(CNN) -- Dead men tell no tales, but the sea does, as shown Friday when an anchor was recovered from the wreckage of pirate Blackbeard's flagship.
An expedition off the North Carolina coast hoisted the nearly 3,000-pound anchor, one of three belonging to the Queen Anne's Revenge.
Crews were working in just 20 feet of water, according to the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.
The Queen Anne's Revenge is believed to have run aground in the shallow waters off Beaufort in 1718. The ship was discovered in 1996, with piecemeal recovery of artifacts intensifying only a few years ago.
Staff from the department's Underwater Archaeology Branch are focused on "conducting a detailed assessment of the main mound to determine strategies for dis-assembly and recovery," according to the Queen Anne's Revenge website.
Conservation of the anchor may take four years.
The expedition is trying to score a trove of 18th-century goods, which will be used to educate the public and raise awareness of underwater preservation efforts. The site has already yielded more than 250,000 artifacts, including cannons, gold, platters, glass, beads, shackles and rope, according to the state.
The largest exhibit of fully conserved artifacts from the shipwreck will open at the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort on June 11, the Department of Cultural Resources said in a statement.
An article published in March on the Smithsonian website said the Queen Anne's Revenge was found to have about 225,000 pieces of lead shot and at least 25 cannons, many of them still loaded.
Romanticized in history books as a notorious ruffian, Blackbeard, born in Britain as Edward Teach, terrorized Atlantic seafarers from the shores of the American colonies to the Caribbean.
In November 1718, the captain, believed to be in his late 30s, died in combat against British naval forces. He was on board another vessel, Adventure.