Two cannons used by notorious pirate Blackbeard to wreak terror over the seas centuries ago have been raised from the wreck of his ship.
Deep sea divers have recovered two guns from the remains of the Queen Anne’s Revenge where it rests at the bottom of the ocean off the coast of North Carolina.
A former French slave ship, it was re-named the Queen Anne’s Revenge by English-born Blackbeard after he captured it in 1717.
SEVENTEEN YEARS OF DISCOVERY
Experts have found an array of fascinating artefacts from Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge wreckage since 1996.
Archeologists have recovered onion bottles, two bells of Spanish or Portuguese origin a coin weight with Queen Anne’s likeness stamped on it, buckles, glass beads, buttons, cuff links, pieces of wine glasses, a syringe, gold flakes, among others.
The same team are said to have also found 11 cannons from the pirate ship, including one in 2005 and another in 2007.
Another rare find was a partly gilded hilt thought to have held the sword of Blackbeard himself.
But the project was hampered by bad weather until Thursday, according to a Fox News report.
The dive was carried out as part of $450,000 scheme to remove all of the artefacts from the historic ship by the end of next year.
The Queen Anne’s Revenge was the infamous vessel commanded by English outlaw Blackbeard – who roamed the seas in the early 18th century and wore lit fuses under his hat to frighten his enemies.
Named after his flowing black beard, Blackbeard – whose real name is thought to be Edward Teach or Thatch – operated around the West Indies and the east coast of the American colonies.
In 1717, he captured a French slave ship and renamed it Queen Anne’s Revenge.
Although Blackbeard’s career lasted only two years, he was the world’s most feared pirate and once held hostage the entire city of Charleston, South Carolina.
In 2011, crews also salvaged an anchor from the wreckage.
The anchor is 11 feet, 4 inches long with arms that are 7 feet, 7 inches across.
It was covered with concretion — a mixture of shells, sand and other debris attracted by the leaching wrought iron — and a few sea squirts. Its weight was estimated at 2,500 to 3,000 pounds.
Archaeologists had planned to remove the second-largest anchor, which is 13 feet long with arms that are 8 feet across, from the top of the ballast pile.
But it was too well-attached, so instead the divers went in from the side to retrieve the everyday anchor.
Blackbeard settled in Bath, North Carolina, where he eventually received a governor’s pardon.
Some experts say he grew bored and returned to piracy.
He was killed by volunteers from the British Royal Navy in November 1718, five months after the ship thought to be Queen Anne’s Revenge sank.
After running aground on a sandbar in 1718 near the town of Beaufort, North Carolina, the ship was abandoned but probably remained intact for as long as a year before collapsing and disintegrating.
Experts raised a six foot-long cannon from wreckage of the Queen Anne’s Revenge in 2005
Linda Carlisle, North Carolina’s cultural resources secretary, said at the time the anchor was salvaged: ‘Blackbeard and piracy are important threads in eastern North Carolina’s maritime heritage fabric.
‘The historic and economic value of this project is enormous.’
The Queen Anne’s Revenge shipwreck site, located off North Carolina’s coast, has yielded more than 250,000 artifacts and is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites.
Experts have been excavating the ship for 16 years since the area was located in 1996 by Florida company Intersal, Inc.