This book charts the environmental transformation of Scotland from the end of the ice age in an empty land 10,000 years ago to the Viking invasions of an established society 9,000 years later.
When the icefields and glaciers disappeared forests covered the land and sea level rose to create the Hebridean islands.
Elk, aurochs, bear, boar, red deer, beaver and horse crossed the land bridge from Europe to colonise the land, first followed by hunter gatherers and later by waves of Celts, Romans, Scots, and Normans, each marking the landscape in distinctive ways.
This book brings together environmental, ecological, historical, geological, and archaeological approaches to show how changing climatic conditions and this sequence of cultural impacts shaped the succession of Scottish landscapes which have led to its present unique, beautiful, fleeting forms and variety.
The seventeen authors are scholars from a range of fields, all writing for students and general readers.
The first six chapters consider interactions of human ecology, climate, landscape, soils, vegetation and faunal change.
The next seven are a chronological narrative history of Scotland's environment over 9,000 years. The final chapter unites these systematic and historical approaches.
The book is extensively illustrated with maps and photographs.
The paperback edition includes a new and extensive guide to further reading.