Between 1994 and 2004, excavations were undertaken at all three mounds. At Mound 1, the southernmost of the group, the excavations uncovered what was probably a Late Iron Age wheelhouse, which after destruction by fire was rebuilt as a rectangular building. The later structure had a central hearth surrounded on three sides by cattle leg bones rammed into the floor with their upper ends showing: evidence, perhaps, of the complex symbolism linked with domestic animals during the Iron Age. Large quantities of bones, ceramics and pottery were found distributed throughout the destruction layer, together with objects including bone dice, a whalebone axe and crucible fragments.
Mounds 2 and 3 are approximately 50-100m north-east of Mound 1. They are the visible remains of a larger Norse period settlement of at least 20 buildings, representing one of the largest and most important Norse settlements in Scotland. Excavations at one of these mounds produced a sequence of two or three large rectangular buildings dating from the 7th to 13th centuries AD. The preservation within these structures was excellent, with intact floor layers and midden deposits containing large quantities of animal and fish bones, carbonised plant remains and ceramics. This was the principal focus of the settlement in the Norse period, the halls representing the home of an important Viking lord and housing his family and a large retinue of dependants. The principal features were a large central area, where hearths were lit, and a raised bench which surrounded it. Large quantities of tools, cooking vessels and ornaments were found scattered across the floor and these included a bone cylinder in the distinctive Norse Ringerike style.
Fieldwork at the third mound revealed a late Norse house with an associated corn drying kiln and barn. The assemblage of artefacts from the excavated mounds includes items made from antler (for making combs), whalebone, ivory, lead, bronze, iron and glass. This was a location for families of lower status who lived in less substantial houses.
The large size of the settlement is unusual and suggests it was an important centre for the other Norse communities of South Uist. The agricultural basis of the community was the cultivation of barley, oats and rye, and large herds of cattle and sheep would have been grazed on the machair and in the adjacent uplands. A very important supplement to this diet was fish. Herring were particularly common and the importance of the settlement may be related to the presence of a natural harbour nearby.
A rich trading centre Large quantities of finds have been recovered and including many iron, bone and antler tools, and the remains of hundreds of broken pots. Imported material includes coins and ceramics from southern England, a distinctive green marble from Greece, bronze pins from Ireland, soapstone from Shetland, ivory from Greenland and bone combs and other objects from Norway. Clearly the community was connected with other areas of the North Atlantic and is likely to have been regularly visited by people moving along the west coast of Britain between south west England.