"They heated sand in large bronze shields and then catapulted the red-hot sand onto Alexander's besieging soldiers," Mayor said.
Blackbeard's improvised grenades also recall Leonardo da Vinci's sketches for his invention of "Cluster Bombs." These cluster bombs consisted of round shells, made of a pliable leather or linen casing, stitched around a bunch of iron balls and sharp iron spacers. The resulting missiles had a greater range and a more lethal impact than a single cannonball.
The terror inflicted by Blackbeard's improvised weapons on the Queen Anne's Revenge turned out to be short-lived. The pirate lost his flagship exactly 293 years ago, on June 10, 1718, while attempting to enter Beaufort Inlet, N.C.
Five months later he was killed in a bloody battle at Ocracoke Inlet, his head cut off and his body tossed overboard.