About SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure
SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure brings real shipwreck treasures and the technology used
to recover them right to Greensboro Science Center! Find out what it’s like to be a shipwreck
explorer, the captain of a sinking ship or a pirate on the run with hands-on activities including
a robotic arm to pick up treasure and a hurricane simulator to challenge the storm. Discover
more than 500 priceless artifacts recovered from famous shipwrecks including real gold and
silver treasure recovered from thousands of feet deep.
Shipwrecks in History
Over the past 3,000 years of maritime expeditions, many of the mightiest ships have fallen victim
to fierce storms, war and plunder. Delve into the intriguing accounts of some of the most famous
shipwrecks throughout history by exploring the Shipwrecks Around the World interactive map.
On your journey you will see some of these fascinating finds, including a 17th-century wooden
carpenter’s folding ruler (pictured, left) - the oldest of its kind ever to be discovered on a shipwreck! Among
the other rarities on display is a mariner's astrolabe, one of less than a hundred on land today.
As you pass through you will also marvel at an array of stunning 17th to 19th-century artifacts.
Pioneers in the field of deep-ocean exploration, Odyssey has discovered more shipwrecks in the deep
ocean than anyone else. Share Odyssey’s passion for history and archaeology and learn about their
remarkable discoveries that have made world-wide headlines including the SS Republic, HMS Victory and SS Gairsoppa.
Pirates at Sea
With all this treasure, there must be pirates! Explore pirate lore, legend and facts in this interactive
exhibit. Create your own pirate and find out if you have the skills to tie sailor's knots or identify
friends or foes at sea. You will also encounter some of the most infamous pirates that terrorized the
seas including Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, Barbary Corsairs, Privateers and Buccaneers. An 18th century
cannon from an unidentified shipwreck believed to be a xebec, the Barbary pirates’ vessel
of choice, is featured.
Journey to the SS Republic
Following the devastating Civil War, the 1860s were a time of rebuilding and innovation across
America. The Republic set sail from New York heading for New Orleans with a stunning assortment
of ceramic goods, bottled fare, religious items and elegant glassware intended to restock the
shelves of Southern merchants. You will journey back in time, "traveling aboard" the Republic and
reliving her final historic voyage by seeing the assortment of cargo she carried and learning about
the passengers on board.
Steaming into a Hurricane
Smooth sailing can quickly turn perilous when strong winds blow in. Weather plays a significant role
in creating and locating shipwrecks. Experience firsthand the high-powered winds that brought down
the Republic and other famous shipwrecks as you step into the hurricane wind tunnels. Then try steering a ship through a ferocious storm!
The Search for the SS Republic
Diving into archives, libraries, old journals and maps, Odyssey researchers gather as much information
as they can to put together the missing pieces of the puzzle and answer the questions, "Why did the
ship sink?"...and "Where is it now?"
Explorers at Sea
Sailing the high seas, armed with advanced technology and the world’s leading shipwreck experts,
Odyssey is opening up the last unexplored frontier - the deep ocean. Explore the cutting-edge technology
Odyssey uses to conduct its groundbreaking discoveries by experiencing up close life-sized
models of some of these cool tools. You can even operate ZEUS’ robotic arm in interactive challenges,
attempting to recover coins.
Discovery 1,700 Feet Below!
Deep in the Atlantic Ocean, beyond the reach of human divers, Odyssey discovered the remains of
the SS Republic - the greatest shipwreck of the Civil War era. Immerse yourself in the high-definition underwater video to compare the artifacts 1,700 feet deep with those just a few feet in front
of you. Lost on the ocean floor for over a century, Odyssey conducted the first full archaeological
excavation of a deep-ocean shipwreck using advanced robotics. Over 14,000 priceless artifacts and
51,000 coins were recovered from this historic shipwreck. Here you can see a cross section of the
items from the shipwreck as they looked when recovered from the deep including a concretion of
Civil War-era coins valued at over one million dollars, ship equipment, 19th-century tablewares,
building supplies and even the coal used to power the ship.
Lost to the ocean depths often for centuries, artifacts must undergo conservation that starts as soon
as they are recovered to the surface. Odyssey’s world-class conservation team explains the science of
preserving history. Documentation is vital to preserving artifacts so come explore Odyssey’s Virtual
Museum - accessible 24 hours a day from any computer around the world. Little explorers can
explore the world of conservation and investigate clues that help determine how to save artifacts
Treasures of the Deep
Gold isn't the only treasure found on shipwrecks. Some of our amazing discoveries provide today’s
public and future generations a remarkable glimpse into life in the mid-19th century, including
the societal trends, fashions and customs of the day. Delve into the many artifacts and lost treasure
retrieved from the ocean depths and learn about the people who lived long ago through the objects
they used, relied on and cherished in their daily lives including:
• Priceless personal items and everyday objects whose stories bring the past to life such as a
delicate and unique porcelain inkstand depicting a mother and children, writing slates for
students, and mid-19th century toothbrushes.
• Game pieces, dominoes and a miniature child's redware tea set (pictured, left) that open a window into
entertainment of the day.
• Delicate ceramic angels, holy water fonts and pressed glass candlesticks in the form of the crucified Christ that help illustrate religion’s role in the post war South.
• Containers of various magical remedies which promised to cure every 19th-century ailment from constipation to diabetes with ingredients including alcohol and narcotics.
• An interactive bottle wall showcasing more than 90 different colored and shaped 19th-century bottles recovered from the SS Republic.
Shimmering Gold and Silver
Nearly 400 pounds of gold and silver treasures are on display in the Treasure Room. Some of the
most rare and unique coins from the SS Republic with historical details on their mint, significance
and value are showcased. Authentic gold bars and coins from the 1622 "Tortugas" shipwreck are
also on display. Read the vivid stories and history that highlight some of the different forms of
money used in early America. The Gairsoppa operation resulted in the deepest and heaviest recovery
of precious metal in history when Odyssey brought up over 110 tons of silver in 2012-2013. The
first bar ever recovered from the World War II-era Gairsoppa is on display along with two additional
unrefined silver bars, silver grain produced during the refining process and a shiny .999 refined