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.

About the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources

The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources (NCDCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state's cultural resources to build the social, cultural and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susan W. Kluttz, NCDCR's mission to enrich lives and communities creates opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history and libraries in North Carolina that will spark creativity, stimulate learning, preserve the state's history and promote the creative economy. NCDCR was the first state organization in the nation to include all agencies for arts and culture under one umbrella.


Through arts efforts led by the N.C. Arts Council, the N.C. Symphony and the N.C. Museum of Art; NCDCR offers the opportunity for enriching arts education for young and old alike and economic stimulus engines for our state's communities. NCDCR's Divisions of State Archives, Historical Resources, State Historic Sites and State History Museums preserve, document and interpret North Carolina's rich cultural heritage. NCDCR's State Library of North Carolina is the principal library of state government and builds the capacity of all libraries in our state; developing and supporting access to traditional and online collections such as genealogy and resources for the blind and physically handicapped.


NCDCR annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council and the State Archives. NCDCR champions our state's creative industry that accounts for more than 300,000 jobs and generates nearly $18.5 billion in revenues. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit