The final journey of the unknown gold miner is now complete.
The gold miner, whose remains — and boots — were exhumed from a grave above the Clutha River in the Cromwell Gorge in 1983, had spent the past four decades in the University of Otago anatomy department.
His discovery came as archaeologists scrambled to identify historical sites ahead of the construction of State Highway 8, the Clyde Dam and subsequent flooding of the gorge by Lake Dunstan.
He is believed to be one of the thousands of men who came to Central Otago during the gold rush era.
The tale of the unknown man captured national attention last year when Alexandra-based funeral director Lynley Claridge volunteered her time and services to give him a burial 140 years after his death.
He was given a funeral fitting for his era, complete with a horse-drawn hearse carrying the coffin through Old Cromwell to the cemetery.
The story was capped off with the unveiling of his headstone on Friday, a tribute to him and the many other unknown goldminers who lost their lives in the harsh conditions of the Central Otago gold rush.
Made of riverstone, and simply marked ‘‘The Goldminer’’, the headstone was a combined effort from Affinity Funeral, Dunedin Monumental and Contact Energy.
Retired priest Rev Barry Entwisle, who presided over the funeral last year, and Mrs Claridge were present for the unveiling.
‘‘It’s a memorial for all the gold miners that died with the harsh condition of the gold rush,’’ Rev Entwisle said.
For Mrs Claridge, it marked a closing of the chapter of the unnamed gold miner.
‘‘This is in memory of them who have no name,’’ she said.
‘‘This is the final journey home.’’