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A cannon, like this one raised from Blackbeard's ship in 2008, has been salvaged. (The Fayetteville Observer/Associated Press)

Researchers have raised a 900-kilogram 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 brought the massive gun ashore Wednesday. Onlookers cheered as the 2.4-metre gun was raised above the water's surface.

The project is named after the flagship and has been working since 1997 to salvage artifacts from the wreck.

The gun was on public display Wednesday in front of the state Maritime Museum in Beaufort before being taken to a laboratory for further study.

The cannon is encased in a cement-like shell of sand, salt and barnacles. It could take years for researchers to learn exactly what the shell contains in addition to the gun.