Message #172 From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG To: "'Matthias Giessler'" Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 Subject: Deconstructing Pirates and Vandals [ AzTeC / SWA SASIG ] [ SASIG Ed. Note -- How will revisionist historians treat terrestrial site looters ("pot hunters")?? ] Forbes June 1, 1998 p 39 Transparent Eyeball "to see a world in a grain of sand..." Edited bv Joshua Levine Giving Captain Black the hook By Ken Pappas Revisionist historians have gone to work on piracy. GILBERT & SULLIVAN missed the mark when they considered it a glorious thing to be a Pirate King. "The pirates elected their captains," says University of Pittsburgh pundit Marcus Rediker. "The pirate crew would meet as a whole and instruct the captain what to do." Revisionist historians have gone to work on piracy: Maybe those fellows were not as bad as they were painted. Professor Rediker says pirates lived in democratic subcultures, and their politics even influenced the American Revolution. In the wake of his studies have emerged Marxist, feminist and multicultural interpretations of piracy. B.R. Burg, author of Sodomy and the Pirate Tradition, says pirate ships constituted a kind of gay navy. There may be something to all this. Next year the National Geographic Society will display holdings recovered from pirate Sam Bellamy's ship, the Whydah. The excavation of this, the first authenticated pirate vessel, has yielded jewelry chopped into even pieces. "That's a pretty powerful statement that they were going to that extent to make sure everybody got their fair share," notes treasure hunter Barry Clifford. The Whydah, however, has been a disappointment to treasure hunters. "The notion that excavating a pirate ship would make [someone] rich is kind of funny," muses pirate authority Daniel Finamore, curator of the Peabody Essex Museum. "If you got gold, you didn't stay a pirate." So Long John Silver was just a poor guy, probably gay, trying to make a living.