Skip to comments.Researchers Resume Hunt for Artifacts at QAR Shipwreck Site (Blackbeard's Flagship)
Posted on 09/26/2010 4:33:48 PM PDT by nickcarraway
As underwater archaeologists dive to recover 300-year-old artifacts from the shipwreck presumed to Blackbeards flagship, the effort to keep the public a part of the project are all 21st century.
A six-week dive expedition at the Queen Annes Revenge shipwreck site began this week, and anyone interested in following its progress can do so via the Facebook page Blackbeards-Queen Annes Revenge. Full information on the project is also available at the website qaronline.com.
After a day of field preparations, a Wednesday afternoon Facebook post announced the biggest news of the expedition: Returning to USCG Fort Macon. Still need to get a mooring in but unit grids are set. The first excavation since fall 2008 will start first thing (Thursday) morning.
The 2010 expedition will continue through October. While small dives on the wreck, such as a three-day dive in May, have allowed researchers to monitor and conduct limited work on site, this expedition marks the first excavation in two years.
According to information on the QAR website, objectives of this dive include the excavation and full recovery of artifacts from approximately 37, 5-foot by5-foot archaeological units in the midship and forward hold area.
While little wet storage space at the QAR conservation lab limits the full recovery of the ships largest artifacts such as its anchors and cannons there are plans to move one of the ships largest main deck cannons from its current location to the large artifact holding area on site.
In other activities planned, members of the expedition will take readings from anchors and cannon already undergoing corrosion treatment underwater and attach the aluminum-alloy anodes to begin treatment on others.
The anodes are used to change the electrochemical process that corrodes iron in saltwater, reducing or even reversing the amount of salts absorbed by the iron objects.
By beginning the process underwater, it can save time and space in the conservation lab.
Its imperative that we stop the damaging effects of salt water on these treasures. This is a good alternative to help stabilize them when laboratory space is not available, stated QAR Archaeological Field Director Chris Southerly in a news release announcing the dive.
A dozen cannons, which range from 6 feet to 8 feet in length and weighing 700 pounds to a ton, will undergo the treatment along with three large anchors. The anchors are 11 feet to 13 feet long and weigh an estimated 1,800 pounds.
To date, more than 700,000 artifacts have been recovered. Many are still undergoing conservation while others are exhibited at the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort, the repository for QAR artifacts.
The expedition is being led by the N.C. Underwater Archaeology Branch with team efforts including NOAA, the N.C. Maritime Museum and Friends of the Queen Annes Revenge. The dive expedition is made possible by a grant from NOAA and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation as well as support from the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, the U.S. Coast Guard at Fort Macon, Fort Macon State Park, Nautilus Productions and Discovery Diving.
¨Arrrrgh! ´Hope they find it, Matey.¨
The prevailing theory is that Blackbeard deliberately ran Queen Anne’s Revenge aground and abandoned it and a bunch of his men, while getting away with his loot and a picked crew on The Adventure because he found himself with too many ships and men to provide for and split his proceeds with.
It was said he was practicing an early form of “corporate downsizing.”
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He was a bad one. Remember that History Channel (or whatever it was) docu-drama a few months ago, wherein he tried marriage ashore for awhile...the life of a gentleman, mind you...until he tired of it and just handed his wife over to his crew. That was the last record of her. I mean, she was a bit bossy, but God rest her soul.