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Archaeologists Find Books Pirates May Have Read At Sea

Archaeologists at the North Carolina University found books that pirates may have read at sea during the 18th century, according to a Tuesday report.

The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources found 16 pieces of paper stuffed inside a cannon chamber on Blackbeard’s famous ship Queen Anne’s Revenge, reported the New York Post. Although most of the text is broken into chunks smaller than a quarter, archaeologists determined that it belonged to the 1712 book titled “A Voyage to the South Sea, and Round the World, Perform’d in the Years 1708, 1709, 1710 and 1711,” by Edward Cooke of the Royal Navy.

The archaeologists teamed up with Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation to work on preserving the 300-year-old paper fragments, according to the department’s website.

“Cooke’s book was a ‘voyage narrative’ describing his adventures on an expedition made by two ships, Duke and Dutchess, which sailed from Bristol, England in 1708,” the researchers wrote. “The expedition leader was Captain Woodes Rogers, who also published an account of the expedition and who was later sent in 1718 as Royal Governor to rid the Bahamas of pirates.”

Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge was initially a French slave ship stolen by the pirate in 1717. Blackbeard was killed by the Royal Navy in November 1718.

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