A tompion was a wooden plug placed in the muzzle of the cannon to protect the contents from rain and seawater, allowing the cannon to remain loaded when not in use. When you are a hunted criminal on the high seas, you always need to have your artillery at the ready! On the Queen Anne’s Revenge site, the presence of a tompion strongly suggests that a cannon is still loaded. In fact, as of March 2018, at least 9 of the 24 cannons recovered have been loaded.

Updated 03/14/18 Courtney Page