by Lisa Holewa
Archaeologists who have been searching the sunken Queen Anne's Revenge for more than a decade found a gilded sword hilt that may have belonged to the infamous 18th-century pirate Blackbeard.
National Geographic published photos released by the team, which has been excavating the sunken ship off the coast of North Carolina since 1997. The Queen Anne's Revenge was the flagship of Edward Teach, known as Blackbeard, until it ran aground in an inlet in 1718.
The sword hilt was found in pieces, but reassembled the picture released by the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources...
The department does not directly claim that the hilt belonged to Blackbeard, but speculates the hilt may have been discarded after the shipwreck...
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National Geographic photos of the sword
Additional relic photos by Nat Geo.