updated 10/8/2004 6:10:09 PM ET 2004-10-08T22:10:09

Underwater archaeologists have found another cannon from the wreckage of what they believe was the flagship of the notorious pirate Blackbeard.

Historical records indicate Blackbeard had 40 guns on the French frigate he captured in 1717 and renamed Queen Anne's Revenge. Since 1996, when the wreckage of the ship was discovered in Beaufort Inlet, divers have found 22 at the site.

"We're pretty positive that we have cannon number 23," said project archaeologist Chris Southerly.

It is a large cannon that probably shot a 6-pound or 8-pound ball, Southerly said. Divers uncovered the cannon while excavating an area of the shipwreck's northwest side where they had not previously dug.

Divers also found a concretion with chain and part of the mast rigging, and a 9- to 10-inch-diameter cast iron kettle. A concretion is a mineral buildup usually found in rock.

The dig, which began Monday, was a second priority for the divers, whose main goal was to survey the shipwreck site for storm damage. They found several scoured areas, likely the result of recent hurricanes, Southerly said.

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