QAR Shipwreck Artifacts Preserved While Underwater

Archaeologists are trying an experimental method to preserve artifacts from the shipwreck believed to be the flagship of the pirate Blackbeard that sits off North Carolina's coast.

The Daily News of Jacksonville reported that staff from the North Carolina Underwater Archaeology Branch went on a three-day expedition last week to preserve parts of the Queen Anne's Revenge while the artifacts are on the sea floor.

Project director Mark Wilde Ramsing says aluminum rods were attached to several anchors and a cannon to change the electrochemical process that corrodes iron in saltwater. Ramsing hopes the rods will reduce or reverse the amount of salt absorbed by the iron objects.

He says archaeologists hope to save time by beginning the preservation underwater. The state hopes to retrieve the artifacts by 2013.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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