Huge whale skeleton to go on display at Docklands musuem

A HUGE whale skeleton found by archaeologists at Bay Wharf in Greenwich will be unveiled this week.

A HUGE whale skeleton found by archaeologists at Bay Wharf in Greenwich has been unveiled.

The headless skeleton of a rare North Atlantic right whale is seven metres long and weighs around half a tonne.

It is probably the largest single object to have been found on a dig in London. The whale species is now endangered making the discovery all the more fascinating.

The skeleton was unveiled at the Museum of London Docklands on Thursday and will be on display until next Tuesday when it will be moved to the Natural History Museum.

It will be dated there and used by researchers to find out more about the species.

Francis Grew, senior curator archaeology and archive manager at the Museum of London, said: “Whales occasionally swim into the Thames, and there are historical accounts of the enormous public excitement they engendered.

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“To have found a skeleton, which just possibly might be linked with one of those sightings, is quite incredible.”

Tim Bradley, project manager at Pre-Construct Archaeology Ltd, said: “When the archaeologist on site phoned me to say that he had found a whale I thought he was joking!

“As archaeologists we’re used to reacting to unexpected finds, but the size and location of the whale on the tidal foreshore made recovery particularly challenging – among other things it broke the suspension on our van!

“We’re very excited to have made such exceptional discovery.”

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