Oh, i never knew that little ancient story about the Cairns.
If we head out from where we live on the main road we pass one on top of a tall hill, and staring at it i've sometimes asked how it got there. Deep down, i prefer keeping it a mystery rather than spoiling it with facts!
If we head out the other way toward the city, then we get to admire Bennachie, where, on the top of Mither Tap, is an Iron Age fort. Its a distinctive low lying mountain (its called a hill but many will tell you it isn't really) because its flat on top. I remember going up there as a child. Since then its got its own visitors centre and all sorts of Visit Scotland stuff. Excavations have revealed a decent sized community living there for quite a long period, for many centuries most likely. Its also surrounded by ancient standing stones. It all dominates the skyline, and when my ex first seen it she was well impressed with the scenery and it as the backdrop.
I came across these reviews of it on a website about this sort of thing... having grown up with it always around me in some form or another whenever i head on a journey, it strikes me how odd it is these people find it so special! http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/site/7508/mither_tap.html
The Iron Age fort on the Aran Islands looks so isolated! Who was fighting way out there enough to need a fort to protect themselves!?
Then again, judging by the hill forts dotted around Ireland and Scotland i get the impression we tended to a spirited bunch who enjoyed a good fight, heh!
The ancient Irish though get to claim one speciality which they introduced us to though... gold artwork. The Celts from Ireland who settled on the west coast introduced to the peoples on this side of the water amazing artwork skills in gold smithing which rival anything the Romans ever produced. In fact it were the Irish Celts who converted us stubbornly Pagan Picts to Christianity, lol.
I often wonder about the linguistics... i'd really like to know if Pictish was similar to Gaelic. Did the two sides easily understand each other? Picts and Celts often fought each other, but then again they often fought amongst themselves and at times of crisis (usually external enemies such as Vikings or tribes from farther south) they seemed able to come together. Some say Pictish would have been similar to ancient Welsh but others say it may have been an even older language on the British Isles. Its a pity they never once developed writing so that they could have bequeathed us something that was written down with it for us to see and know.
I like how Ireland seems to have retained more of its Gaelic heritage than we have... more of our places are named using later Anglo-Scots terms loosely based on the Gaelic original, or sometimes make absolutely no sense because they poorly copied the sound of the original Gaelic name without bothering to learn what it actually meant.