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An Infamous Legacy, Stretching Back 300 Years...

As archaeologists, conservators, and historians, the Underwater Archaeology Branch of the Office of State Archaeology is dedicated to uncovering the mysteries of the past. Join us as we explore day by day the origins of Blackbeard, his famous flagship, the Queen Anne's Revenge, and his misadventures along the Carolina coast.

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!

Blackbeard's Prize Lay Submerged for Over 250 Years...

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 QAR's story 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.

Follow the Ship's Journey

Join the Crew

Archaeological Research

Our project draws together some of the leading scientists in the nation from institutions to advance the standard of practice in archaeology and conservation and provides students with hands-on learning experiences in maritime history, archaeology and preservation.

Economic Impact

The work that the our team does brings the national spotlight to North Carolina's Crystal Coast, bringing more than 300,000 visitors annually to the region annual and helping them explore the story of colonial North Carolina.

What Lessons Can Pirates Teach?

Our project tells us about more than who Blackbeard was and how pirates lived. It sheds light on the wider political, economic and social systems of the colonial period in North Carolina and beyond.