BEAUFORT, N.C. – On a fine sunny morning the first anchor to be recovered from the shipwreck of Blackbeard’s flagship, Queen Anne’s Revenge (www.qaronline.org), was hoisted aboard the research vessel Dan Moore on May 27 and bathed in sunlight for the first time in nearly 300 years.
A research team led by the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources Underwater Archaeology Branch directed the lift of the nearly 3,000-pound artifact from 20 feet of water just off the coast. It is one of three anchors at the site.
Worldwide fascination with all things Blackbeard continues, and his addition as a character in the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie feeds the interest. Dozens of media representatives came along aboard R/V Dan Moore on loan from Cape Fear Community College and R/V Cape Fear on loan from UNC Wilmington. The waiting public had a good look at a genuine link to the Golden Age of Piracy.
After recovery the anchor was on public display briefly at the Crystal Coast Visitor Center, 3409 Arendell Street, Morehead City, NC 28557. From there the artifact was transported to the QAR Conservation lab at East Carolina University in Greenville. Conservation may take about four years.
The largest exhibit of fully conserved artifacts from the shipwreck will open at the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort on June 11. “We have renovated one-third of our space to display cannons, cuff links and more that may have been touched by Blackbeard,” N.C. Maritime Museums Director Joe Schwarzer explains.
The shipwreck was located in 1996 by Intersal, Inc. of Florida by Operations Director Mike Daniel through research provided by Intersal President Phil Masters.
The Queen Anne’s Revenge Shipwreck Project, Underwater Archaeology Branch, and N.C. Maritime Museums are within the Office of Archives and History in the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, the state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities, and the vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North Carolina’s social, cultural and economic future. Information on Cultural Resources is available 24/7 at www.ncculture.com.
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