Blackbeard's Anchor

Digs & Discoveries September 1, 2011

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You need a big anchor to stop a big boat. This one—at more than 11 feet from ring to crown, more than 7.5 feet from fluke to fluke, and some 2,000 pounds—was recently lifted off the shipwreck now confirmed to have been Queen Anne's Revenge, flagship of the notorious pirate Blackbeard ("Blackbeard Surfaces," March/April 2008). It's the latest of more than a quarter million artifacts to come up from the site so far (two more, even larger, anchors remain below), which was discovered in 1996 in 20 feet of water a few miles from the North Carolina coast. The concretion of sand and limestone encasing the iron anchor is likely to hold even more finds, but it will take four or five years of conservation treatment to bring them out.

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