Wednesday, August 08, 2007

More Discoveries at the Whydah

Last summer I had a post about underwater archaeology at the wreck of the Whydah, a pirate ship that sunk in a storm off of Wellfleet, Massachusetts in 1717. The NY Times today has the story of the recovery of 12,000 pound mass of corroded metal from the sea floor under the wreck. Researchers think that it contains seven cannon and many other artifacts that are rusted and congealed together. I'm sure that they'll be years in the lab picking it apart.

According to the article, the Whydah is apparently the only shipwreck that can be definitively tied to pirates:

"Charles R. Ewen, a professor of archaeology at East Carolina University and a co-editor of 'X Marks the Spot: The Archaeology of Piracy,' said anything new from the Whydah was significant because it was the only pirate ship that had been 'unequivocally found' and offered clues about the pirating life.

'It sank with everything,' Professor Ewen said, 'so the material you find with it is very good at comparing with other ships. It’s very important for history and capturing what it was really like to be a pirate, as opposed to Johnny Depp.'”

Got that, Heidi?


A+M+M+J said...


A real pleasure to find you online! I had the wonderfully coincidental experience of reading Eagle Dreams in Bayan Olgii. We were hopping a flight to Almaty for a week in K'stan -- but on the way back were able to spend the day with a Kazakh family and their eagle. Incredible -- and even better for being in December. I hope you'll stop by our blog as well, because while you might not care for professional cycling, we are also bird hunters.

Thanks for your wonderful writing.

Andrew, Meg, Momo + Jozsi

Heidi the Hick said...

Reid! bwa haha!

Listen, I hate to break this to everybody, but...

Johnny Depp is an ACTOR and he was playing a character.

It's all fiction. I'm so sorry to burst the bubble. It's all just a story.

Seriously I'd love to see pictures of that mass of metal they sucked up out of the ocean floor. What fun!

reid farmer said...

Sorry Heidi, I couldn't resist!

Heidi the Hick said...

I loved that!

(What kind of schooling would you need to become a pirate historian? Not that I'm looking for a new career....)

Reid Farmer said...

Well, looking at Charles Ewen's web site, he has a PhD in Anthropology from U of Florida. From looking at this it appears he has done a lot more work on Spanish colonial archeology and de Soto entrada research than on pirates. I remember seeing his pirate archaeology book in a catalogue last year and put it on my wish list.