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Posted 14 January 2011 - 08:21 AM
Experts are now almost certain that this partly gilded hilt held the sword of history's most feared and notorious pirate - Blackbeard. It was found amid the wreckage of the Queen Anne's Revenge, the flagship of the infamous 18th century outlaw.
For the past 14 years archaeologists have been excavating the ship, and the sword hilt — found in pieces but now reassembled — is among their latest finds which were revealed to the public this month
After running aground on a sandbar in 1718 near the town of Beaufort, North Carolina, the ship was abandoned but probably remained intact for as long as a year before collapsing and disintegrating.
'In any event the pirates would have had ample opportunity to take anything that they thought valuable,' said David Moore of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.
The hilt may have been left behind because it was unwanted, or it may have been inaccessible, according to Moore's colleague Wendy Welsh, a conservator on the project.
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