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BLACKBEARD - Recovering "Queen Anne's Revenge"

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Bianca
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« Reply #60 on: April 15, 2009, 08:19:41 am »










On March 26, 2009, two fleurs-de-lis (iris flowers)—the royal symbol of France—were revealed on an apothecary weight from a shipwreck off the coast of North Carolina, archaeologists said in March 2009.

Originally stuck to other nested weights but separated via an electrolysis process, the weight and a fleur-de-lis-shaped keg spigot found in the shipwreck are among the strongest evidence that the ship was originally French—a key to tying the ship to Blackbeard.

The pirate captured the French ship La Concorde and renamed it Queen Anne's Revenge in 1717.

La Concorde's surgeon, who was forced to serve briefly in Blackbeard's crew, may have owned the weights, designed for pharmaceuticals. Pirates could have also used the weights to measure gold dust, experts say.
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Bianca
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« Reply #61 on: April 15, 2009, 08:21:04 am »










This mortar and pestle, found in an underwater wreck thought to be Blackbeard's ship Queen Anne's Revenge, probably was used to crush medicine or spices, archaeologists said in March 2009.

What appear to be ornate designs on the mortar are actually minerals that hardened on the objects, which were discovered off the coast of North Carolina.

North Carolina state archaeologists have already used an electrolysis method to remove the mineral buildup from the pestle, hence its more uniform finish.
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Bianca
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« Reply #62 on: April 15, 2009, 08:22:39 am »










This small disc—found on a shipwreck thought to be the pirate Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge—is actually a silver coin covered with nearly three centuries of mineral buildup, archaeologists said in March 2009.

Build up of this type, known to form only on silver, will be removed by electrolysis.

An x-ray of the coin may have also revealed a picture (right), according to North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources archaeologists.
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Bianca
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« Reply #63 on: April 15, 2009, 08:24:27 am »










A copper-alloy sword guard was recently found in a shipwreck thought to be Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge, archaeologists said in March 2009.

The guard would have sat between the sword's steel blade and its wooden handle. An x-ray of the sword guard (bottom) shows a small hole where a decorative chain might have been attached.

Infamous pirate Blackbeard grounded his ship while trying to enter the harbor of Beaufort, North Carolina in 1718.
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Bianca
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« Reply #64 on: April 15, 2009, 08:26:31 am »










A thimble's worth of gold bits—the largest a fifth of in inch (half a centimeter) wide—was found recently in a shipwreck that could be Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge, archaeologists said in March 2009. The miniature booty may have been overlooked by the pirate, whose crew would have scoured the ship for treasure after hijacking the formerly French vessel in 1717.

The gold was found intermingled with lead shot, causing archaeologists to speculate that a pre-Blackbeard crew member had hidden gold in a long-since-disintegrated amunition keg.

The smidgen of gold treasure is among a series of recent discoveries adding to evidence that the North Carolina shipwreck is Blackbeard's. "I think we can pretty much assume that's what we have," said Queen Anne's Revenge project director Mark Wilde-Ramsing.
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« Reply #65 on: April 15, 2009, 08:31:57 am »









                             PBS Announces SECRETS OF THE DEAD "Blackbeard's Lost Ship"


                                            - Premieres Wednesday, April 22, 2009 -






Apr 14, 2009
PBS

Archaeological Discoveries From Queen Anne's Revenge,
Legendary Flagship of Infamous Pirate Blackbeard,
Rewrite History

Edward Teach, alias Blackbeard, was the most notorious pirate of his day. At the height of his regin,
he commanded a fleet of four ships and a crew of 400 men. They were ruthless seafaring raiders who terrorized vessels in American waters. In 1717, Blackbeard even blockaded the city of Charleston, crippling its economy. Eventually he was caught and beheaded by a posse from the Royal Navy. Now, 300 years later, a marine archaeology team believes it has found Blackbeard's sunken flagship, Queen Anne's Revenge, off the North Carolina coast. The remains of the shipwreck are helping to solve the most enduring mystery surrounding the infamous pirate captain - did he accidentally run his ship aground or was it a deliberate plot to betray his crew and cheat them out of their share of the plunder?         

SECRETS OF THE DEAD "Blackbeard's Lost Ship" airs Wednesday, April 22, 2009, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET on PBS. Narrated by actor Liev Schreiber ("CSI," Manchurian Candidate), the documentary takes viewers
on an underwater archaeological adventure. The discoveries from the ongoing research are rewriting
the final chapter of Blackbeard's wild life. 

Featured experts include Lisa Briggs, marine archaeologist; Angus Konstam, author of Blackbeard: America's Most Notorious Pirate; and David Moore, curator of nautical archaeology, North Carolina Maritime Museum.

"It's amazing how history comes full circle," says Jared Lipworth, executive producer of SECRETS OF
THE DEAD. "Three hundred years ago the colonists were faced with a pirate who instilled fear into the hearts of all who crossed his path, and today we're seeing a troubling resurgence of deadly piracy off the coast of Somalia. While we recognize today's pirates as the terrorists they are, we often have a tendency to romanticize the swashbuckling villains of the past. This program aims to set the record straight." 

"Blackbeard's Lost Ship" captures the rigorous and painstaking efforts to salvage the fragile wreckage. Among the many challenges facing the archaeological team are risky dive conditions and artifacts made fragile by centuries in salt water. Much like evidence from a crime scene, each item must be tagged and catalogued before it can even be picked up off the seabed. From tiny game pieces to guns encased in sediment to cannons weighing more than a ton, every artifact reveals more detail about life aboard an active pirate ship. The team even found gold dust - a staple of every pirate legend!

The team was able to identify the ship as the Queen Anne's Revenge by carbon-dating wood from the hull, x-raying concreted artifacts and retracing makers' marks and dates on the weapons. But that was only the beginning. Analyzing the position of an anchor and a pile of cannons leads one expert to posit that the ship had clearly run aground by accident. But when the testimonies of Blackbeard's crew are taken into account and the cannons are examined more closely, it seems more likely that the grounding was carefully orchestrated by a pirate captain who was trying to get rid of his crew. After beaching the ship, Blackbeard transferred all the valuables onto a smaller vessel, left the majority of his men stranded on a nearby island and then sailed off into the sunset.

The archaeological treasure trove found on the Queen Anne's Revenge provides a unique opportunity to reexamine Blackbeard's legacy. Three hundred years after his death, experts can piece together an archaeological puzzle that separates fact from fiction and reveals the true story of the infamous pirate.
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