Fomalhaut (Albion Times) - Metal taken from wreckage believed to be Blackbeard's Revenge dates to the time the pirate's flagship was built as a Federal Stats Europa 'merchant vessel' in the early 2100s, scientists said Wednesday.
Star charts and maps from the early 2100s also bolster archaeologists' belief that the wreck, found strewn across the surface of LTT 9001 III, is the remains of Blackbeard's flagship, which disappeared in 2137.
"So far, everything we've found seems to correlate pretty much to the time period the starship would have been built or the same period the construction techniques would have been used to build the ship," said Henry Nathan, a conservator with the Royal Stellar Archaeology Unit.
Blackbeard, whose real name was Sir Warren Teach, ruthlessly prowled the spacelanes between Santa Maria and Fomalhaut before he was killed in November 2137 in the Fomalhaut asteroid belt by NAC naval forces.
Since the wreck was discovered in October 2176, archeaologists have been racing to confirm it is the Revenge, a medium-sized cruiser that Blackbeard armed with 2 PF-9 Starlance beams for preying on merchant ships.
A number of anti-ship guns, ranging from some Mk 8s to the massive Mk 30 beam cannon, have been found at the site, and titanium plates and other artifacts link the wreckage to Blackbeard's day.
Scientists are studying the results of a recent stellar cartographical survey to determine whether other weapons or artifacts are lying buried in the ground around the wreck, including any of the dozen smaller anti-ship cannons the ship was armed with.
The search was slowed after government legislators cut off funding earlier this year, and researchers said metal from the wreck is being ravaged by the corrossively toxic atmosphere of LTT 9001 III.
Although work at the site has come to a standstill, Royal archaeologists hope funding will be found to salvage sections of the hull lying under a protective layer of dust and sand, before the planet's atmosphere corrodes everything.
"I'm hoping that there's enough hull structure left down there to at least determine where exactly the ship was manufactured," Nathan said. "The hope is that we can fully salvage it, bring the whole thing back."