London, Nov 10 : A team of archaeologists has determined that an ancient religious site in Argyll, Scotland, which predates the Pyramids and Stonehenge, may have been abandoned because of climate change.
According to a report in the Times, the site is at Kilmartin Glen, in Argyll, which has one of the most important concentrations of Neolithic and Bronze Age remains in Europe.
The glen, a place of sacred rites from 3700BC or earlier, contains at least 350 ancient monuments, including burial cairns, rock carvings and standing stones.
The most spectacular of the remains is the fortress of the Scots at Dunadd, capital of the kingdom of Dalriada.
But, archaeologists have identified a period of almost 1,000 years, in which no monuments were erected and the population virtually disappeared.
According to Alison Sheridan, head of early prehistory at the National Museum of Scotland, "Kilmartin Glen is one of the richest archaeological areas in Scotland, with a very high concentration of ritual sites."
She added that the earliest activity dated back to hunter-gatherers about 4500BC, who left behind nothing more than a few pits, charcoal and some flint.
It was a sacred landscape from at least as early as 3700BC until as late as 1100BC.
"It was a place for ceremony, for burying people, and observing the movements of the Sun and the Moon," Dr Sheridan said.
"We are not too certain what happened between 1100BC and 200BC. A hoard of swords has been found and a few artifacts buried as gifts to the gods in the late Bronze Age between 1000 and 750BC," she said.
"But there are few structures and no settlements. When you start getting settlements again around 200BC, they are in little fortified settlements. It was no longer a happy valley, and people raided each other," she added.
This may be because of climate change brought about by extreme weather phenomenon.