Blackbeard’s ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, went to the briny deep almost 300 years ago, and was reported to have 40 cannons. 30 have been found in the wreck — and 22 have been raised now, with the help of an unusual team including archaeologists, divers… and a US Coast Guard cutter.

[Project Director Billy Ray] Morris told the News-Times that 30 cannons have been discovered at the site and at least eight remain on the ocean floor. As of Monday, 22 cannons have been raised from the wreckage.

“We know the records state that the Queen Anne’s Revenge had 40 cannons, and I believe we’ll find some more before it’s all over, but I’m not sure if we’ll find all 40,” he said.

via Archaeologists recover 5 cannons from wreck of Blackbeard’s ship | Fox News.

Queen Anne’s Revenge had been a French slaver before being taken by Blackbeard and refitted as a pirate ship. In June, 1718, she ran aground (or perhaps was deliberately scuttled). Archaeologists normally don’t like disturbing artifacts if they can avoid it, but when they realized every hurricane was destroying a little more of the historic wreck, they decided to bring it iup and conserve it — all  of it. So far, they’ve raised 280,000 artifacts, including the cannons and other weapons.

From another story:

Pulled from the ocean’s chemical stew, the artifacts are taken to a lab in Greenville, where it may take as much as a decade to leach out 300 years worth of salt and sea, preparing the ship for the final phase of its life out of the water. More than 280,000 such artifacts have already been recovered; many are Many artifacts are displayed in an exhibit at the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort. It will ultimately provide a detailed look at 18th century life, information Morris said is hard to come by.

“It’s not like these guys left their memoirs,” he told “We’re looking at the stuff that these guys used on a daily basis.”

The Queen Anne’s Revenge ran aground in Beaufort in June 1718, on the western side of the channel. Morris said the ship was most likely intentionally grounded; historical documentation indicates Blackbeard wanted to downsize his flotilla of four ships — and the crew that sailed on them.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on by Hognose.

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

2 thoughts on “ARrrrrr-chaeology: Cannons surface from wreck of Blackbeard’s ship

Tom Schultz

Sure hope nobody in the administration ever reads the last paragraph.


Wow, at last something that could induce me to return to enjoy NC’s charm and hospitality, since the unfortunate posting to Swamp Lejeune.

But waitwaitwait:

“Archaeologists normally don’t like disturbing artifacts if they can avoid it”

Say what?

I (admittedly perhaps foolishly) thought that disturbing artifacts was rather their very raison d’etre

And anybody that’d leave Blackbeard’s entire ship to rot rather than bringing it up to fill a museum or three ain’t been thinking right, and was likely dropped on their head as punishment for eating lead paint chips, or I miss my guess…