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Remains of explorer Matthew Flinders discovered near London station

Remains of explorer Matthew Flinders discovered near London station
By Rachael Kennedy
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The remains of the first man to circumnavigate Australia, explorer Matthew Flinders, have been discovered near a train station in London


Archaeologists have discovered the remains of the first man to circumnavigate Australia, Captain Matthew Flinders, during a dig where a new London train station is due to be built.

Flinders, a British explorer, is known for being the first man to circumnavigate Australia and is said to have directly influenced the country's name.

After his death in July 1814, Flinders was buried in a cemetery in Euston, central London.

However, the location of his grave was lost after his headstone was removed to make way for the expansion of the nearby Euston train station in the 1840s.

Recent excavations at the old burial site have been commissioned as part of the early stages of the construction of a new train station, which will cater for high-speed services between London and Birmingham, also known as the High Speed 2 (HS2).

During the dig, a breastplate bearing Flinders' name was discovered.

"Given the number of human remains at [the burial ground], we weren’t confident that we were going to find him," Helen Wass, HS2 Ltd’s Head of Heritage, said.

"We were very lucky that Captain Flinders had a breastplate made of lead meaning it would not have corroded. We’ll now be able to study his skeleton to see whether life at sea left its mark and what more we can learn about him."

Speaking about the importance of the discovery, Wass added: "The Flinders name is synonymous with exploration, science and discovery."

"HS2, through its archaeology programme, will ensure that we maximise the opportunities for further academic and scientific study."

Flinders, along with other remains at the burial site, will be reinterred at a location that is yet to be decided.

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