Maiden Castle, Dorset

Maiden Castle is an Iron Age hill fort 1.6 miles south west of Dorchester, in the English county of Dorset. Hill forts were fortified hill-top settlements constructed across Britain during the Iron Age; the earliest archaeological evidence of human activity on the site consists of a Neolithic causewayed enclosure and bank barrow. In about 1800 BC, during the Bronze Age, the site was used for growing crops before being abandoned. Maiden Castle itself was built in about 600 BC. Around 450 BC it was expanded and the enclosed area nearly tripled in size to 19 ha, making it the largest hill fort in Britain and, by some definitions, the largest in Europe. At the same time, Maiden Castle's defences were made more complex with the addition of further ramparts and ditches. Around 100 BC, habitation at the hill fort went into decline and became concentrated at the eastern end of the site, it was occupied until at least the Roman period, by which time it was in the territory of the Durotriges, a Celtic tribe.

After the Roman conquest of Britain in the 1st century AD, Maiden Castle appears to have been abandoned, although the Romans may have had a military presence on the site. In the late 4th century AD, a temple and ancillary buildings were constructed. In the 6th century AD the hill top was abandoned and was used only for agriculture during the medieval period. Maiden Castle has provided inspiration for composer John Ireland and authors Thomas Hardy and John Cowper Powys; the study of hill forts was popularised in the 19th century by archaeologist Augustus Pitt Rivers. In the 1930s, archaeologist Mortimer Wheeler and Tessa Verney Wheeler undertook the first archaeological excavations at Maiden Castle, raising its profile among the public. Further excavations were carried out under Niall Sharples, which added to an understanding of the site and repaired damage caused in part by the large number of visitors. Today the site is maintained by English Heritage. Before the hill fort was built, a Neolithic causewayed enclosure was constructed on the site.

Dating from around 4000 BC, it was an oval area enclosed by two ditches, It is called a causewayed enclosure because the way the ditches were dug meant that there would have been gaps. These gaps, the bank being only 17 centimetres high, indicate the site would not have been defensive. Instead the ditches may have been symbolic, separating the interior of the enclosure and its activities from the outside. Archaeologist Niall Sharples, involved in excavating the hill fort in the 1980s, has identified the hilltop views of the surrounding landscape as a factor for the enclosure's position. Situated on the side of the hill, it would have been visible from several miles away, when first cut the ditches would have exposed the underlying white chalk and stood out against the green hillside; the interior of the enclosure has been disturbed by habitation and farming. The site does not appear to have been inhabited, although a grave containing the remains of two children, aged 6–7, has been discovered.

The enclosure is the earliest evidence of human activity on the site. The purpose of Neolithic causewayed enclosures is unclear, they had a variety of functions. In addition to the burials, which indicate the site at Maiden Castle was important for rituals related to death, pottery from the coast and areas to the east and west was found here, indicating that the site was a meeting place that attracted people over long distances. Radiocarbon dating indicates that the enclosure was abandoned around 3,400 BC. Arrowheads discovered in the ditches may indicate. Within a period of about 50 years, a bank barrow was built over the enclosure, it was a 546-metre long mound of earth with a ditch on either side. Many barrows lie over graves and are monuments to the deceased, but as the barrow at Maiden Castle did not cover any burials, scholars have suggested that it was a boundary marker; this would explain the limited human activity on the hilltop for the 500 years after the bank barrow's construction. Around 1,800 BC, during the early Bronze Age, the hill was cleared and used to grow crops, but the soil was exhausted and the site abandoned.

This period of abandonment lasted until the Iron Age. The bank barrow survived into the Iron Age as a low mound, throughout this period construction over it was avoided. Hill forts developed in the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age the start of the first millennium BC; the reason for their emergence in Britain, their purpose, has been a subject of debate. It has been argued that they could have been defensive sites constructed in response to invasion from continental Europe, built by invaders, or a military reaction to social tensions caused by an increasing population and resulting pressure on agriculture. Since the 1960s, the dominant view has been that the increasing use of iron led to social changes in Britain. Deposits of iron ore were located in different places to the tin and copper ore necessary to make bronze; as a result, trading patterns shifted, the old elites lost their economic and social status. Power passed into the hands of a new group of people. Archaeologist Barry Cunliffe believes that population increase still played a role and has stated that " provided defensive possibilities for the community at those times when the stress burst out into open warfare.

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The Mgr. Ladeuzeplein is a square in the center of Leuven; the square was named after a former rector of the Catholic University of Louvain, Monseigneur Paulin Ladeuze. The Ladeuzeplein is the largest square in Leuven; until World War II it was called the People's Place. Among the local population the square was known as the Jerkarlisse; this name is derived from the Clarisse religious order who used to have a monastery at this location, when it still was a sandy hill. In 1783 the monastery was abolished and the city of Leuven bought the estate from the Belgian authorities, who had inherited it, in order to establish a market dedicated to the sale of wood; the hill was leveled off and the first house on the square was erected in 1812. At this time the square was named Place Napoleon it was renamed the Volksplaats and it became the Mgr. Ladeuzeplein; the square is dominated visually by the monumental library of the University. Though the neo-Renaissance exterior implies otherwise, the building is recent, dating from 1921.

