Examining Golden Age Pirates as a Distinct Culture Through Artifact Patterning

Author(s): Courtney E Page

Year: 2016


Piracy is an illegal act and as a physical activity does not survive directly in the archaeological record, making it difficult to study pirates as a distinct maritime culture. This paper examines the use of artifact patterning to illuminate behavioral differences between pirates and other sailors during the Golden Age (ca. 1680-1730). The artifacts of two early eighteenth-century British pirate wrecks, Queen Anne’s Revenge(1718) and Whydah (1717) were categorized into five groups reflecting shipboard behaviors, and frequencies within each assemblage were compared to frequencies of the British Naval vessel HMS Invincible (1758) and the slaver Henrietta Marie (1699). There is not enough data at this time to predict a "pirate pattern" for identifying pirates archaeologically, and many uncontrollable factors negatively impact the data that is available, making a study of artifact frequencies difficult. This research does, however, help to reveal avenues of further study for describing this intriguing sub-culture.

Cite this Record

Examining Golden Age Pirates as a Distinct Culture Through Artifact Patterning. Courtney E Page. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434829)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 80