Blackbeard 300: Commemorating North Carolina's Rich Maritime History

Blackbeard 300th Anniversary Events at Natural and Cultural Resources
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A 300-Year Legacy of Adventure and Intrigue

DNCR archaeologists, conservators, and researchers are taking North Carolinians back in time to an age when pirates like Blackbeard terrorized the North Carolina Coast.

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The Queen Anne's Revenge's origins, much like its Captain's, Blackbeard, stretch into an obscurity beyond the historical record.

We do know that the story of Blackbeard's flagship began long before it fell into the famed pirate's clutches. In fact, Blackbeard's captaincy of the QAR likely constituted only a small portion of the vessel's seafaring years. Before Blackbeard, it belonged to a wealthy French merchant, trafficking human cargo across the Atlantic on the notorious "Middle Passage." After 1718, it belonged, for a time, to the ocean alone.

Since its discovery near the Beaufort inlet in 1996, the remains of the vessel have become the property of the people of North Carolina, under the stewardship of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

To commemorate the 300th anniversary of Blackbeard's adventures along the North Carolina Coast -- the place where he was ultimately brought to justice -- we're showcasing traveling exhibits with artifacts from his wrecked flagship, unveiling a new State Highway Historical Marker at Fort Macon State Park, and hosting an array of exciting educational experiences for North Carolinians of all ages.

Check back here periodically for more information.

Upcoming events

Pirates and science and Blackbeard! Oh my!

Come out to the 3rd Annual QAR Lab Open House to experience the ongoing conservation of the infamous pirate Blackbeard's flagship, the Queen Anne's Revenge. Learn how conservators and archaeologists use chemistry, physics, technology, and more through fun hands-on activities and behind-the-scenes demonstrations. Be an archaeological conservator for a day and discover how interdisciplinary, scientific research is brining North Carolina History back to life!

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The Infamous Pirate Blackbeard

The legend of Blackbeard has been passed down through generations, but how much of the legend is fact?

DNCR's Underwater Archaeology Branch is tackling some of our most pressing questions surrounding the infamous Edward Teach, painting a better picture of what life was really like on the high seas of the 18th century.

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Conservation of a 300+ Year Old Pirate Wreck

At the center of the Queen Anne's Revenge project is archaeological exploration and preservation. Field expeditions generally take place each fall when weather conditions are most favorable for work at the site. The length of the field season can range from a few days to 12 weeks.

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Archaeological Research that Captures the Imagination...

Explore records from North Carolina's colonial government (pp. 342-43) describing an incident where Blackbeard is alleged to have broken his sword over the back of one of his many victims.

Did Blackbeard use a weapon similar to the fragment found on his famous flagship to commit the deed?

Read about this artifact and more on our QARonline.org website:

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Sword Guard Artifact from Blackbeard's Vessel

Sword Guard from Blackbeard's Ship

Discovery of a Long Lost National Treasure

Discovered in 1996, the QAR is recognized as a national treasure and is the second-oldest shipwreck discovered in North Carolina. Throughout the past 20 years, archeologists have been exploring, documenting and recovering remains at the shipwreck site.

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The Artifacts of the Queen Anne’s Revenge

Since the start of the Queen Anne's Revenge shipwreck project in 1996, tens of thousands of artifacts have been recovered. Browse the images of recovered items online or view them in person at the QAR lab.

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Coming to the State Fair

Enjoy your fried candy bar and turkey leg while viewing a special exhibit featuring artifacts and fascinating information about Blackbeard, the Queen Anne’s Revenge and North Carolina’s maritime history at the North Carolina State Fair.

Exhibition Details Coming Soon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Educational Resources on Blackbeard and Maritime History

To help educators integrate an accurate picture of Blackbeard into their curricula, we have collected some of the holdings of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources that relate to pirates, Blackbeard, the Queen Anne's Revenge and underwater archaeology.

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Discover Blackbeard for Yourself!

Our Greenville, NC facility offers exclusive behind-the-scenes tours featuring valuable artifacts from the Queen Anne’s Revenge. Be among the first to see these valuable treasures that lay hidden for over 300 years.

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