The headlines were made last year when the remains of Captain Matthew Flinders, a Royal Navy explorer who led Australia’s first circumnavigation, were found in Euston, London. Captain Flinders was discovered by archaeologists helping work on the HS2 project.
However, the extent of the findings will be revealed in a documentary called HS2 – The Biggest Dig, on BBC Two on Tuesday, September 22.
Captain Flinders, who was commander of the HMS Investigator, was one of the great explorers of his generation and was the first European to tour Australia beginning in 1801.
The Briton is also credited with naming Australia and there are several places in the antipodal state that cite the researcher, such as the Flinders station in Melbourne, the Flinders Ranges in South Australia and the city of Flinders in Victoria.
The new documentary will reveal the moment when archaeologists discovered the remains of Captain Flinders, as well as the silver plate of the coffin and the subsequent excavations of the coffin.
While it was known that Captain Flinders was buried in the Gardens of St. James Euston in 1
His tombstone was removed in the 1940s after the expansion of Euston Station to the west in part of the cemetery, with researchers remaining lost for the next 70 years.
However, experts were able to identify the remains of the researcher on a lead plate with a name placed on the lid of the coffin, known as a deposit plate.
Mike Court, HS2’s lead archaeologist, said: “It’s great that we were able to show this amazing find as part of this documentary, exploring the discoveries made as part of HS2’s archeological work.
“The ability to document this through an intact breastplate was particularly exciting for archaeologists working on the project.
“It’s also particularly exciting because Captain Matthew Flinders was the grandfather of the famous Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie, known as the ‘father of archeology.’
Lion TV’s Bill Locke, who produced the documentary, said: “The ability to capture the moment Captain Matthew Flinders’ remains were discovered in Euston was important and became the focus of the second episode of the documentary.
“This allowed us to delve into its history, which is of global historical significance and is a fascinating part of the program.”