Prehistoric Graves Found in Uig

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Susan and Keith Stringer came across evidence of a grave in the dunes above Traigh na Berie, which on excavation was found to contain a crouch burial (in the picture, in the trench at the foot of the stick).

From Hebrides News:

A human skeleton thought to be 4000 years old has been discovered on Lewis. Soil erosion caused by recent storms exposed a small stone kist at Uig on the west side of the island. The bones, believed to be an almost whole adult skeleton, were contained within the cramped stone coffin and buried.

Two field researchers from Glasgow University have been probing the site this week on behalf of Historic Scotland. Archaeology research director at the university Dr Alan Leslie said the precise dating of remains was “too early to say.”

He added that such a burial “in a small kist we automatically think of the Bronze Age.”

Update:  The site was excavated all this week and, in proper archaeological tradition, as the archaeologists were preparing to pack up they found another grave nearby, which was found to contain two incomplete skeletons as well as two jet beads and a copper pin.   This brings to 14 the number of burials found on the headland since the 1970s:  seven Viking and seven (probably) Bronze Age.

In the picture, the two further skeletons were at the near end of the trench.  The stones in the foreground are spoil; those forming the kist are in the small pile in front of the archaeologist in orange trews.

We await with interest the reports on these recent excavations.  Update: there was another find in January 2010.