I am nominating this for featured article because I think the article accurately respesents current understanding of the largest Iron Agehill fort in Britain and its context. A wide range of sources is used, giving background, and the main authority on Maiden Castle is the article's main reference regarding the actual hill fort. Thanks in advance to anyone who takes time to review the article, Nev1 (talk) 18:31, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
Support I think that this meets the FA criteria. Nick-D (talk) 08:14, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
I thought this was allowed under freedom of panorama? Also, images relate to criterion 3, criterion 4 is about the length of the article and staying on topic; do you object to the amount of detail or did you mean criterion 3? Nev1 (talk) 11:42, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately, UK's FoP on artistic works is restricted to 3D arts. 2D arts are a no-go. Jappalang (talk) 14:29, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Well that sucks. I've removed the image no I have to work out how to request a deletion on commons... Nev1 (talk) 14:33, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Jappalang, I'm going to take the unprecedented step of saying that you're wrong about a copyright issue (albeit right in this case). Section 62 of CDPA88 says that it is not an infringement of copyright in the UK to photograph "buildings, sculptures, models for buildings and works of artistic craftsmanship, if permanently situated in a public place or in premises open to the public" (my emphasis). There's no obligation for said work of artistic craftsmanship to be 3D. I agree that you're right in this particular instance, as there's no indication that the creator of the sign had the conscious purpose of creating a work of art (and hence it's a "graphic work", not a "work of artistic craftsmanship"), but it's absolutely untrue that s62 doesn't apply to any 2D work; murals, mosaics, hand-painted tiles, stained glass etc all fall into "works of artistic craftsmanship" as opposed to "graphic works", and hence are covered by s62 and exempt from copyright. More on this here for anyone trying to understand the very confusing CDPA88. – iridescent 15:34, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
I refer you to Commons:Freedom of panorama#United Kingdom, which states "The freedom provided by Section 62 does not apply to graphic works (which will typically be two-dimensional) such as paintings, murals, advertising hoardings, maps, posters or signs. These cannot be uploaded to Commons without a licence from the copyright holder even if they are permanently located in a public place." Jappalang (talk) 16:15, 20 June 2009 (UTC) Sorry, I thought you were disclaiming the 2D art portion. You are correct that there is a discernment between just 2D art and "works of artistic craftsmanship". I was overly generalising and apologise if that brought some misunderstanding. (Sidenote: I thought stained glass do not fall under "works of artistic craftsmanship"? I seem to recall a deletion that stated that effect... Going to look it up as it is obstructing a desired image upload of mine... )Jappalang (talk) 16:18, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Comments - sources look okay, links checked out with the link checker tool. Ealdgyth - Talk 14:47, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
I quite like the panorama, but could it possibly be shopped a little so it's less obviously several photos. The levels of brightness unfortunately make it look rather amateur and it's kind of distracting. Majorlytalk 16:44, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
I've filed a request at the graphics lab as the necessary changes are beyond the capability of me and my software. Nev1 (talk) 17:03, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Support This is a well-written, well-referenced and comprehensive article which I consider fully meets the criteria for a FA. Peter I. Vardy (talk) 14:52, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
OpposeSupportfor the moment. This is largely because, although comprehensive and well-referenced, there are some significant flaws:
The lead. This is where my most serious concerns lie. Largely it fails to adequately summarise the information buried in the article, and concisely tell the reader what hill forts are. The first paragraph reads;
Maiden Castle is a hill fort in the civil parish of Winterborne Monkton, 2.5 km (1.6 mi) south of Dorchester, in the English county of Dorset (grid reference SY66938848). It occupies the site of a Neolithic causewayed enclosure and bank barrow used for growing crops in about 1800 BC, during the Bronze Age, before being abandoned.
There is nothing here to tell the reader without prior knowledge, what hill forts are and what their purpose was. There is a link to Hill fort, but a good article should be comprehensible on its own. The text at "Hill fort" states "A hill fort is type of fortified refuge or defended settlement, located to exploit a rise in elevation for defensive advantage. They are typically European and of the Bronze and Iron Ages. The fortification usually follows the contours of the hill, consisting of one or more lines of earthworks, with stockades or defensive walls, and external ditches." This article, in the main text describes hill forts as "town-like settlements". readers would not gain this impression from the Lead as currently written. Not all of the quoted information needs to appear, but a cut-down version of some of it does need to appear in the lead of this article.
The first sentence might better start "Maiden Castle is an iron age hill fort..."
Agreed, and added. Nev1 (talk) 01:23, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Re: the explanation of hill forts, I've made this change. The description from the main hill fort article isn't great, so I've kept mine simple (there's more explanation in the main body of the article). In fact, the main hill fort article is a disgrace, but I'm damned if I'd know where to start. Nev1 (talk) 01:23, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Better. I've made a small clarification to one sentence, adding "hill-top" - on the basis that the article should not assume knowledge. You might think it obvious that a "hill-fort" is built on a hill top, but that is not necessarily the case. Xandar 11:04, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
The last part of the second sentence above is poorly constructed. It might read better as "..and bank barrow used during the Bronze Age for growing crops, before being abandoned at some time after 1800 BC."
