The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)


May 17, 2013

Pirate Excavation Education Launches QAR Shipwreck Expedition

Friday, May 17, 2013 — BEAUFORT -- North Carolina students in the 4th through 8th grades can free their imaginations and ask questions about Blackbeard and the wreck of his flagship, Queen Anne's Revenge (QAR), during a live online stream from the Watercraft Center at the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort on Friday, May 31, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. They'll learn how researchers retrieve artifacts from the ocean floor or clean crusty cannon balls after nearly 300 years with project archaeologists and conservators.


This event is a kickoff for the Queen Anne's Revenge's 2013 spring dive. Project divers will also be at the dock to demonstrate the recovery process. The joy of science and history together will be the highlight of the day through demonstrations, presentations and interactive questions from the students and answers from the experts. Schools must register by sending an email to with the school's name and contact information for the teacher(s) participating.


To spur interest, a statewide touring exhibition of artifacts from the shipwreck and interactive displays will open at the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources Western office in Asheville on May 31 through July 13 before the exhibit moves on to the N.C. Transportation Museum until August 31, Historic Edenton until October 19 and the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum until December 7. Additional locations are planned in 2014.


Since exploration of the shipwreck began in 1997, approximately 280,000 artifacts have been recovered, including cannons, anchors, grenades, platters, shackles, gold dust, syringes, and much more. Students can ask about the excavation process, work environment and all about Blackbeard and pirates! Teachers and students may send their questions to or submit them online at


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.


This spring's dive will culminate in the recovery of several cannons and other artifacts from the shipwreck. There will be two excavations this summer, and full recovery of artifacts is planned for 2014.


For additional information call (919) 807-7389. The Underwater Archaeology Branch and N.C.Maritime Museum are within the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

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