Before Scotland A Prehistory

Alistair Moffat

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


The story of the land that became Scotland is one of dramatic geological events and impressive human endeavor. 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. Erudite and entertaining, Before Scotland transforms our understanding of a neglected period and is essential reading for anyone interested in the people, events, and monuments that make up Scotland’s captivating past.


Alistair Moffat


Alistair Moffat was born in Kelso, Scotland. He is an award-winning writer and historian, 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 cochairman of the Great Tapestry of Scotland. His many books include The Highland Clans and Scotland's Forgotten Past.