Indigenous artifacts found during the Metro Tunnel archaeological dig will be on display next month in a rare opportunity to get a closer look at the First Nations history of Naarm, Melbourne.
The artifacts were found in 2018 on the site immediately behind the Young and Jackson pub on the corner of Swanston and Flinders streets, where Town Hall Station is now being built.
Before construction could begin on the station – one of the Metro Tunnel’s five new metro stations – an archaeological dig was conducted to recover and document artifacts from the site.
More than 280 native artifacts were discovered as archaeologists spent several months going through layers of the site’s history in a painstaking process.
The artifacts, also called flaked stone tools, could have been used as spearheads in hunting weapons, or even as tools to shape objects from wood, bark, and bone.
The nationally significant items will be on display for a limited time at Metro Tunnel HQ on Swanston St.
The award-winning information center provides insight into some of the state’s largest-ever public transit projects, including the subway tunnel.
It features a 3D city model, panoramic theater performance, kids activities and giveaways – with free access all year round.
Hedley Imbert, senior center coordinator at Metro Tunnel HQ, said archaeological exhibits remain one of the center’s most popular exhibits.
“I would say there is a lot of interest,” said Mr Imbert.
“It’s definitely something that gets discussed when people come downtown and hear the story about the Metrotunnel project.”
Mr Imbert said Metro Tunnel headquarters has become a staple of the school holiday experience for families visiting the city.
“There are fun activities for children that are free and we are taking the opportunity to talk to the families and tell them about the project,” he said.
Crews will soon begin laying tracks through the completed tunnels as the project begins recruiting more than 100 drivers to operate additional train services when the metro tunnel opens in 2025.
Up to 120 new train drivers will undergo an intensive 44-week training program to ensure they are ready to operate the 65 new and larger trains that will run through the tunnels.
Metro Tunnel HQ is located at 125-133 Swanston St •