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Ruling theory is when a hypothesis is so attractive that researches may consciously or unconsciously record data in favor of the hypothesis. “Ruling Theory can be applied in many fields, including archaeology” (Railsback, 1990). An example of an archaeological site applying the Ruling Theory is the Beaufort Inlet Shipwreck. On November 21, 1996 a team of investigators from Intersal Inc. discovered an 18th century shipwreck about a mile and a half off of the coast of Beaufort Inlet. Shortly after discovering this ship the question of this ship being the Queen Anne’s Revenge, Blackbeard’s flagship, started to arise. Today many communities on the Outer Banks, like Ocracoke Island, use the Queen Anne’s Revenge to attract tourist. Is the Beaufort Inlet Shipwreck really the Queen’s Anne’s Revenge? Or have researches been too hasty when gathering their information about the Beaufort Inlet Shipwreck?

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Current Academic Year


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B.K. Means


Virginia Commonwealth University. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program

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VCU Undergraduate Research Posters


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Ruling Theory Applied at the Beaufort Inlet Shipwreck