the burning matches in his beard is in a literary style that uses dramatic descriptions to make a person more interesting—a style closely connected to Defoe, the author of Robinson Crusoe.

Also the earlier mentioned battle with HMS Scarborough lacks evidence in the warship's log. Other incidents, e.g. the blockade of Charleston, South Carolina, appear in other sources.



Retrieved from:
wikipedia.org
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« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2008, 12:46:42 pm »

   
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« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2008, 01:02:09 pm »

         




                   








                                 Management Plan for North Carolina Shipwreck 31CR314,


                                                      Queen Anne's Revenge


                                                               May 1999

                                     North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources
                                                 Division of Archives and History
                                                 Underwater Archaeology Branch





PREFACE


On November 21, 1996, the private company Intersal Inc. located a shipwreck near Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina. The site dates to the early eighteenth century, making it the oldest recorded shipwreck in North Carolina. Since its discovery, researchers have attempted to determine whether it is the remains of a vessel lost in the inlet in 1718 by the pirate captain Edward Thatch, better known as Blackbeard. Mounting physical evidence and the absence of another shipwreck candidate provide strong support that this shipwreck is Blackbeard's flagship Queen Anne's Revenge. While a definitive artifact has not been located directly tying the shipwreck remains to the historic vessel or its piratical crew refer to the site as Queen Anne's Revenge throughout the following pages.

This management summary is an excerpt from the Management Plan for North Carolina Shipwreck 31CR314 [Formerly 0003BUI], Queen Anne's Revenge, written under the supervision of project director Mark Wilde-Ramsing of the North Carolina Underwater Archaeology Unit.

"It looks as if the graveyard of the Atlantic yielded one of the most exciting and historically significant discoveries ever located along our coast. The state of North Carolina is working to protect the site and will do everything we can to that end. We look forward to the day when all North Carolinians can see these exciting artifacts for themselves."

-Governor James B. Hunt announcing the discovery of what is believed to be Queen Anne's Revenge, at a press conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, March 3, 1997.
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« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2008, 01:13:12 pm »









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


The formulation of this shipwreck management plan required the contributions of numerous individuals both directly and indirectly involved in the Queen Anne's Revenge project. The author's sincere thanks go first to Richard W. Lawrence, director of the North Carolina Underwater Archaeology Unit, whose ideas and guidance are crucial to the project. David D. Moore has provided much of the historical background for Blackbeard, Concorde, and Queen Anne's Revenge. Nathan C. Henry worked extensively on the conservation facility proposal. David D. Moore and Bernard C. Case provided the illustrations and line drawings used throughout the plan. Barbara L. Brooks, Steve Claggett, and Bob Topkins provided their editorial skills.

Although space does not premit the acknowledgement of every individual involved in the site assessment phase, we would like to thank Julep Gillman-Bryan, Gerry Compeau, and the others who served as boat captains and dive safety officer, and guided us carefully through the field activities without a serious incident. We would also like to acknowledge the contribution in time, personnel, and equipment by Phil Masters and Intersal Inc., Mike Daniel and Maritime Research Institute, Dr. George Shannon and the fine staff of the North Carolina Maritime Museum, and their support group Friends of the Museum. James Dugan, Dr. Lindley Butler, and many other volunteer divers, lab assistants, and researchers from several universities and private organizations also contributed tot he success of the project. Most importantly, We greatly appreciate the tremendous and unwavering support offered by North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources' Secretary Betty Rae McCain and her staff, Dr. Jeffrey Crow, Director of the North Carolina Division of Archives and History, and Larry Misenheimer, Assistant Director and coordinator of project finansces.

Thanks to all.



Mark Wilde-Ramsing and Wayne R. Lusardi
August 1999
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« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2008, 01:14:51 pm »









                                                       TABLE OF CONTENTS






Preface
Acknowledgement
Introduction
Overview of the Assessment Project
         Discovery
         Environmental Studies
         Historical Investigations
         Archaeological Investigations
         Artifact Conservation
         Artifact Assemblage and Analysis
                    Arms
                    Scientific Instruments
                    Medical Instruments
                    Pewterware
                    Glassware
                    Ceramics
                    Gold Dust
                    Miscellaneous Finds
                    Archaeometry
Justification for the Identification of Queen Anne's Revenge
Description of the Protected Area
Preservation Options
                  Nonintervention
                  In Site Preservation (burial)
                  Maintenance and Exploration (limited recovery)
                  Excavation (large- scale recovery)
Considerations for Selecting Preservation Options
                   Archaeological/Technological
                   Conservation/ Curation
                   Public Education/Exhibits
                   Participants/Volunteers
                   Funding
Conclusion
Appendixes
         A. Archaeological Recovery Plan
         B. Conservation Facility
         C. Declaration of Protected Area



http://www.qaronline.org/rcorner/manplanintro.htm
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« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2008, 03:14:57 pm »









