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The story of the land that became Scotland is one of dramatic geological events and impressive human endeavour. Alistair Moffats gripping narrative ranges from the great thaw at the end of the Ice Age which was instrumental in shaping Scotlands 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", newly available in paperback, transforms our understanding of a neglected period. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the land that became Scotland.