Cannons recovered from the Queen Anne’s Revenge

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If at first you don’t succeed — try, try again. On their fourth effort this month, state underwater archaeologists brought up two cannons Thursday from the Queen Anne’s Revenge shipwreck in Beaufort Inlet.

Cannons recovered from the Queen Anne’s Revenge
State archaeologists and researchers raise one of two cannons Thursday from the site of the Queen Anne’s Revenge in Beaufort Inlet [Credit: Cheryl Burke]

Archaeologists had originally planned to bring up three cannons that day, but because of time left the third on the ocean floor for a future expedition.

It’s been a challenge for archaeologists, who had originally set out to bring up eight cannons in June, but because of poor weather conditions had to cancel previous dives.

It was sweet victory for archaeologists as cannons were hoisted aboard the Cape Fear Community College research vessel, the Dan Moore, as a boat full of media and others invited to witness the event watched on a nearby vessel that had been chartered by Wendy and Bucky Oliver of Beaufort, members of the Friends of the Queen Anne’s Revenge, the nonprofit fundraising organization for the project.

The two cannons hoisted from the site were six-pounders, and make 15 cannons retrieved from the site since its discovery in November 1996, according to Sarah Watkins-Kenny, chief conservator for the project. She said 27 cannons have been discovered at the site so far.

Cannons were offloaded at the U.S. Coast Guard Station and Fort Macon and will be transported either Thursday or Friday to the QAR conservation lab in Greenville, where they will undergo cleaning and conservation in preparation for being displayed at the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort, which is responsible for curatorship of artifacts.

This month’s expedition is the first of two planned for this year. Divers will return Aug. 5 and work at the site through the end of October. The goal is to retrieve all artifacts from the site by the end of 2014.

Since exploration of the shipwreck began in 1997, about 280,000 artifacts have been recovered, including cannons, anchors, ship’s bell, grenades and platters.

The QAR ran aground near Beaufort in 1718. The QAR wreck was located in November 1996 by Intersal Inc., with information provided to Operations Director Mike Daniel by company president Phil Masters. Archaeologists with the Underwater Archaeology Branch in the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources lead the research on this shipwreck.

Author: Cheryl Burke | Source: Carolina Coast Online [June 20, 2013]

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