                                                        INTRODUCTION






Researchers have completed two years of intense study of North Carolina shipwreck 31CR314 [Formerly 0003BUI], during which they made great strides toward understanding its nature, origin, and significance. Based on their findings, there can be little doubt that this shipwreck is the pirate Blackbeard's flagship Queen Anne's Revenge, lost at Beaufort Inlet in 1718. The location of the shipwreck, its tantalizing array of early-eighteenth-century artifacts, and the lack of any other possible candidates from historical records strongly support that conclusion.

Using historical chart overlays, the position of the shipwreck corresponds with the offshore bar near the entrance to the early-eighteenth-century channel. David Harriot, who sailed with Blackbeard, testified that "the said Thatch's ship Queen Anne's Revenge run a-ground off of the Bar of Topsail Inlet." Royal Navy captain Ellis Brand of HMS Lyme corroborated this location with his own report, stating that the ship "Stuck upon the bar att the entrance of the harbour and is lost." The search for ship candidates in this area has been extensive and has produced a list of ten vessels other than Queen Anne's Revenge sunk during the eighteenth century. All of these ships were merchant vessels, and none were large enough or mounted the armament suggested by historical and archaeological evidence.

Artifacts recovered from the shipwreck provide a reasonably narrow time period from the late seventeenth to the early eighteenth century. The most diagnostic of those materials include:



Bronze bell - Date of manufacture 1709

Brass blunderbuss - Inspected between 1672 and 1702

Pewterware - Produced by craftsmen operating from 1690 to 1733
 
Cannons - Low-slung, tapered trunnions indicate manufacture date prior to 1716

Surveying instruments - Similar examples found in Stone's treatise published in 1723

Wine bottles - Based on existing typologies date to circa 1710



The artifact assemblage not only points to the correct time period but also compares favorably with artifacts reported from Whydah Galley, a pirate vessel lost a year before the loss of Queen Anne's Revenge. The cannons and munitions, gun parts, sector, and pewterware recovered from the Beaufort Inlet shipwreck are similar to those from the Whydah. Other artifacts such as the lead cannon aprons, decorative lead tacks, dividers, and serpentine side plate are virtually identical.

Given its possible association with Blackbeard, an internationally known historical figure who is interwoven into the fabric of North Carolina lore, this shipwreck and its importance to the state cannot be overemphasized. As an archaeological time capsule representing early-eighteenth-century maritime activities in the New World, the shipwreck can shed light on the period's naval armaments and warfare, ship construction and repair, colonial provisioning, the slave trade, and shipboard life. The site is an artificial reef created nearly three centuries ago that provides a valuable opportunity to study biological growth, sand movement, and mineralogy. General questions can be addressed concerning piracy and pirate lifestyles, as well as more intriguing ones dealing with Blackbeard's activities and actions. The shipwreck's significance is greatly magnified because of its connection with Blackbeard, the most notorious representative of the Golden Age of Piracy.

The Queen Anne's Revenge project provides a unique opportunity to promote public education and tourism. Since the public recognizes the pirate and romantic interest in the subject of piracy is keen, particularly among students, the shipwreck will create interest in classroom subjects relating to history, biology, geology, cartography, underwater archaeology, and artifact conservation. Excavation of the shipwreck and exhibits displaying its remains will bring tourists to eastern North Carolina and can produce substantial economic benefits for the region and the state.

Recognizing the significance of Queen Anne's Revenge, North Carolina's secretary of the Department of Cultural Resources (DCR) Betty Ray McCain has declared the shipwreck site a protected area. This designation calls for the development of a management plan to guide all access, recovery, and conservation of Site 31CR314. The plan also specifies that all artifacts shall be kept as an intact collection in an appropriate repository. The declaration was a result, in part, of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) among DCR, Intersal Inc., and Maritime Research Institute (MRI), a nonprofit corporation formed to work on the project. The MOA created a unique partnership for the purpose of preserving and protecting the site (Appendix C).

