Despite weather-related setbacks, deep diving archaeologists from the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology today (Oct. 26) completed their mission to raise a cannon from Blackbeard's pirate ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge, which sank off the North Carolina coast.
In the above image, a diver signals to the ship to begin hoisting the cannon out of the water.
The Queen Anne's Revenge sank off the coast of North Carolina in 1718 when Blackbeard (Edward Teach) ran it into the ground while entering an inlet.
Here, the cannon is seen as it nears the surface.
And she's up! One of the largest of the ship's 40 guns, cannon C23, was the real prize of the mission. On the wreckage site, the cannon was surrounded by a kettle, wooden deadeyes, a pewter plate, cannonballs and a number of unidentified objects. The research team worked to carefully remove the cannon from its surroundings.
A close-up view of the raised cannons. During the mission, the team also found what may be a shackle for a leg iron that held captives or enslaved Africans (the French ship was called Le Concorde when it was a slave trading ship).
The team also found a small brass lid that fits on top of nesting weights. Nesting weights were used as counterbalances to weigh medicine or other powder onboard the ship. Archaeologists have discovered a nearly complete set of the nesting weights, minus the lids, at the site.
A big crowd gathered to watch the cannon raising.
A cannon from Blackbeard's ship
The research crew safely guides the cannon onto the ship's deck. The cannon was on display in front of the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort today. It has since been taken inside the museum for further study.