A one-ton cannon that once protected Blackbeard's famous ship, The Queen Anne's Revenge, has been raised from the waters off the North Carolina coast
The 300-year-old, barnacle-encrusted cannon was pulled from the waters near Beaufort, and archaeologists believe it will help them learn more about history's most infamous pirate. The eight-foot long gun was taken to East Carolina University shortly after it was plucked from the depths and taken past cheering onlookers on shore.
"The last people who saw this were pirates," Queen Anne's Revenge Project director Mark Wilde-Ramsing told spectators who gathered in front of Beaufort's Maritime Museum for a closer look at the 18th-century weapon.
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The latest gun is one of 13 cannon and more than 280,000 artifacts recovered from the shipwreck, Joseph Schwarzer, director of the North Carolina Maritime Museum, told The Associated Press.
"This is about as close to that particular point in American history, and to piracy, as anybody is ever going to get," Schwarzer said.
The ship, believed to have been a French slave-trading vessel commandeered by Blackbeard and his crew, has rested at the bottom of Beaufort Inlet since Blackbeard, whose real name was Edward Teach, intentionally scuttled it in 1718. The wreck was discovered and identified in 1996.
Blackbeard was pardoned by North Carolina Gov. Charles Eden months after sinking the ship, but was killed a short while later by members of the Royal Navy of Virginia at Ocracoke Inlet.