SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Kurgan

A kurgan is a type of tumulus constructed over a grave characterized by containing a single human body along with grave vessels and horses. In use on the Pontic-Caspian steppe, kurgans spread into much of Central Asia and Eastern and Northern Europe during the 3rd millennium BC; the Russian noun attested in Old East Slavic, comes from an unidentified Turkic language, compare Modern Turkish kurğan, which means "fortress". Kurgans are mounds of earth and stones raised over graves. Popularised by its use in Soviet archaeology, the word is now used for tumuli in the context of Eastern European and Central Asian archaeology; the earliest kurgans date to the 4th millennium BC in the Caucasus, researchers associate these with the Indo-Europeans. Kurgans were built in the Eneolithic, Iron and Middle Ages, with ancient traditions still active in Southern Siberia and Central Asia. Archeologists divide kurgan cultures into different sub-cultures, such as Timber Grave, Pit Grave, Sarmatian and Kuman-Kipchak.

Many placenames contain the word kurgan. The earliest known kurgans are dated to the 4th millennium BC in the Caucasus. Kurgan barrows were characteristic of Bronze Age peoples, have been found from Mongolia, Altay Mountains, Russia, Ukraine and Bulgaria. Kurgans were used in Ukrainian and Russian steppes, their use spreading with migration into eastern and northern Europe in the 3rd millennium BC; the Kurgan hypothesis is that Proto-Indo-Europeans were the bearers of the Kurgan culture of the Black Sea and the Caucasus and west of the Urals. Introduced by Marija Gimbutas in 1956, it combines kurgan archaeology with linguistics to locate the origins of the peoples who spoke the Proto-Indo-European language, she tentatively named the culture "Kurgan" after its distinctive burial mounds and traced its diffusion into Europe. The hypothesis has had a significant impact on Indo-European studies. Scholars who follow Gimbutas identify a "Kurgan culture" as reflecting an early Proto-Indo-European ethnicity that existed in the steppes and in southeastern Europe from the 5th millennium to the 3rd millennium BC.

In Kurgan cultures, most burials were in either clan or individual. Most prominent leaders were buried in individual kurgans, now called "royal kurgans". More elaborate than clan kurgans and containing grave goods, royal kurgans have attracted the most attention and publicity; the monuments of these cultures coincide with Scythian-Saka-Siberian monuments. Scythian-Saka-Siberian monuments have common features, sometimes common genetic roots. Associated with these spectacular burial mounds are the Pazyryk, an ancient people who lived in the Altai Mountains lying in Siberian Russia on the Ukok Plateau, near the borders with China and Mongolia; the archaeological site on the Ukok Plateau associated with the Pazyryk culture is included in the Golden Mountains of Altai UNESCO World Heritage Site. Scythian-Saka-Siberian classification includes monuments from the 8th to the 3rd century BC; this period is called the Ancient Nomads epoch. "Hunnic" monuments date from the 3rd century BC to the 6th century AD, Turkic ones from the 6th century AD to the 13th century AD, leading up to the Mongolian epoch.

The tradition of kurgan burials was adopted by some neighboring peoples who did not have such a tradition. Various Thracian kings and chieftains were buried in elaborate mound tombs found in modern Bulgaria. Burial mounds are complex structures with internal chambers. Within the burial chamber at the heart of the kurgan, elite individuals were buried with grave goods and sacrificial offerings, sometimes including horses and chariots; the structures of the earlier Neolithic period from the 4th to the 3rd millenniums BC, Bronze Age until the 1st millennium BC, display continuity of the archaic forming methods. They were inspired by common ritual-mythological ideas. In all periods, the development of the kurgan structure tradition in the various ethnocultural zones is revealed by common components or typical features in the construction of the monuments, they include: Depending on the combination of these elements, each historical and cultural nomadic zone has certain architectural distinctions.

In the Bronze Age, kurgans were built with stone reinforcements. Some of them are believed to be Scythian burials with built-up soil, embankments reinforced with stone. Pre-Scythian-Saka-Sibirian kurgans were surface kurgans. Wooden or stone tombs were constructed on the surface or underground and covered with a kurgan; the kurgans of Bronze culture across Europe and Asia were similar to housing. Kurgan Ak-su - Aüly with a tomb covered by a pyramidal timber roof under a kurgan has space surrounded by double walls serving as a bypass corridor; this design has analogies with Begazy, Sanguyr and Dandybay kurgans. These building traditions survived into the early Middle Ages, to the 8th-10th centuries AD; the Bronze Pre-Scythian-Saka-Sibirian culture developed in close similarity with the cultures of Yenisei, Kazakhstan and southeast Amur regions. Some kurgans had tiling. One tomb in Ukraine has 29 large limestone slabs set on end in a circle underground, they were decorated with carved geometrical ornamentation of rhombuses, crosses, on one slab, figures of people.

Another example has an earthen kurgan under a wooden cone of th

Brave (2012 film)

Brave is a 2012 American computer-animated fantasy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It was co-directed by Steve Purcell; the story is by Chapman, with the screenplay by Andrews, Purcell and Irene Mecchi. The film was produced by Katherine Sarafian, with John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter as executive producers; the film's voice cast features Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson. Set in the Scottish Highlands, the film tells the story of a princess named Merida who defies an age-old custom, causing chaos in the kingdom by expressing the desire not to be betrothed. Merida is the first, only Disney princess created by Pixar; the film is dedicated to Steve Jobs, who died before the film's release. Chapman drew inspiration for the film's story from her relationship with her own daughter. Co-directing with Mark Andrews, Chapman became Pixar's first female director of a feature-length film.

