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États-Unis - Caroline du Nord

Barbe Noire

Des archéologues explorant une épave qu'ils croient être le navire de Barbe Noire ont découvert un canon de l'époque où le célèbre pirate rôdait au large de la Caroline du Nord.

Le canon affiche le numéro "713"; ce qui pourrait indiquer qu'il a été fabriqué en 1713, soit cinq ans avant la perte du Queen Ann's Revenge.

Plusieurs autres artefacts qui ont un lien avec l'époque de Barbe Noire ont été récupérés par la même équipe au cours des dernières années.

La preuve la plus notoire et introuvable demeure la cloche du "Concorde"; un navire français transporteur d’esclaves, capturé par Barbe Noire en 1717, et rebaptisé Queen Ann's Revenge.

Source: The QAR Project :

Queen Anne's Revenge

Divers Return To the Wreckage of
Blackbeard's Notorious Flagship

New Jersey Wreck Diver Magazine, December 1999

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Divers exploring what is believed to be Blackbeard's sunken flagship off the North Carolina coast located another cannon Wednesday, further linking the wreckage to the legendary 18-century English pirate.

The eight-foot long cannon, found while divers were using instruments to scan the sunken wreckage of what is believed to be Blackbeard's "Queen Anne's Revenge", was the second one discovered this week and the 20th since excavations began at the site in 1997.

"The Queen Anne's Revenge purportedly had between 25 and 40 guns on board," project conservator Wayne Lusardi said. "Any other ship in that area that we have records of that sank, none of them had anywhere near that many cannons."

"So the more guns we find on the bottom the more likely it is to rule out other candidates all together," Lusardi said.

Legend has it that Blackbeard, whose real name was Edward Teach, ruthlessly prowled the shipping channels off the Carolina coast before he was captured and beheaded by Lt. Robert Maynard of the British Royal Navy in 1718.

Blackbeard's flagship was a French slave ship captured by the pirate in 1717 and renamed the Queen Anne's Revenge.

The ship ran aground in the Beaufort Inlet in June 1718.

Excavation of the wreckage resumed last week in 25-foot waters about a mile off the Beaufort Inlet, and was expected to end Friday. Divers hope to expand their expedition next year to at least five weeks, Lusardi said.

Monday, divers recovered an 1,100 pound concretion, or mass, of barnacles and stone, which they dubbed "Baby Ruth" because of its resemblance to the candy bar, and were surprised to discover a small carriage gun beneath the mass.

The four-and-a-half foot cannon, which weighs about 300 pounds, was likely used on the deck with a carriage mount and shot a one-pound cannon ball.

"The small one brought up a few days ago was unexpected," Lusardi said. "It was a large conglomeration of stone and miscellaneous objects and when they picked it up they could see a clear outline of the cannon. It was very exciting."

On previous dives, archaeologists had discovered the outlines of 18 cannons, 17 of which had the same dimensions and appeared to be eight-foot cannons weighing about a ton. Two of the large cannons were brought to the surface in 1997, and last year divers recovered a six-foot cannon.

Experts began sketching and documenting the small gun recovered Monday, and Marines from nearby Cherry Point air station are using a portable X-ray machine to photograph the gun and check for other artifacts hidden inside the concretion.

The cannon discovered Wednesday will remain below the surface until the N.C. Underwater Archaeology Unit has enough space and manpower to raise it and store it.

"We're systematically going through the items," Lusardi said. "We don't bounce around and pull things up. Essentially it's got to wait its turn to come up."


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Dernière mise à jour:  03 mars, 2006