Shipwreck Recovery Project

Blackbeard & Discovery

Edward to Blackbeard

Blackbeard was an Englishman whose real name may have been Edward Teach or Thatch.
In late 1717 Blackbeard commandeered a French slave-trading vessel, La Concorde, and renamed her Queen Anne’s Revenge (QAR). The period of time in which Blackbeard was active is referred to as the Golden Age of Piracy.

Blackbeard and Beaufort

Seven months after taking La Concorde, Blackbeard ran QAR aground near Beaufort Inlet and some historians suspect he did so purposefully to shrink his expensive pirate crew of four ships and 400 men. Blackbeard may have settled in North Carolina and married the daughter of a planter near Bath after being granted a pardon from North Carolina Governor Charles Eden in June 1718. He returned to piracy, however, and was killed in November 1718, at Ocracoke, in a fight with members of the Royal Navy.


In 1996, acting under a permit awarded by North Carolina’s Office of State Archaeology, a research team from a private company, Intersal, Inc., found a cluster of cannon and anchors on the seabed near historic Beaufort Inlet.
Several diagnostic artifacts were recovered, including a bronze bell dated 1705, which led discoverers to strongly suspect that this was the wreckage of QAR.

The QAR Site

As the shipwreck site (31CR314) is in state waters, the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources (NCDCR) and is responsible for its management, including archaeological investigation and preservation of this shipwreck.
The QAR site was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004
Following preliminary investigations at the site (1997-2005), excavation with full recovery of all artifacts was recommended to maximize archaeological and public benefit. Full recovery operations at the site began in 2006 and have continued each year as funding becomes available.

Project Goals 2015 - 2018

Three-Year Project Costs

EXCAVATION - Complete excavation of the site to ensure that all artifacts recovered are in a stable wet storage environment, waiting conservation treatment. Currently, the plan is to complete excavation by end of 2018, to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Queen Anne’s Revenge shipwreck.

CONSERVATION – Secure funding to complete conservation of artifacts. Acquire sufficient space for conservation of all artifacts.

EDUCATION - Improve provision and opportunities for public education, outreach and participation in discovering and preserving North Carolina’s heritage. Partner with DPI and others for creation and distribution of educational material.

  • Excavation: $507,688
  • Conservation: $1,052,000


Greenville’s We Play Everything G97.9
Thunder Country 96.3
Talk of The Town 94.1
Triton Woods

About Us

The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources’ (NCDCR) vision is to be the leader in using the state’s cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDCR serves more than 19 million people annually through three major areas: Arts, State Library of North Carolina and Archives and History. NCDCR includes the State Library, the State Archives, 27 Historic Sites, 7 History Museums, Archaeology, Genealogy, Historic Preservation, the North Carolina Symphony, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the North Carolina Museum of Art. Its mission is to improve quality of life in our state by creating opportunities that promote economic development, stimulate learning, preserve the state’s history and spark creativity. NCDCR is the parent organization responsible for the protection, preservation and development of Queen Anne’s Revenge Shipwreck Recovery Project.

The Friends of Queen Anne’s Revenge was incorporated in 2008 and is a non-profit 501( C)( 3) support organization established to provide additional funding for the excavation and conservation of the QAR Shipwreck Project. The mission of the Friends of Queen Anne’s Revenge is limited to providing fundraising support for the completion of field work of Queen Anne’s Revenge; and the conservation of artifacts recovered from the Queen Anne’s Revenge site.

Wendi Olver
Stedman Stevens
Glenn Overton
Tom Kies
Lee Sykes

Case For Support

Get in touch

If you have any questions, or would like more information about join the Friends of the Queen Anne's Revenge, contact Wendi Oliver, The Friends of The QAR Board President by using the form below, or the contact links provided.