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Queen Anne's Revenge

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Internet Assignment #2

Queen Anne’s Revenge

http://unc.edu/depts/cmse/sciences/Blackbeard.html

This website approaches the aspect of research from a scientific point of view by addressing the following questions: How can scientists be certain this is the Queen Anne's Revenge, since nothing recovered so far has that name written on it?, and Why will it take so long (as long as five years, according to press accounts) before articles from the ship can be exhibited to the public?

The question to the first question is the easier of the two to answer. Scientists are convinced primarily by these reasons: 1) In the first of the archeaologic dives, the diver’s recovered a bell dated 1709 which proves that the wreckage under the sea isn’t any older than 1709. 2) The artifacts recovered were all consistent with the date of the wreckage which was 1718 and nothing has been found that would conflict with that. 3) The ship is known to have carried at least twelve cannon. This is significant because merchant vessels wouldn’t have had that much fire power. Warships would not have been common at Beaufort during this time frame. Therefore this vessel is a pirate ship and most likely the Queen Anne’s Revenge because there is know other known ship of this size to have visited Beaufort.

The process of preservation of artifacts from the Queen Anne’s Revenge is especially difficult because the site was underwater. The things that are found must all be cleaned and preserved to remove the effects of the sea from them.

This includes removing mud, barnacles and other animals that might have made them their habitation. The archeologists will do as little cleaning as possible because “cleaning” may change the artifact’s surface because in this case it would likely mean scraping the surface which could damage the item. Once the necessary cleaning is done the process of preservation will begin. Water, especially saltwater is especially damaging to these items. If an artifact is removed from seawater and allowed to dry out, the salt will crystallize inside the artifact and could break it. Therefore, artifacts pulled from the sea will be immersed in tanks of water. Once this is done, scientists will remove the salt from the artifacts by using basic chemistry techniques. Depending on the type of material the artifacts other types of techniques may be used. Many of the artifacts are made from iron which rusts in the water, and if exposed to simple air, these artifacts would likely crumble. Other artifacts are made from brass or other combinations of material. Therefore these objects may require several techniques before being exposed to the normal air.

The justification for the field work for Queen Anne’s Revenge was to develop a digital mosaic image of the shipwreck. This would further develop the archeologists’ ability to understand the site and would enable information sharing with the public and other academic and scientific researchers.

A mosaic image is helpful on such sites in which the wreckage is underwater because it proves impossible to capture an image of the entire site, without the clarity of a single photo and limited visibility

At this time, “only portions of the site have been photographed with still and video images. A completed mosaic image of the wreck site would provide important data for archaeological interpretation. When incorporated and layered in a GIS environment with other collected data, such as the magnetic gradiometer surveys, bathymetric surveys, and detailed archaeological mapping conducted in specific areas of the site, the mosaic image becomes

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