Blackbeard and the MAC Lab

Well, no, we do not have the actual pirate at the MAC Lab, but his PIRATE SHIP (or parts from it) – yes, these we have! Conservators at the MAC Lab are currently treating a variety of wood fragments from Blackbeard’s flagship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge (QAR). The ship was discovered in 1996 off the coast of North Carolina and artifacts from the site are being conserved at the QAR Conservation Laboratory, also in North Carolina. The MAC Lab was contracted to conserve this particular batch of wood from the ship because it contains several timbers that the MAC Lab’s large archaeological freeze dryer (largest on the east coast) can manage very well. The mostly white oak artifacts include frames, tampions from cannons, a wood button, and a cask fragment.

Receiving the QAR artifacts at the MAC Lab

Wooden button before treatment

Frame before treatment

Structural plan of the remains of the QAR with frame
positions highlighted