Cladh Hallan is an archaeological site on the island of South Uist. It is significant as the only place in Great Britain where prehistoric mummies have been found. Excavations were carried out there between 1988 and 2002, indicating the site was occupied from 2000 BC.

In 2001, a team of archaeologists found four skeletons at the site, one of them a male who had died ca. 1600 BC, and another a female who had died ca. 1300 BC. At first the researchers did not realise they were dealing with mummies, since the soft tissue had decomposed and the skeletons had been buried. But tests revealed that both bodies had not been buried until about 1120 BC, and that the bodies had been preserved shortly after death in a peat bog for 6 to 18 months. The preserved bodies were then apparently retrieved from the bog and set up inside a dwelling, presumably having religious significance. Archaeologists do not know why the bodies were buried centuries later. The Cladh Hallan skeletons differ from most bog bodies in two respects: unlike most bog bodies, they appear to have been put in the bog for the express purpose of preservation (whereas most bog bodies were simply interred in the bog), and unlike most bog bodies, their soft tissue was no longer preserved at the time of discovery.

The skeletons and other finds are being analysed in laboratories in Scotland, England and Wales. Following the provisions of the Treasure Trove Act, all the finds from Cladh Hallan, including the skeletons, will be allocated to a Scottish museum after the lengthy process of analysis and reporting is completed. According to recent anthropological and DNA-analysis the skeletons of a female and a male were compiled from body parts of at least 6 different human individuals.



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Founded: 2000 BC
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in United Kingdom


4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Nick Fox (2 years ago)
Download the uist unearthed app before you go (it's 70mb or so). It's an augmented reality app that'll show you what the roundhouse would have looked like at the time.
David Van (2 years ago)
Amazing with the Uist Unearthed app, which let's you see the buildings as they would have existed and even walk around inside of them.
Kenneth Green (2 years ago)
Some nicely presented roundhouses dating to the bronze age. They found mummies here, you can have a look at the skeleton from one in the kildonan museum up the road, so go and do that too. Before you go to Cladh Hallan, remember to download the Uist Unearthed app onto your smartphone and look at the cool AR representation of the roundhouses, it's a really nice way of presenting archaeology, although the sun might be shining on your screen too much. You'll get a very nice stroll along the machair here, too. Have a paddle if you're brave enough.
David Wells (2 years ago)
Small but interesting place. There is a free phone app (Uist Unearthed) which can be used to see addition information and augmented reality.
Fred Godden (2 years ago)
Very interesting, historically valuable, site needs some maintenance.
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