On March 26, 2009, two fleurs-de-lis (iris flowers)—the royal symbol of France—were revealed on an apothecary weight from a shipwreck off the coast of North Carolina, archaeologists said in March 2009.
Originally stuck to other nested weights but separated via an electrolysis process, the weight and a fleur-de-lis-shaped keg spigot found in the shipwreck are among the strongest evidence that the ship was originally French—a key to tying the ship to Blackbeard.
The pirate captured the French ship Le Concorde
and renamed it Queen Anne's Revenge
s surgeon, who was forced to serve briefly in Blackbeard's crew, may have owned the weights, designed for pharmaceuticals. Pirates could have also used the weights to measure gold dust, experts say.
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Photograph courtesy Wendy M. Welsh, North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources