North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources

Anchor, Cannon from Blackbeard's Shipwreck to Be Featured at QAR Conservation Lab Open House

Visitors can see artifacts recovered from the "Queen Anne's Revenge" wreckage off the North Carolina coast and learn about procedures for maritime archaeological conservation.


Raleigh, NC -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/13/2012 -- A lot can happen in 300 years, and an open house at the Queen Anne's Revenge (QAR) Conservation Lab on Saturday, April 21, will demonstrate the process of taking artifacts from ocean floor to museum door.

From 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. visitors will learn about the science concerning QAR, Blackbeard's flagship that ran aground near Beaufort, N.C., in 1718. Items on display will include a 12-foot anchor and an 8-foot pirate cannon.

Cannons, anchors, ballast stones and other recovered artifacts housed at the lab will be presented in various stages of conservation.

Archaeologists, conservators and other scientists will explain their work through hands-on demonstrations. Visitors will be able to learn first-hand as they look down a microscope at some of the smallest artifacts, determine how much a ballast stone weighs, guess the weight of the largest artifact, see x-rays of objects encased in a cement-like shell during the early stages of conservation, and much more.

Since 1997 the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources' Underwater Archaeology Branch (UAB) has led research at the shipwreck site. The wreck was located in November 1996 by Intersal, Inc., with information provided to Operations Director Mike Daniel by company president Phil Masters.

For additional information call (252) 744-6721 or e-mail Wendy Welsh at wendy.welsh@ncdcr.pov. The QAR Lab is located at East Carolina University's West Research Campus, 1157 VOA Site C Road, Greenville, NC 27834.

The QAR shipwreck has given insight into the life of the notorious pirate Blackbeard. Investigation of his flagship offers many clues to maritime life in the early 1700s. The wreck has been the subject of news reports worldwide through print and broadcast media, and documentaries by the BBC, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, UNC-TV, and other outlets.

The QAR site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. The UAB staff plans full recovery of the site by 2013, and so far more than 280,000 artifacts have been recovered. The artifacts will remain as an intact collection under the control of Cultural Resources. The N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort is the repository for QAR artifacts.

The Underwater Archaeology Branch, under the Office of State Archaeology, is part of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources ( The department annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums (including three maritime museums), two art museums, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council, and the State Archives. Cultural Resources champions North Carolina's creative industry, which employs nearly 300,000 North Carolinians and contributes more than $41 billion to the state's economy.