Cairns | Messengers In Stone

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From meadow trails to airy mountaintops and wide open desert, cairns - those seemingly random stacks of rocks - are surprisingly rich in stories and meaning.  For thousands of years cairns have been used by people to connect the landscape and communicate with others, and are often an essential gide to travelers.  Cairns, manmade rock piles can indicate a trail, mark a grave, serve as an altar or shrine, reveal property boundaries or sacred hunting grounds, and even predict astonomical activity.  The Inuit have more than two dozen terms to describe cairns and their uses!

In Cairns: Messengers in Stone, geologist and acclaimed nature writer David B. Williams explores the history of cairns from the moors of Scotland to the peaks of the Himalaya - where they come from, what they mean, why they're used, how to make cairns, and more. 


  • Part history, part folklore, part geology
  • Features charming black-and-white illustrations
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