The flat-topped hill of Burnswark broods over the surrounding landscape of southern Annandale. Its Iron Age defences enclose an area of 7 ha, modest when set against the hillforts of the neighbouring Tyne-Forth province, but without equal in Dumfriesshire. Its situation has often evoked comparison with the 10.5 ha site of Masada (Israel), but, even allowing for occasionally steep slopes rising some 70 m from its base, Burnswark's defences cannot match the formidable 250 m cliffs of the Judaean site.
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