To create the most complex visuals possible, Pixar rewrote their animation system for the first time in 25 years. Brave is the first film to use the Dolby Atmos sound format. Brave premiered on June 10, 2012, at the Seattle International Film Festival, was released in North America on June 22, 2012, to both positive reviews and box office success; the film won the Academy Award, the Golden Globe, the BAFTA Award for Best Animated Feature Film. Preceding the feature theatrically was a short film entitled La Luna, directed by Enrico Casarosa. In Medieval Scotland, Princess Merida of the clan Dunbroch is given a bow and arrow by her father, King Fergus, for her sixth birthday to the dismay of her mother, Queen Elinor. While venturing into the woods to fetch a stray arrow, Merida encounters a will-o'-the-wisp. Soon afterward, Mor'du, a huge demon bear, attacks the family. Merida flees on horseback with Elinor, while Fergus and his men fend off Mor'du, though the fight costs him one of his legs. Ten years Merida, now with three younger brothers, discovers that she is to be betrothed to the son of one of her father's allies.

Elinor explains that failure to consent to the betrothal could harm Dunbroch, reminding Merida of a legend of a prince whose pride and refusal to follow his father's wishes destroyed his kingdom. The allied clan chieftains and their first-born sons arrive to compete in the Highland games for Merida's hand in marriage. Merida twists the rules, announcing that as her own clan's firstborn she is eligible to compete for her own hand, she bests her suitors in an archery contest, shaming the other clans, after a heated argument with Elinor, runs away into the forest. Wisps appear. Merida bargains for a spell to change her fate, the witch gives her an enchanted cake; when Merida gives Elinor the cake, it transforms her into a bear, unable to speak but still retaining most of her human consciousness. Merida returns to the witch's cottage with Elinor, only to find it deserted, discovers a message from the witch: unless Merida is able to "mend the bond torn by pride" before the second sunrise, the spell will become permanent.

Merida and Elinor are led by the wisps to ancient ruins. Realizing that Mor'du was the prince in the legend, Merida vows that she will not let the same thing happen to her mother, concludes she needs to repair the family tapestry she damaged during their argument, they return to the castle to find the clans on the verge of war. Merida intends to relent and declare herself ready to choose a suitor as tradition demands, but Elinor prompts her instead to insist that the firstborns should be allowed to marry in their own time to whomever they choose; the clans agree, breaking tradition but strengthening their alliance. Merida sneaks into the tapestry room with Elinor. Elinor, losing her humanity, attacks Fergus, but regains her composure and flees the castle. Mistaking the queen for Mor'du and unable to listen to Merida, Fergus pursues the bear with the other clans, locking Merida in the castle. Merida escapes with the assistance of her brothers, who have eaten the enchanted cake, they are now bear cubs.

Merida repairs the tapestry and rides out after her father. Fergus and the clans capture Elinor, but Merida intervenes and stops her father before Mor'du arrives. Mor'du batters the clan warriors and targets Merida, but Elinor intercedes, holding off Mor'du and causing him to be crushed by a falling menhir; this releases the spirit of the prince. Merida covers her mother in the repaired tapestry; as the sun rises for the second time, Merida realizes the mistakes she has made and reconciles with Elinor, unknowingly fulfilling the true meaning of the witch's message and reversing the spell's effects. With Mor'du gone and Elinor work together on a new tapestry when they are called to the docks to bid farewell to the other clans, ride their horses. Kelly Macdonald as Merida,a 16 year old girl, forced to be betrothed to strengthen the bond of a kingdom. Peigi Barker as Young Merida. Emma Thompson as Queen Elinor, Dunbroch's queen and Merida's mother, whose respect for protocol and tradition brings her into conflict with her daughter.

Billy Connolly as King Fergus, Dunbroch's king and Merida's boisterous father. Julie Walters as The Witch, a crafty and bumbling old witch who agrees to help Merida, she is a master woodcarver. Robbie Coltrane as Lord Dingwall. Kevin McKidd as Lord MacGuffin and Young MacGuffin, whose lines were spoken in Doric. Craig Ferguson as Lord Macintosh. Steven Cree as Young Macintosh. Steve Purcell as The Raven/Cro

1981 South African general election

During the 1981 South African general election, held on 29 April of that year, the National Party, under the leadership of P. W. Botha since 1978, lost some support, but achieved another landslide victory, winning 131 of 165 directly elected seats in the House of Assembly, its membership now included 12 additional members, of whom four were appointed by the State President and eight were elected by the directly elected members. The elected additional members were chosen by means of proportional representation, by means of the single transferable vote. Meanwhile, the Progressive Federal Party – led since 1979 by Frederik van Zyl Slabbert, an Afrikaner – increased its representation to 26 seats, thereby consolidating its position as the official opposition; the Herstigte Nasionale Party, which represented right-wing Afrikaner conservatives, received 14.1% of the popular vote but did not gain any seats. The 1981 election was the first since the abolition of the Senate that year, the House of Assembly had become the sole chamber of Parliament.

It was the last to be held under the 1961 Constitution, under which South Africa had become a republic, while retaining a Westminster-style parliamentary system