A team of archeologists pulled a 1-ton, nearly 3-hundred-year-old cannon from the wreck of Blackbeard’s flagship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge. WHQR’s Michelle Bliss reports that recovering the cannon is just the first step in a conservation process that will span many years.
Blackbeard’s ship sank off the coast of North Carolina near Beaufort in 1718. After nearly three centuries underwater, the cannon is covered with thick masses of sand, salt, and sea creatures.
Linda Carlyle is secretary for the state Department of Cultural Resources. She says scientists expect to find additional hidden treasures as they break down that outer shell.
“It is a very slow process of soaking the cannon, bringing out the salt in it and softening it up, so that they can slowly chip away to remove these concretions. So, they will slowly be taking it off, almost layer by layer.”
Divers have also recently found a shackle they believe was a leg iron used in the French slave trade.
Researchers raised the ship’s anchor last spring, and, to date, they’ve collected more than 280,000 artifacts from the wreck, which was discovered in 1996.