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city and port, northeastern Queensland, Australia, on Trinity Inlet of Trinity Bay. Founded in the 1870s as a government customs collection point, it grew in the late 19th century as the result of gold discoveries along the Hodgkinson and Palmer rivers, tin discoveries at Herberton on the Atherton Plateau, and the introduction of sugarcane cultivation in the area. Named for Sir William Wellington Cairns, governor of Queensland (1875-77), it was proclaimed a municipality in 1885, a town in 1903, and a city in 1923.
a pile of stones that is used as a boundary marker, a memorial, or a burial site. Cairns are usually conical in shape and were often erected on high ground. Burial cairns date primarily from the Neolithic Period and the Early Bronze Age. Cairns are still used in some parts of the world as burial places, particularly where the soil is difficult to excavate or where wild animals might disturb the body. The term cairn is sometimes used interchangeably with barrow, and its usage is not well defined. See also barrow; burial mound.