Headlines hit last year when the remains of Captain Matthew Flinders, the Royal Navy discoverer who led the first circumnavigation of Australia, were found in Euston, London. Captain Flinders was discovered by archaeologists who helped work on the HS2 project.
The scale of the results, however, is set to be revealed in a documentary called HS2 – The Biggest Dig on BBC Two on Tuesday September 22nd.
Captain Flinders, the commander of the HMS Investigator, was one of the great explorers of his generation and was the first European to circumnavigate Australia from 1801.
The British are also credited with giving their name to Australia, and there are several locations in the antipodean country that refer to the explorer, such as 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 coffin top and the subsequent excavation of the coffin.
Although Captain Flinders was known to be buried in St. James̵
His headstone was removed to part of the burial site in the 1840s after Euston Station was expanded westward, with the discoverers being lost for another 70 years.
However, experts were able to identify the remains of the researcher by means of the lead shield placed in the coffin lid, known as the deposit shield.
Mike Court, Senior Archaeologist at HS2, said, “It is great that we can present this incredible find as part of this documentary and examine the discoveries made as part of HS2’s archaeological work.
“The ability to document this through the intact breastplate was particularly exciting for archaeologists working on the project.
“It’s also especially exciting as Cpt. Matthew Flinders was the grandfather of the well-known Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie, commonly known as the ‘Father of Archeology’.”
Lion TV’s Bill Locke, who produced the documentary, said: “Capturing the moment the remains of Captain Matthew Flinders were discovered in Euston was significant and has become a focus of the second episode of the documentary.
“It enabled us to immerse ourselves in its history, which is of worldwide historical significance and is a fascinating part of the program.”