Saturday, October 22, 2005

Hurricane Unearths Medical Artifact From Blackbeard's Ship

Researchers say an apothecary mortar from 1718 and other debris were uncovered when Ophelia tore up the coast.
Researchers excavating the site of the shipwreck believed to be Blackbeard's flagship got an unexpected assist from Hurricane Ophelia. The storm churned up the waters and unearthed an apothecary mortar from the remains of the Queen Anne's Revenge. That's the thick bowl familiar to modern eyes in pharmacy logos, where it's shown with a pestle. Two cannons, an anchor and other debris were also exposed when Ophelia scoured sand on the sea bottom just off Atlantic Beach. The items could provide useful historic data about the ship. When Blackbeard took control of the slave ship Concorde in the Caribbean in 1717, he forced three of the ship's surgeons to remain aboard his pirate flagship. In May 1718, Blackbeard demanded and received supplies to refill his medicine chest during a weeklong blockade of Charleston Harbor. The ship ran aground in Beaufort Inlet about a month later.

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