Fair enough, I've changed the sentence. Nev1 (talk) 01:23, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
The section headed Early History is confusingly titled, since the article is about the castle, built around 600 BC, not the site. It might be better renamed Early history of the site, to avoid readers assuming the castle was begun in 4,000 BC.
The section title has been changed to before the fort. Nev1 (talk) 01:23, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
In the section "Developed hill fort", the following sentence appears:
In the Middle Iron Age, Maiden Castle underwent an expansion that ensured it was the largest hill fort in Britain and one of the largest in Europe, although according to archaeologist Niall Sharples it is, by some definitions, the largest in western Europe.
The word "although" implies opposition here between the two statements. It might be better replaced with "and" or make two separate sentences.
Agreed, it has been changed to "and". Nev1 (talk) 01:23, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Okay. dealt with. Xandar 11:04, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
The words "widely spaced" and "equally spaced" jar as used in this section, since they are capable of at least two meanings. Are we talking about the area of the forts, or their separation? It might be better to put "were built equal distances apart"
I disagree, it's talking about spacing rather than space; widely spaced is different to the hill forts being large and I don't think there's any ambiguity that "widely spaced" and "equally spaced" refers to the separation of the forts rather than the size. Nev1 (talk) 01:23, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Although this would not be a reason for failing FA, I have to say that I found this ambiguous, and was brought up short reading the passage. To say that "Dorset's three developed hill forts (Badbury Rings, Flowers Barrow, and Weatherby Castle) were widely spaced," is at best ugly, at worst confusing. Better phrasing should be found. Xandar 11:04, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
I've added "apart" a couple of times to make things clearer and the sentence now reads "The developed hill forts in Dorset were Badbury Rings, Flowers Barrow, Maiden Castle, and Weatherby Castle and were widely spaced apart". Nev1 (talk) 14:06, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
I still think it's a clumsy wording, but.... Xandar 20:33, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
The section headed Roman activity and abandonment begins:
In AD 43, the Roman conquest of Britain began. Based on the "war cemetery", Mortimer Wheeler created a vivid story of the fall of Maiden Castle to Roman forces.
Since this is a new section in a long article, this sentence should briefly state what the "war cemetery" is. Mortimer Wheeler should also be identified. I presume he is a historian or archaeologist.
I don't think so, the war cemetery is explained just a few lines above and explaining again what it is would lead to unnecessary repetition. Wheeler is already mentioned twice earlier, once in the lead where it's explained that he's an archaeologist who excavated the site, and again in the decline section where it's mentioned that he undertook excavations at Maiden Castle so I don't think explaining again is necessary. Nev1 (talk) 01:23, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
I disagree. Wikipedia policy allows repetitions in long articles. where they aid user understanding. Much as you might dislike it, many readers are not going to read through the entire article. They will go straight to the section they want. (That's why there is a wikilinked menu in longer articles.) As such, in a new section you need to briefly explain important terms like these. The explanation of "war cemetery" is hidden at the end of the previous section. The identification of Wheeler is elsewhere. Why not simply reword to something like: "Based on his discovery of multiple burials of victims of violent assault dating from this period, archaeologist Mortimer Wheeler created a vivid story of the fall of Maiden Castle to Roman forces." Xandar 11:04, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Ok, it now reads "Based on the discovery of a group of bodies in the Late Iron Age formal cemetery that had met a violet death, archaeologist Mortimer Wheeler created a vivid story of the fall of Maiden Castle to Roman forces". Nev1 (talk) 14:06, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Measurements. the size of the fort is always described with reference to hectares and acres. A lot of people have difficulty visualising these measures. Could the linear measurements of the fort (feet/metres) not also be included somewhere?
This is a slight problem, even if I thought that people didn't understand the areas used the sources are concerned about areas, not distances along the main axes. Which is a shame as it would give the reader some other measurements for an idea of the size of the place. Nev1 (talk) 01:23, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
It's not a major problem. More a suggested improvement. Xandar 11:04, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Instead of hectares and acres, the article now uses square metres and square feet which should be more widely understood. Nev1 (talk) 14:06, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Name. The origin of the name "Maiden Castle" does not seem to be mentioned. This would seem to be of interest, given the unusual name.
