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

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4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jonathan and Denise Bridge (21 months ago)
An archaeological site of great importance in particular to the understanding of society,. Culture and technological development in the Iron age and earlier : and yet it has apparently been abandoned to be erased from the landscape. This is extraordinary when we cinsider that well-funded archaeological sites can bring in to the islands tourism income vastly in excess of the public outlay. The Ourer Hebrides have a wealth of archaeological sites, but pitifully few have been properly investigated, and a tiny number of those have anything more than token access and interpretational facilities.
Alistair Duncan (2 years ago)
Impressive.
Johnny Groats (2 years ago)
Very interesting. Worth doing if you are there.
Picsalight (2 years ago)
It was interesting but there wasn't a whole lot to see and we had difficulty finding the actual roundhouses.
Jason Graves (3 years ago)
Clash hellan Iron Age Roundhouse settlemen How they used to live they think they was here 5500 years ago such a stunning piece of History that belongs to the island of the Hebrides beautiful island very historic and Jurassic if you find the Roundhouse it's worth a visit as it is in the middle of nowhere stunning scenery around it's worth finding
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