Sunday, March 29, 2009

Knights of the Black Flag

A new exhibition just opened at the North Carolina Museum of History - Knights of the Black Flag covers piracy through the ages, from Egypt to Somalia with an emphasis on Queen Anne's Revenge.

Marauders. Plunderers. Bloodthirsty sea-thieves. Whatever their name, pirates have wreaked havoc on the high seas since waterway travel began. These seafaring scoundrels command attention in a major exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh. Knights of the Black Flag explores the legacy of pirates, from ancient times to the present, through intriguing artifacts, legends and history that bring their ruthless adventures to life. The interactive exhibit is an exciting experience for all ages.

BlackbeardShowcasing many objects related to pirates, Knights of the Black Flag includes the largest collection of artifacts ever exhibited from the shipwreck believed to be Blackbeard’s flagship, Queen Anne’s Revenge. Legends surround another compelling artifact on loan from the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts: the alleged skull of Blackbeard. The exhibit will be on view through January 3, 2010.

Knights of the Black Flag traces the history of piracy from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome through today’s pirates in Somalia. Artifacts, some dating to the early centuries A.D., represent tangible links to a violent past. For example, a Roman amphora (storage jar) from southern Jordan may have been seized by ancient pirates on a ship in the Red Sea. Other artifacts speak to the Golden Age of Piracy, from 1689 to the 1720s. These include Queen Anne-style pistols and items discovered in the ruins of Blackbeard’s purported house in Bath. Objects related to modern-day piracy in Somalia include an AK-47, gas masks and knapsacks.

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