VIDEO: Research Teams Raise Cannons from Legendary Blackbeard Pirate Ship

By MarEx 2011-10-27 14:04:22

U.S. archaeologists raised another cannon from the shipwreck of legendary pirate Blackbeard’s ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, off the North Carolina this week, making it the 13th cannon to be raised amid over 280,000 artifacts pulled from the site over the past 14 years.

The cannon dubbed by researchers as the “Baby Ruth” measures out at 8-feet long (2.4-meters) and is the 13th out of 25 found aboard the Revenge since the wreck’s discovery in 1997. 
The big question the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources wanted to know was: is this thing loaded?  Four cannons retrieved and cleaned by archaeologists have proven to be loaded and ready for firing.  The teams will uncover its secrets only after they laboriously remove concretion (cement-like shell of sand, salt and sea life) from the outside of the weapon which could take up to 5 years. 

Watch below to see the Baby Ruth raised from the wreckage.

The Queen Anne’s Revenge has been sitting just two miles off the coast of North Carolinas near Atlantic Beach, under veil of 25-feet of water, since Blackbeard left the ship in the summer of 1718.  Fay Mitchell of North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources believed that Blackbeard and his 300-400 strong crewmen intentionally ran the ship aground in an effort to downsize.  Queen Anne’s Revenge was originally a French slave vessel in 1717 until Blackbeard and co. captured and renamed the ship.

Project director, Mark Wilde-Ramsing, said that these finds are like Christmas to the archaeologists working on the site throughout this fall.  Other than the arsenal of cannons, teams have also retrieved shackles, bar shot, crystal stemware fragments, and various artifacts linked to the ship’s rigging. 

Drawing by Charles Johnson in 1736 of  Capt. Blackbeard

So far, about 50% of the site has been excavated and researched at the Queen Anne’s Revenge Conservation Lab at East Carolina University. 

The team hopes to conclude excavation at the site by 2013.