This complex shipwreck site contains a large quantity of varied artifacts that require a concerted effort to record, recover, analyze, conserve, and exhibit. Scientists have also determined that the shipwreck has been repeatedly exposed and buried as a result of inlet dynamics. For most of the time since 1718, the shipwreck remains have been covered by sand. Queen Anne's Revenge is currently exposed, however, which provides a rare opportunity to explore and retrieve its remains at a minimal cost. The exposed site is vulnerable to catastrophic storms, such as hurricanes, and the impacts from such storms could significantly alter the shipwreck and cause severe loss of materials and information.
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« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2008, 03:18:33 pm »










The management plan provides four options for the protection, preservation, and study of Queen Anne's Revenge.



Nonintervention - No further work would be conducted on the site; monitoring and protection would be minimal. No monetary costs will be incurred.

In Situ Preservation (burial)- This option consists of covering the exposed portions of the site to diminish deterioration and the likelihood of damage from storms and human interference. Occasional site monitoring would be needed. Initial costs are estimated at $100,000 per year, with the cost of annual monitoring and maintenance dependent on the condition of the site.
 
Maintenance and Exploration (limited recovery) - Principle activities would involve maintaining a surveillance system, actively monitoring the site, and mitigating threats to the site by stabilizing or recovering artifacts and archaeological information. Exploratory site testing may continue. The current annual funding level of $250,000 will sustain this option.

Excavation (large-scale recovery) - This option involves the recovery of all or a large portion of the site's cannons, anchors, hull structure, and associated materials and information. Costs for staff, equipment, a conservation laboratory, and exhibit hall is currently estimated at $6 million.



By selecting the Nonintervention option, a decline in the archaeological integrity of Queen Anne's Revenge will occur and could result in irretrievable damage to the site. In addition, there will be little public benefit, and the responsibility for research and recovery of artifacts, if it ever occurs, will be relegated to future generations. In Situ Preservation (burial) may provide some protection for exposed remains but is deemed a temporary measure. While preparing and covering the shipwreck involve predictable costs, monitoring the site and redeposition may end up being just as costly as recovery options. Delaying recovery may also escalate costs and diminish public interest.

The sooner sensitive materials on the site can be properly recorded and recovered using the highest scientific standards, the more likely it is that the maximum information will be available for study, interpretation, and display. Therefore, the Excavation (large-scale recovery) option is recommended. A substantial amount of funding will be required to fully excavate, conserve, and exhibit the shipwreck's remains, whether that is accomplished in a few years or decades. If these funds are not immediately available through government appropriations, it is recommended that the Maintenance and Exploration (limited recovery) option be implemented. This will obligate a small, full-time staff with supporting resources to monitor the condition of Queen Anne's Revenge, deal with emergency situations, and continue the laboratory treatment and analysis of recovered artifacts. As a consequence, public interest will remain high, which should generate public and private funding to support the future excavation of one of North Carolina's most remarkable cultural resources.
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« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2008, 03:21:27 pm »










                                                 OVERVIEW OF THE ASSESMENT PROCESS






Discovery



On November 21, 1996, divers from the private research firm Intersal Inc. of Boca Raton, Florida, working under two DCR search permits (#96BUI584 and #96BUI585), reported finding several cannons and anchors on a magnetometer target on the western shoals of Beaufort Inlet. The permits authorized Intersal to search for the Spanish ship El Salvador (1750) and two of Blackbeard's vessels lost at Beaufort Inlet in June 1718. Artifacts collected at the site included lead sheets (identified as cannon touchhole aprons), a bronze bell (inscribed IHS MARIA, ANO DE 1709), a brass blunderbuss barrel, a large sounding weight (21 pounds), several iron cask hoops, and two cannonballs. Upon inspection of the site and recovered materials, state underwater archaeologists agreed that there was a good chance that they represented a ship once associated with the notorious pirate Blackbeard. At the very least, the fact that the shipwreck contained well-preserved early eighteenth-century materials made it a very important archaeological site to the DCR. Therefore, staff from the department's Underwater Archaeology Unit (UAU), in cooperation with Intersal and MRI, initiated an intense two-year period of field investigations and historical research to obtain a more clear understanding of the shipwreck.






