In recent news, the discovery of a shipwreck that was located some years ago off of the coast of North Carolina has researchers and treasure hunters alike in quite a buzz. Why would such a find be significant, you ask? Well, it is thought that this particular ship may have belonged to none other than the legendary pirate himself, Blackbeard, who has quite a reputation throughout the history books for being a rather notorious fellow in his day.
A new project has been put in place to deal with the ship, which could be fully excavated in a matter of three short years. The head archeologist for the state believes that this is a reasonable amount of time to set aside for such a project of this magnitude. The shipwreck was situated just off of Atlantic Beach and will shed light on many questions that researchers have had over the years.
The history of the ship is said to have fell to the bottom of the ocean when it ran aground in 1718. While many theories exist, it is thought that the ship associated with Blackbeard was once a French slave ship that he captured in 1717, making it his own by renaming it Queen Anne’s Revenge.
When the ship was first found, some questioned that it had anything to do with the legendary pirate, but historical data found on the ship revealed otherwise. Numerous officials stated that some of the artifacts retrieved from the site shun any doubters. There were 25 cannons on the shop, which experts claim are quite a rare find (in terms of numbers) for a ship that sailed the region during the early part of the 18th century.
This hasn’t stopped those questioning the validity of the ship. A few professors hailing from reputable universities, such as East Carolina University believe the findings are inconclusive. These opponents haven’t deterred the officials working on the site, as they are confident that the more is uncovered from the wreckage, the stronger and more definite their claims will be seen.
More and more artifacts are being found which support the claim to Blackbeard’s ship, making it hard to deny that the ship served any other purpose. One of the most promising finds aboard the ship comes in the form of a coin weight and its design. Last fall, when it was found, the artifact revealed that it bore the resemblance of Queen Anne of Britain, as well as a King George cup. Both of these discoveries were dated before the shipwreck.
In total, close to 15% of the shipwreck has been recovered. A wealth of interesting finds has been uncovered, such as impressive jewelry, dishes, and thousands of other grand artifacts. Today, the artifacts are being kept and looked after at a lab located on the East Carolina University campus, which over time will become more visible to the public.
Since 1998, close to 2 million visitors have seen some of the artifacts to come from the supposed Blackbeard ship. The North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort also holds a permanent exhibit. Another maritime museum in Paris also has a few of the artifacts on display.
The shipwreck holds significance throughout time. For starters, the artifacts and nature of the ship possesses a key to some of the accomplishments made in regards to naval technology, as well as how the slave trade was conducted, and the ins and outs of pirate life.