Since 1996 Archelogists discovered more and more on Blackbeard's ship.

Blackbeard Pirate Relics, Gold Found

A brass navigational instrument known as a chart divider is among artifacts recently recovered from a shipwreck thought to be the Queen Anne's Revenge, the ship of the infamous 18th-century pirate Blackbeard, archaeologists said in March 2009.

Some of the newfound relics add to evidence that the ship belonged to the pirate. ""We feel pretty comfortable that that's what this is," said Marke Wilde-Ramsing, director of the Queen Anne's Revenge project for the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology.

Underwater archaeologists from the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources have been excavating the wreck—which lies 22 feet (7 meters) underwater a few miles off Beaufort, North Carolina—since 1997.

Navigational instruments were favorite targets of looting pirates, because the tools could easily be sold or traded, said archaeologist David Moore of the North Carolina Maritime Museum, who is working on the wreck site.

On March 26, 2009, two fleurs-de-lis (iris flowers)—the royal symbol of France—were revealed on an apothecary weight from a shipwreck off the coast of North Carolina, archaeologists said in March 2009.

Originally stuck to other nested weights but separated via an electrolysis process, the weight and a fleur-de-lis-shaped keg spigot found in the shipwreck are among the strongest evidence that the ship was originally French—a key to tying the ship to Blackbeard.

The pirate captured the French ship Le Concorde and renamed it Queen Anne's Revenge in 1717.

Le Concorde's surgeon, who was forced to serve briefly in Blackbeard's crew, may have owned the weights, designed for pharmaceuticals. Pirates could have also used the weights to measure gold dust, experts say.

This mortar and pestle, found in an underwater wreck thought to be Blackbeard's ship Queen Anne's Revenge, probably was used to crush medicine or spices, archaeologists said in March 2009.

What appear to be ornate designs on the mortar are actually minerals that hardened on the objects, which were discovered off the coast of North Carolina.

North Carolina state archaeologists have already used an electrolysis method to remove the mineral buildup from the pestle, hence its more uniform finish.

This small disc—found on a shipwreck thought to be the pirate Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge—is actually a silver coin covered with nearly three centuries of mineral buildup, archaeologists said in March 2009.

Build up of this type, known to form only on silver, will be removed by electrolysis.

An x-ray of the coin may have also revealed a picture (right), according to North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources archaeologists.

A copper-alloy sword guard was recently found in a shipwreck thought to be Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge, archaeologists said in March 2009.

The guard would have sat between the sword's steel blade and its wooden handle. An x-ray of the sword guard (bottom) shows a small hole where a decorative chain might have been attached.

Infamous pirate Blackbeard grounded his ship while trying to enter the harbor of Beaufort, North Carolina in 1718.

A thimble's worth of gold bits—the largest a fifth of in inch (half a centimeter) wide—was found recently in a shipwreck that could be Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge, archaeologists said in March 2009. The miniature booty may have been overlooked by the pirate, whose crew would have scoured the ship for treasure after hijacking the formerly French vessel in 1717.

The gold was found intermingled with lead shot, causing archaeologists to speculate that a pre-Blackbeard crew member had hidden gold in a long-since-disintegrated amunition keg.

The smidgen of gold treasure is among a series of recent discoveries adding to evidence that the North Carolina shipwreck is Blackbeard's. "I think we can pretty much assume that's what we have," said Queen Anne's Revenge project director Mark Wilde-Ramsing. m after National Geographic