Booty and Books: New Evidence of Pirates' Interest in Both

Tiny paper fragments found aboard the wreckage of Blackbeard's ship have given researchers a glimpse of what pirates liked to read. Josh King has the story (@abridgetoland).

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Dead men tell no tales, but there's new evidence that somebody aboard the pirate Blackbeard's flagship harbored books among the booty.

Researchers have discovered shreds of paper bearing legible printing that somehow survived three centuries underwater on Blackbeard's sunken vessel. After more than a year of research that ranged as far as Scotland, they identified them as fragments of a book about nautical voyages published 1712.

The conservators presented their findings at the annual meeting of the Society of Historical Archaeology in New Orleans.

Blackbeard's ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge, ship ran aground in Beaufort in 1718, and volunteers with the Royal Navy killed Blackbeard in Ocracoke Inlet that same year.

A private company located the shipwreck in 1996 off the North Carolina coast.

© 2018 Associated Press


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