The library was a gift from the American people to the city of Leuven, after the original 17th-century library near the Grote Markt was burned down by the German occupying forces in August 1914. The fire destroyed not only a large part of the cultural patrimony of the medieval city, but it caused the loss of countless and irreplaceable historical manuscripts and books, many dating back centuries; this act of violence caused uproar throughout the world and several American, charities were established to compensate the loss, so in 1921 work was begun to build a new library, on the square now known as Ladeuzeplein. The new building contains one of the largest carillons in Europe, it was created and offered as a gift in 1928, by US engineers as a monument of remembrance for all colleagues who lost their lives during World War I; the carillon contained 48 bells, that being the number of states in the Union at the time of the gift. The main bell, which rings every hour on the hour, is named the Liberty Bell of Louvain and the fourth largest bell contains an inscription calling for world peace.

In May 1940, in the first year of World War II, the German occupiers again destroyed completely, the University Library. After the war the building was reconstructed completely along the original plans. After a substantial renovation from 1999 to 2003 the exterior and roof structure are once again restored to their former beauty and dominate views of the square. In January 2014 a permanent exhibit on these wartime events was installed over five floors of the bell tower. In 2005 the Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven celebrated the 575th anniversary of the foundation of the Old University of Leuven, decided to thank the city of Leuven for its hospitality by asking renowned artist Jan Fabre to create a fitting sculpture and present it as a gift to the city. Fabre designed, it consists of a huge Thai jewel beetle stuck on a 75-foot high steel needle. According to the author, the juxtaposition of the surreal view of the bug on a needle in front of the neo-classical library building captures the spirit of the city and university of Leuven.

The ancient art of citywide musical recitals still is much alive. There are regular recitals carried out on the carillon, restored in 1983 and expanded to 63 bells. Weekly Farmers' market on Friday Yearly cultural city wide exposition Leuven in Scene On Saturday and Sunday during the months of July and August nightly carillon recitals Ladeuze Bells Yearly carnival fair during the month of September Christmas fair in December Totem van Jan Fabre - Dutch language site Leuven in Scene - Dutch language site Ladeuze Bells - Dutch language site Museum opened in Louvain's university library's bell tower - Dutch language site

Riders to the Stars

Riders to the Stars is a 1954 independently made American science fiction film produced by Ivan Tors Productions and released by United Artists. The film was directed by Richard Carlson and Herbert L. Strock and stars William Lundigan, Martha Hyer, Herbert Marshall. Riders to the Stars is the second film in Ivan Tors' "Office of Scientific Investigation" trilogy, preceded by The Magnetic Monster and followed by Gog. A group of qualified single men, including Dr. Richard Stanton and Dr. Jerry Lockwood, are recruited for a top secret project, they undergo a series of rigorous physical and psychological tests, during which Stanton becomes attracted to the beautiful Dr. Jane Flynn, one of the scientists testing the candidates. After most of the candidates have been eliminated from consideration, the four remaining are told about the purpose of the project. Stanton's father, Dr. Donald Stanton, is the man in charge, he and his colleagues are working on manned space travel. They have found, that the best quality metal alloys available turn brittle in the harsh environment of outer space.

Since metal-based meteors are not subject to these metal fatigue stresses, the scientists want to recover samples before they enter the Earth's atmosphere to discover how the meteors' "outer shell" protects them. To accomplish this, they need to send men into something that has never been done before. Stanton and Walter Gordon accept the dangerous assignment, while the fourth candidate quits. Three one-man rockets are launched a couple of hundred miles into space in order to intercept an incoming meteor swarm. Gordon makes the first run to capture a meteor. Lockwood suffers a mental breakdown when his view screen shows Gordon's still space-suited but now skeletal and weightless body floating toward him. Panicked and delusional, he fires his rocket engines and blasts away from Earth, heading into deep space to his doom. Stanton misses the main swarm, but a stray meteor crosses his orbital path, he decides to pursue it, despite a warning from ground control that he may use too much fuel in the attempt and burn up upon re-entry.

Stanton snags the meteor in time and manages to survive a crash landing with the now captured meteor safely intact. He is rewarded for his heroism with a kiss from Dr. Flynn; when the meteor is examined, it is discovered to have an outer coating of crystalline pure carbon. With this discovery, the U. S. can now build safer rockets and space stations for the inevitable conquest of space. William Lundigan as Dr. Richard Donald Stanton Herbert Marshall as Dr. Donald L. Stanton / Narrator Richard Carlson as Dr. Jerome "Jerry" Lockwood Martha Hyer as Dr. Jane Flynn Dawn Addams as Susan Manners Robert Karnes as Walter J. Gordon Lawrence Dobkin as Dr. Delmar George Eldredge as Dr. Paul Drayden Dan Riss as Dr. Frank Warner Michael Fox as Dr. Klinger the Shrink King Donovan as James F. O'Herli, Security Kem Dibbs as David Wells James Best as Sidney K. Fuller Riders to the Stars was Richard Carlson's first film as both director and star. In order to create a more authentic feel for the story, contemporary newsreel footage of WAC Corporal rockets were used.

Additionally, one authentic sequence shows "two white rats in a rocket beyond the force of gravity... one of the most startling series of photographs made". Five years actor William Lundigan would go on to star in the syndicated space science fiction television series Men Into Space, which could be considered a sequel to or at least a continuation of the ideas explored in Riders to the Stars. Riders to the Stars was filmed and released theatrically in color provided by Color Corporation of America, but prints struck for television syndication were in black-and-white. Turner Classic Movies aires the color version; the New York Times was critical of Riders to the Stars, calling it gimmicky. "Spliced in to give all the idiotic, pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo a precarious footing in fact are newsreel shots..." Reviews, noted that the filmmakers had created a "near-documentary" by using rocket footage and scientific equipment as a precursor to the coming space age, all within an "unremarkable film".

Riders to the Stars at the TCM Movie Database Riders to the Stars on IMDb Riders to the Stars The New York Times