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Word Count: 204
In his article Europes First Mummies David Keys points out that nothing appeared to be unusual about two human skeletons excavated on Scotlands Outer Hebrides until tests showed the individuals had died up to five hundred years before they were buried Archaeologists had discovered the oldest mummies ever found in Europe Two mummies were found buried beneath a 3000-year-old house at Cladh Hallan located on the island of South Uist off the coast of Scotland The house had been part of a settlement used for ritual activities during the Bronze Age The older of the two mummies a male died around 1500 BC while the second a woman died two centuries later Experts believe that the bodies which were mummified in a fetal position must have been tightly wrapped in fabric similar to Egyptian mummies Soft tissue decay occurred only after the bodies which had been above ground for several hundred years were buried Skin and muscle tissue kept the bodies from falling apart Several theories surround questions concerning why the bodies were buried after having been above ground for hundreds of years This discovery provides surprising evidence that prehistoric Europeans preserved their dead and directs further investigation into the Bronze Age
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