US archaeologists find five cannons from pirate Blackbeard's ship

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 November, 2013, 4:27am
UPDATED : Friday, 01 November, 2013, 4:27am


Five large cannons from a sunken ship captained by the legendary pirate Blackbeard have been recovered by US archaeologists, authorities said.

The cannons were raised from the wreck of the Queen Anne's Revenge, sunk off the coast of North Carolina, on Monday, state officials said.

The cannons, four of which weighed between 900kg and 1,360kg, were excavated by a team attached to the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.

Project director Billy Ray Morris said the largest of the cannons was believed to have been made in Sweden.

"The only other recovered gun this size was made in Sweden," Morris said.

"We also hope to recover two large concretions," he said, referring to compact masses of sedimentary rock, each of which, Morris said, was about "the size of a twin bed".

"They may contain barrel hoops, cannon balls and other treasures," he said.

Authorities in North Carolina have recovered an estimated 280,000 artifacts from the site. The recovery operation is expected to be completed next year.

Blackbeard, whose real name was Edward Teach, achieved infamy in the early 18th century when he terrorised Atlantic seafarers around the Caribbean and the American colonies.

The Queen Anne's Revenge was intentionally run aground in 1718. Blackbeard was killed in a battle with British forces later that year. The ship's wreck was discovered in 1996.