15 August 2013

The Recovery Of The Quenn Anne's Revenge

Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge sunk in 1718
Archaeologists have unearthed a treasure trove in the wreck of the Queen Anne's Revenge, which is the flagship in the dread pirate Blackbeard's fleet.

The sunken treasure, weapons, all the bits of the ship, all the personal items, is lying 25 feet beneath the sea off North Carolina.
More here and here.

6 comments:

ropelight said...

RW,

Your first link is broken. And, thanks for the article on recovering artifacts from the QAR.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Fixed, thanks. You're welcome.

ropelight said...

By way of preface for my surmise, I've spent quite a bit of time on the Outer Banks, hunting, fishing, looking for artifacts, drinking, running around in dune buggies, and chasing women, would have been born on Ocracoke if a hurricane hadn't run my mother off the island, and I was SCUBA diving up and down the coast in the early 60s, mostly from Sandbridge to the Marble Wreck off Kitty Hawk and occasionally down as far as Oregon Inlet, or inside around Roanoke Island and some of the other smaller islands.

And, I studied Archaeology in college and have a BA in Cultural Anthro. I'm an old dog and I've been around, and I've got an opinion.

So, if that establishes my bona fides, then here's my surmise: Lots of people go looking for pirate treasure, they usually assume it's buried somewhere on a deserted island or on some remote and inhospitable rocky peninsula, but I believe pirate treasure is largely a fairy tale invented in the fertile imaginations of storytellers and swallowed whole by a willingly naive public where visions of sugar plums have taken root and passed into the unexamined realm of conventional wisdom.

Now, did treasure ships exist? Certainly they did, for decades the Spanish shipped home tons of gold and silver, emeralds and other valuable stones (I've seen them) collected from the Americas, most made the voyage safely while others sunk in route. Some of those shipwrecks have been found, the Atocha for example, but rather than captured by pirates at sea they usually sank in stormy weather.

So, there's just enough truth behind stories of pirate treasure to take hold of a man's mind, burn images of extraordinary wealth into his brain, and drain his pocketbook every bit as surely as flood tide on a full moon.

Seek treasure, sure, but to find it look close to home.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Hey Rope - I've had very similar experiences on the Outer Banks during the early and mid 70's, including a close shave with the law. ;-)

I can also recall being able to drive on Ocracoke Beach for miles and not see a soul.

And you're right regarding pirate treasure, there is indeed lots yet undiscovered. However, most of it is at the bottom of the Atlantic and out of reach for most of us.

Yes, the best treasure, both figuratively and literally, is usually very close to home. Acres of Diamonds.

ropelight said...

Thinking about pirates roaming the Sounds and secret shallows of the Outer Banks reminds me of a classic OBX tale, told and retold for decades, and as true today as first time unfamiliar ears ever tried to unravel the wisdom behind the oval round sounds of the Waterman's dialect.

A tourist approaches an old and obviously long-time local Wanchese native and says, Some folks say that once there was lots of pirates around here.

Where upon the leather faced old fishwife tilts her head, smiles as though somehow strangely amused, and fixes him with a sharp one-eyed stare. Satisfied she's taken his measure, she politely says, Honey, some folks say they still is.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...