Environmental Studies



The Queen Anne's Revenge site lies in 20 to 25 feet of water 1.2 nautical miles off Fort Macon and 1,500 yards west of the present Beaufort Inlet shipping channel (Figure 1). That channel passes between the barrier islands of Shackleford and Bogue Banks into the port towns of Morehead City and Beaufort. To better understand the shipwreck site, researchers initiated a variety of environmental studies. The results of those studies will identify working conditions at the site to help plan archaeological investigations. That information will also have historical



Figure 1. Site Location Map.

importance because it will reveal the natural processes that affected the ship during the wrecking episode and for the nearly three hundred years since the vessel was lost.
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« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2008, 03:26:27 pm »









Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS) have been digitizing historic charts to track past movements of the inlet's channel and associated shoals in the vicinity of Queen Anne's Revenge. Cartographic studies of the inlet through historic times show that the inlet's channel naturally migrated back and forth and appears to have passed over the shipwreck several times. Consequently, the shipwreck was periodically subjected to intense channel currents, while at other times it may have been covered by as much as 20 feet of sand.

The collection of environmental data included daily weather and water conditions that affected work, such as wind strength and direction, wave height, and water temperature and clarity. To further understand environmental conditions, the IMS positioned an electromagnetic current and wave sensor near the site to record current velocity and direction, and wave height and frequency. That instrument, installed in April 1998, remained in place for one year, including the period during which Hurricane Bonnie passed through the area with sustained winds of 75 miles per hour.

The remains of Queen Anne's Revenge are located in a shallow and dynamic coastal environment. Other than the tidal currents, the site is subjected to nearly constant wind-generated wave action that can be catastrophic during hurricanes. During both field seasons, hurricanes situated hundreds of miles offshore produced large, slow waves that rolled over the site and created a surge on the bottom that made it impossible for divers to work. Readings from the current meter were even more dramatic during Hurricane Bonnie; currents registered 2 knots over an extended period. At the height of the storm, an extremely dynamic current surge reached 8 knots and caused considerable movement of bottom sediments. Scouring from those currents was evident, when in 1998 portions of the wooden hull structure were found exposed.

Geologists at IMS have analyzed sediments recovered from beneath both the hull section and several ballast rocks to determine if they contain the radioisotopes Cesium 137 and Plutonium 239 and 240, which have dramatically increased since atmospheric nuclear testing in the 1950s. The lack of significant amounts of bomb-produced radioisotopes indicates that large artifacts have not shifted about the sea floor in the last fifty years, thus giving scientists an understanding of the degree to which the site's archaeological context has been disturbed.

Seawater temperatures, which fluctuate from winter lows in the mid-40s to the low 80s (degrees Fahrenheit) during the summer, are not a deterrent for divers wearing proper equipment. On the other hand, water clarity can greatly affect working conditions. Though visibility can exceed 20 feet at the site, it averages less than 3 feet. Water clarity generally increases during calm weather and when the tide is rising. Water-quality studies conducted by Cape Fear Community College Marine Technology Program (CFCC) technicians recorded salinity, dissolved oxygen, and pH. This information helps the conservators in their efforts to predict the corrosive potential of the environment on metal artifacts.

The exposed wreckage of Queen Anne's Revenge, made up principally of anchors, cannons, and ballast, is a well-developed near-shore artificial reef community lying in mid-Atlantic waters. Biologists from IMS have determined that the wreck has been exposed for the past fifteen years, based on the rate of coral growth. Peter Gillman-Bryan of Truelove Fabrications conducted a biological survey in which he recorded a typical array of animal and plant life at Queen Anne's Revenge. Attached to the reef were varieties of coralline algae, encrusting bryozoans, sponges, corals, barnacles, and oysters. Small brown anemones, sea pork, sea squirts, sea whips, and purple urchins were also noted. Numerous species of fish inhabit the waters surrounding the shipwreck, among them conger eels, toadfish, blennys, filefish, triggerfish, spadefish, angelfish, spottail pin fish, black sea bass, sheepshead, summer flounder, octopus, and rays. Several kinds of crabs feed among the organisms, as did a few types of gastropods such as tulip whelk and apple murex. Divers have also observed a sea turtle on the ballast pile. The dearth of a substantial amount of fishing tackle near Queen Anne's Revenge indicates that the site has been only occasionally visited by recreational fishermen and has been effectively avoided by commercial trawlers, thus minimizing damage to exposed cultural remains.
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