What new discoveries can tell us

by Sherryl Clark | February 15th, 2013

blackbeards swordOver the past few years, the archaeologists and their teams of divers have brought up numerous artefacts from Queen Anne’s Revenge, Blackbeard’s ship. If you have read Pirate X, you know that the pirate deliberately sank QAR and took a sloop and forty of his crew (and whatever gold he had), and went off to pretend he was “retiring”, leaving Bonnet and the other 200 pirates on the beach.

It’s probably taking longer to clean the encrusted, barnacled artefacts than it is to find them! In the Maritime Museum, I’ve seen what cannonballs look like when first recovered – like big lumps of nothing. Only the x-ray shows what lies inside. This news report has an amazing gallery of photos of the latest finds, and my favorite is the hilt of Blackbeard’s sword (right).

As the report also says, the evidence shows that he used nails and bits of metal in his cannons, as well as cannonballs, but this is not really news. Lots of pirates did the same, especially when they were low on ammunition and anything would do (including cutlery). It is a reminder, though, that the romanticized stories and movies about pirates do make them look heroic rather than fearsome!

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