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Archaeologists recover 5 cannons from wreck of Blackbeard's ship

  • cannonraised.jpg

    Oct. 28, 2013: The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Smilax and personnel from the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources worked to recover five cannons and multiple barrel hoops from the Queen Anne's Revenge in Beaufort Inlet, N.C. (David Weydert/US Coast Guard)

  • Blackbeard Queen Annes Revenge.jpg

    An image of Blackbeard first published in the 1700s. (N.C. Department of Cultural Resources)

Archaeologists have recovered five more cannons from the wreck Blackbeard's flagship, the Queen Anne's Revenge, off the coast of North Carolina.

State underwater archeologists on Monday raised the largest of the guns, weighing in at about 3,000 pounds.The other four weigh about 2,000 pounds, the Carteret County News-Times reported.

Project Director Billy Ray Morris says historians think the largest cannon was made in Sweden, indicating that Blackbeard had guns from different countries. State officials say about 280,000 artifacts have been recovered from the wreck.

“It was just an absolutely fantastic day,” Morris told the Carteret County News-Times. “If we can get this team in the future and weather like we had today, we will have the artifacts up by the end of 2014."

Blackbeard, the world's most famous pirate, captured a French slave ship and renamed it Queen Anne's Revenge in 1717. Volunteers with the Royal Navy killed Blackbeard in Ocracoke Inlet the following year, five months after the ship sank.

The wreck was located in 1996 in Beaufort Inlet. According to the News-Times, archaeologists hope to retrieve all of the artifacts from the site by next year because of deterioration brought about by hurricanes that have hit the coast.

Morris told the News-Times that 30 cannons have been discovered at the site and at least eight remain on the ocean floor. As of Monday, 22 cannons have been raised from the wreckage. 

"We know the records state that the Queen Anne’s Revenge had 40 cannons, and I believe we’ll find some more before it’s all over, but I’m not sure if we’ll find all 40,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Click here for more from Carteret County News-Times.