Before Scotland

A Prehistory



ISBN: 9780500297254 Category:

Alistair Moffatt


A pioneering look at early Scotland that transforms prehistory into gripping narrative history.

The story of the land that became Scotland is one of dramatic geological events and impressive human endeavour. Alistair Moffat’s gripping narrative ranges from the great thaw at the end of the Ice Age – which was instrumental in shaping Scotland’s magnificent landscape – through the megalith builders, the Celts and the Picts, to the ascension of King Constantine II.

Moffat deploys his knowledge with wit and deftness, interweaving the story with numerous special features on topics as diverse as cave drawings of dancing girls, natural birth control, the myth of Atlantis and the Zoroastrian Towers of Silence – all of them valuable, sometimes quirky, additions to the whole picture. Rounding out the account is a selection of carefully chosen colour photographs that give a strong sense of the Scottish landscape and monuments.

Erudite and entertaining, Before Scotland transforms our understanding of a neglected period. A story of dramatic geological events and impressive human endeavour, it is essential reading for anyone interested in the land that became Scotland.

Additional information

Weight 368 g
Dimensions 12.9 x 19.7 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 5 October 2023
Number of pages 400
Format Paperback / softback
Dimensions 12.9 x 19.7 cm
Weight 368 g


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Alistair Moffat was born in Kelso, Scotland. He is an award-winning writer and historian, and was Director of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and is former Rector of the University of St Andrews. He is founder of Borders Book Festival and Co-Chairman of The Great Tapestry of Scotland. His many books include The Highland Clans and Scotland's Forgotten Past, both also published by Thames & Hudson.