Archeologists To Recover Eight Cannons From Blackbeard's Ship

Jun 10, 2013

A cannon excavated from Blackbeard's ship, Queen Anne's Revenge.
Credit Karen K Browning / N.C. Department of Cultural Resources

State archeologists say they have the ambitious goal of recovering eight cannons from Blackbeard's ship.  The Queen Anne's Revenge sunk near Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina, in June of 1718, and the state Department of Cultural Resources has been leading efforts to recover artifacts from the ship since 1997. Divers use good weather during the summer and fall months to bring artifacts to the surface.  Last week, bad weather prevented divers from starting their yearly digs, but Fay Mitchell of the Department of Cultural Resources says they hope to surface up to three sunken cannons this week.

“Funding has not always been available, but fortunately we were able to raise some money privately last year so we were able to do this,” Mitchell says. “The goal is to complete excavation at the site in 2014. We've got about 55 percent of the site excavated.  This time they want to do the heavy lifting.”

The cannons weigh up to a ton each and require a special crane to bring to the surface.  Divers last lifted a cannon from the wreckage in 2011.  The excavation season ends in October.


Learn more: The Story interviewed diver Rick Allen about his experience exploring Blackbeard's ship underwater with an iron arm and hand.