Published: Oct 26, 2011 11:10 AM EDT

BEAUFORT, N.C. (AP) - Researchers hope to raise a one-ton cannon from the wreck of the pirate Blackbeard's ship, which has been on the ocean floor off the North Carolina coast for nearly 300 years.
 
The Queen Anne's Revenge Project expects to bring the cannon onshore Wednesday. The project, named after the flagship, has been working since 1997 to salvage artifacts from the wreck.
 
The retrieved cannon will be on public display in front of the state Maritime Museum in Beaufort before it's taken to a laboratory for further study.
 
After nearly three centuries underwater, the cannon has become encased in a cement-like shell of sand, salt and aquatic creatures. It could take years for researchers to learn exactly what the shell contains in addition to the cannon.