Home Rhino bone - atlas vertebra

Rhino bone - atlas vertebra



Object number


Physical Description

Fossil rhino bone, atlas vertebra. 'Stoke Newington 1960' in ink.

Object history

This part of a rhino's spine was discovered 20ft below the ground during tunnelling operations during September and October 1960 for the construction of the new Evering Road sewer. It was found about 20ft below ground, between Maury Road and the railway bridge.

The animal remains found at the site included six complete molar teeth, the front section of a Jaw, parts of a skull, and fragments of vertebrae of the Straight Tusked elephant ( (see 1991.810, 1991.381, 1991.382) this rhino vertebra and the tooth of a wild horse, now in the British Museum.

The finds were made by workmen, and reported to the British Museum by Mr Howard Lewis, an amateur geologist who lived nearby and who made regular visits to the excavation in order to record the deposits exposed there.

Documents related to the discovery are held by the Natural History Museum, Ref. DF PAL/129/5/4/156

Associated Place




Height (Whole): 160mm
Width (Whole): 100mm
Depth (Whole): 65mm

Exhibition Label

From ‘Hackney 300,000 BC: Meet the Neanderthal neighbours and curious creatures of the borough's Old Stone Age’


Rhinos are one of the largest animals alive today. They are strong and covered in a thick protective skin. Their horns can be used as a weapon when charging predators, or they can defend themselves using their teeth.

Despite these dangers, tool cut marks on bones provide evidence that humans have been eating – perhaps even hunting - rhinos in Britain for half a million years.

This neck bone (vertebra) was found in Stoke Newington in 1960. Rhino remains have also been found in Abney Park Cemetery and Upper Clapton.

On display?



Stoke Newington