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Understanding the sequence of activity around the ritual complex was particularly challenging. There seems to have been no early prehistoric domestic activity at Forteviot, so the key artefacts used for dating, such as pottery and lithics, were scarce. In addition bone survived very poorly because of the soil conditions. The chronology of the site, therefore, has been constructed from deposits of charcoal and cremated bone deposits. The earliest activity around 3000 BC is represented by cremation burials, after which there is a more or less continuous sequence of dates until about 800 BC. After 800 BC, there is little evidence for activity at Forteviot, but coincidentally this is when the construction of hillforts became common. It would seem that communal effort and perhaps religious focus shifted away from Forteviot. Remarkably the spiritual importance was not forgotten and, after a break of about a 1000 years, the Picts returned to use Forteviot as a burial ground and ceremonial centre.
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