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The Uist Virtual Archaeology Project has announced a new multi-media exhibition, which launched on Wednesday June 1 at Kildonan Museum near Daliburgh.

Over the summer it will appear at the Heb Celt and Eilean Dorcha Festivals and other events and locations.

The exhibition is the culmination of work completed for Uist Unearthed.

Across the islands there are hidden markers of Uist’s history and prehistory. Half-buried in sand dunes, tucked away in fields, forgotten about in the centre of lochs, are the remains of Bronze Age, Iron Age and Viking Age dwellings spanning millennia.

Now, along the Hebridean Way, key sites are being brought to life with a free app: Uist Unearthed.

Through it you can experience Augmented-Reality reconstructions on your mobile and explore artefacts that are otherwise encased in museums and entombed in books.

Users can learn about Uist life 4000 years ago and take selfies inside Bronze Age roundhouses.

Cladh Hallan, a settlement in South Uist, was the first AR site to launch on the app last year. Visitors download the app, scan a QR code at the site, and step inside 3500-year-old roundhouses – exploring the archaeological finds, uncovering facts and unearthing mysteries.

For Dr Emily Gal and Dr Rebecca Rennell, the team behind the project at UHI Outer Hebrides, this project is about passion. It is about blowing away the proverbial dust from archaeological stereotypes and raising the lid on the artefacts and questions that arise from the excavations.

It is also about virtually releasing Uist’s rich heritage into the hands of the community and visitors alike. It aims to put Uist on the map as a destination for world-class archaeology via creative, innovative technology.

The multi-media exhibition celebrates these achievements with Virtual Reality experiences, games, 3D printed artefacts, digital interactives, and talks.

Over the coming months, four more sites across North and South Uist will launch on the app: an Iron Age wheelhouse at Cill Donnain, a grand Viking Age hall at Bornais, a loch-bound broch at Dùn Torcuill and a medieval hall built within the remains of an Iron Age broch at Dùn an Sticir.

Each site reveals more about Uist’s past. The team works with local school groups to create exciting extra content for the app – including a hand-drawn animation about the dastardly deeds and grisly end to the notorious Hugh Macdonald, of Dùn an Sticir.

Exhibition Summer Programme:

  • Kildonan Museum, South Uist: 1-30 June
  • Heb Celt Festival, Stornoway: 13-16 July
  • Eilean Dorcha Festival, Benbecula: 22-24 July

The Uist Virtual Archaeology Project is delivered by archaeologists at UHI Outer Hebrides, in collaboration with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. The project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)'s Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund administered by NatureScot, The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF), Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (CnES), and Stòras Uibhist.

Facebook and Instagram: @UistUnearthed