Commemorating Three Hundred Years of History: Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge

Part of: Society for Historical Archaeology 2018

This year marks the 300th anniversary of the death of the pirate Blackbeard as well as the loss of his flagship Queen Anne’s Revenge (QAR) in 1718. The wreckage of the ship, discovered in 1996, is historically significant due to its association with an infamous pirate and offers a rare glimpse into a highly romanticized yet archaeologically sparse sub-culture. The full excavation of QAR, undertaken by archaeologists and conservators from the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources has been ongoing since 2005. Over 400,000 artifacts have been raised to date, representing an array of categories from artillery to galley wares and personal effects. In commemoration of this momentous year in North Carolina history, new discoveries from the shipwreck and recent research will be highlighted, the progress of the project will be reviewed, and efforts to bring QAR to a broader audience will be discussed.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-12 of 12)

  • Documents (12)

  • Between the Devil and the Deep Red Tape (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Charles Ewen.

    Successful archaeological projects rely on good management from beginning to end. Difficult under the best circumstances, these difficulties are compounded when multiple agencies are involved.  Yet, the investigation of the Beaufort Inlet Wreck (aka the Queen Anne’s Revenge) has thrived, overcoming the entrenched bureaucracies of State Government and the University system to form a viable partnership that has produced remarkable results

  • Blackbeard’s Beads: Insights into the Queen Anne Revenge’s Former Life as a Slaver through the Presence of Glass Trade Beads (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Kimberly Urban.

    Glass trade beads are one of the most notable artifacts of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Beads played an important role in African culture spiritually, metaphysically, and historically.  Since its discovery in 1996, over 790 whole and fragmented glass beads have been recovered from the Queen Anne’s Revenge Shipwreck. The beads recovered from the Queen Ann’s Revenge have been identified, classified, cataloged, and compared to other bead assemblages recovered from underwater and terrestrial...

  • Conserving And Interpreting The Mechanical Jacks From Blackbeard’s Flagship, Queen Anne’s Revenge (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Arianna M. DiMucci.

    The in-progress conservation of two mechanical jacks recovered from the early 18th-century shipwreck Queen Anne’s Revenge (31CR314), flagship of the notorious pirate Blackbeard, is presented here. Designed to lift or pry apart heavy objects, the jacks were likely part of the ship carpenter’s tool kit. These devices worked much like their modern hydraulic counterparts and consisted of a tapering, slotted rack with one end used for lifting; the other passed through the center of a gearbox...

  • Gun Carriage Components from the Queen Anne’s Revenge: A Preliminary Review (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Stephen B Atkinson.

    This research aims to tentatively identify gun carriage components from the Queen Anne’s Revenge (1718) (31CR314), based on clear context to cannon when in situ as well as definitive gun carriage hardware traits, in order to better understand the construction of the carriages present on the QAR. The identification of these potential naval gun carriage components includes cleaned hardware and concreted (observed via x-radiography) as well as possible identification of examples of rigging...

  • La Concorde and Queen Anne’s Revenge: A Global Voyage Continues, 1717 to 2037 (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Sarah Watkins-Kenney.

    March 1717, a slave ship, La Concorde, departs Nantes, France, for the New World via Africa.  November 1717, its voyage ends off Martinique, when pirates capture it. As a pirate ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, its voyage continues through the Caribbean, via Charleston, South Carolina, to Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina, where it runs aground in June 1718, and is discovered November 1996. Since then, much of the historical and archaeological research, and stories told, for state shipwreck site...

  • Life after Retirement – Lending a Helping Hook to the QAR Project (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Mark U. Wilde-Ramsing.

    Having directed the highly visible and dynamic Queen Anne’s Revenge Shipwreck Project for fifteen years, it seems that completely cutting ties when I retired wasn’t quite possible. First, came with on-going research and interpretation of the QAR bells with my son’s help. Second was an extension of my ties with marine geologists, who bring to bear ever-improving sonar, positioning, and computer technologies, to view how QAR wreckage is faring on the seabed. More recently, my work with a cultural...

  • Message in a Breech Block: A Fragmentary Printed Text Recovered from Queen Anne’s Revenge (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Erik R Farrell. Kimberly P Kenyon. Sarah Watkins-Kenney. Kay D. Smith. Ruth R. Brown.

    The collection of artefacts recovered from the 1718 wreck of Queen Anne’s Revenge (QAR) contains a broad array of items typical of shipboard life on a pirate vessel, as well as tantalizing, unique finds. While unloading and conserving the breech chamber for a breechloading swivel gun, conservators recovered 16 small fragments of paper, some bearing legible printed text. These fragments of text have been uncovered after nearly 300 years inside a cannon chamber on the sea floor, and conservators...

  • On the Verge: A Pocket Watch from Queen Anne’s Revenge (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Karen E. Martindale.

    Beginning with the development of the verge escapement in the 13th century, there was a trend in mechanical timepieces to make them both more accurate and more portable. The most accurate timepiece of the 18th century, the marine chronometer, could be used to determine longitude at sea, while up to this point pocket watches were used as displays of wealth and for tasks such as keeping track of watch shifts. Pocket watches were not uncommon on board ships during the 17th and 18th centuries, but...

  • Pirate Plunder: The Potential for Identifying the Material Culture of Piracy in the Historical Record (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only David Moore.

    The Queen Anne’s Revenge Shipwreck Project has been ongoing for over two decades. While ample consideration has been given to potentially identifying those artifacts recovered from the wreck of Blackbeard’s flagship that represent a piratical signature, limited attention has been paid to extracting information from the historical record in regards to the material culture plundered by pirates from the prizes that were captured.  There is in fact much information revealed in the various letters,...

  • Pirates As Men Of Measure: Examining Tools And Equipment From The QAR Shipwreck (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Linda F. Carnes-McNaughton.

    In the biblical sense, a "man of measure" is large, even monumental; he is a walking building, or walking sanctuary or human idol.  Pirates too could fit this description as their stature is measured in lore and legend.  But this paper focuses on the assemblage of specialized tools and equipment found on the sunken ship known as Queen Anne’s Revenge, Blackbeard’s lost flagship. These artifacts, recovered during the past 20 years, reflect an active engagement with measurements of all types and...

  • Public Outreach and the QAR Lab: Engaging Present and Future Generations in Cultural Heritage (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Courtney E Page.

    The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources encourages its facilities to engage the public of North Carolina in history and cultural heritage through education and outreach programs. The Queen Anne’s Revenge Conservation Lab is tasked with investigating, documenting, and preserving the remains of Blackbeard’s flagship, and as a member of the Department strives to provide opportunities for active learning within the local community and beyond. With limited resources and no...

  • Reconstructing the Hull and Rig of Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Annaliese Dempsey.

    The wreck site of Blackbeard’s flagship Queen Anne’s Revenge was first discovered in 1996 and yielded both articulated hull structure and numerous rigging elements, which are currently under study as part of a long-term research project which will culminate in a full reconstruction of the vessel.  The rig and hull of a vessel such as Queen Anne’s Revenge are inextricably linked, and need to be studied as a single integrated whole to fully understand not only the specifics of the hull and rig,...