Edited by: Professor Russell K. Skowronek and Charles R. Ewen
This collection piques the imagination with historical evidence about the actual exploits of pirates as revealed in the archaeological record. The recent discovery of the wreck of Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge, off Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina, has provoked scientists to ask, What is a pirate? Were pirates sea-going terrorists, lawless rogues who plundered, smuggled, and illegally transported slaves, or legitimate corsairs and privateers? Highlighting such pirate vessels as the Speaker, which sailed in the Indian Ocean, and the Whydah, the first pirate ship discovered in North America (near the tip of Cape Cod), the contributors analyze what constitutes a pirate ship and how it is different from a contemporary merchant or naval vessel.
Examining excavated underwater “treasure sites” and terrestrial pirate lairs found off the coast of Madagascar, throughout the Caribbean, and within the United States, the authors explore the romanticized “Golden Age of Piracy,” a period brimming with the real-life exploits of Captain Kidd, Blackbeard, Henry Morgan, and the “gentleman pirate” Jean Lafitte. This book will appeal to the general public, with special interest to anthropologists, archaeologists, historians, and divers.