“Some artifacts are in a stone like coating and are concreted together,” explained Chief Conservator Sarah Watkins-Kenney. “We may not know what’s in them when they come up. Some objects, like ballast stones, don’t take long to conserve. Some, like cannons and hull timbers, can take four or five years.”
Among the showcase finished artifacts were a pair of copper alloy cuff links, neither as large as a dime, which were in good condition and intact. Another item was a pewter clyster syringe, indelicacy aside, which was used for enemas. Both took about two years to conserve. They are among items shown that will be transferred to the N.C. Maritime Museum (www.ncmaritimemuseum.org) in Beaufort in January, and will be exhibited by Valentine’s Day. A belt buckle, nesting weight, wine bottle and apothecary mortar also were displayed.
David Moore, nautical archaeologist with the N.C. Maritime Museum, said all of the artifacts date to the early 18th century, the correct time for the shipwreck, which was in November 1718. Two artifacts have dates inscribed, a bell from 1705 and a cannon from 1713. There are four anchors of the correct vintage at the site, and about a quarter million lead shot have been recovered. He said other ships would not necessarily be so heavily armed, and that this is likely leftover armament from a pirate ship. There are two big factors that convince Moore this wreck is of the Queen Anne’s Revenge.