The name is already explained in the later history section and it's not really that unusual as there are at least three other places in England with the same name. Nev1 (talk) 01:23, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Again. This is quite important information, and should be more prominent. Naming is considered quite important in Wikipedia and some mention of the origin of the name should either be in the lead or, as many articles do, have a separate short section just after the lead. Xandar 11:04, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
I'd suggest that the name isn't actually that important: it's either a modern construction or a name developed in the post-Roman period, neither of which bear much relevance to the site's most important phase (ie: the Iron Age). The name wouldn't have affected the site, so it's not that important. The name is only important as an afterthought IMO, as reflected in the works produced on the site where it's not even mentioned (the name mentioned by Ptolemy is given more prominence). Where the information is in the body of the article is where it is most relevant, but I have added something to the lead as the reader will probably wonder why the site is called "Maiden". Nev1 (talk) 14:06, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Okay. I think my main concerns have been satisfied. I can now support. Xandar 20:33, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
Comments As you know I looked at this before submission to FAC. A number of things I would otherwise have pointed out have been resolved. I'm still going to be picky however and point out a few issues I have. From the lead:
'[...] and was similar to many other hill forts'. Many other hill forts where? Britain? Dorset? Personally I found it a bit ambiguous, but maybe it's just me.
Fair enough, I've added "in Britain". Nev1 (talk) 14:18, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
'[...] making it the largest hill fort in Britain'. I'm sure it is still the largest Iron-age hill fort in Britain, I think a mention of this should be included somewhere; even perhaps at the very end of the lead.
I've added another sentence to the lead to make it clearer that it's still the largest: "...making it the largest hill fort in Britain. As well as being the largest in Britain, it is by some definitions also the largest in Europe". Nev1 (talk) 14:18, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
'Later history' concerns me. I've seen it used before a number of times in this way, but it always bothers me. My interpretation of 'later' is 'at or toward an end or late period or stage of development', but this section also arrives at the present towards the very end. I'm not quite sure what to suggest though in its place.
Hmm, I'm really sure what else the section could be called. It's not exclusively about the archaeological investigations, and there's not enough information about the post-Roman and pre-modern activity to split the section. The investigations and the later use are still part of the history of the site. One alternative is "after the hill fort", but that doesn't feel quite right as it's still there and that's what the excavations in the 20th century were looking at. Nev1 (talk) 14:18, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
'In 1921, composer John Ireland (1879–1962) wrote Mai-Dun, a symphonic rhapsody'. I consider this to need a bit more detail. As you previously describe, the name 'Mai-Dun' is ' is not unique to the site and occurs in several other places in Britain', so is John Ireland actually writing specifcally about Maiden Castle? If its general then it's of no real value, but if it is then it just needs the briefest of mentions about it being specific (it's quite a short statement anyway).
A good point. It was the Maiden Castle in Dorset Ireland was writing about so I've clarified that in the article. Nev1 (talk) 14:18, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
That's all I've got so far. With or without making the above suggestions it's a fantastically well-written article and a pleasure to read. MasterOfHisOwnDomain (talk) 13:05, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Almost Support interesting subject, well worth reading, just a few minor concerns,
I'm a little surprised as to what is and is not in the lead. Grid references and the village are minor details, but the Durotriges are not mentioned until quite late in the article.
The academics seem to be a little shy about the Durotriges and only refer to them in the immediate period before the Roman invasion. I think it derives from uncertainty about who they are. Without Ptolemy referring to them, we probably wouldn't know they exist. As a result, it's virtually impossible to say when Maiden Castle was in the territory of the Durotriges apart from immediately before the Romans arrived and it's been suggested that tribal identities only emerged in the Late Iron Age. Nev1 (talk) 15:18, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Nicely handled, I think we simply don't know what the tribal structure of Southern England was apart from a little bit of information as to what it was at the time of the Roman conquest. Perhaps safest to refer to the era as Celtic as one thing that everyone seems to agree on is that the hill fort era is Celtic. However I still think the first paragraph emphasises some trivial stuff as opposed to this being "the largest Hill fort in Britain at the time of the Roman invasions." Grid references and parishes are worthy detail but I don't think they belong in the lead.
Even something as generalised as saying something is "Celtic" is problematic as academics have recently begun questioning whether this is a modern imposition on ancient societies and whether there was actually a "Celtic" culture. It's a complicated issue, so you won't see me editing many "Celtic" articles! As for the unimportant details, I've moved the information about the civil parish and the grid reference to the end of the later history section. I think mentioning Dorchester in the lead is fair as people need some point of reference to locate the place; as for the other stuff, civil parish isn't hugely important and the location is still in the infobox. Nev1 (talk) 18:10, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
43AD was the date of the Roman invasion, but would you mind checking when Vespasian reached this far west, as I thought it was in his campaign of 44-48.
I thought the legions had to wait a season after Claudius left in 43, but according to Mattingly (based on Seutonius' life of Vespasian) the campagins in the southwest took place in 43–47. This has been added to the article. Nev1 (talk) 15:18, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
the references to "one of over 100 hill forts of similar size built in Dorset and Wessex" is misleading in that Wessex only existed in an era after the hill forts had fallen into disuse, when it did it was a kingdom of fluctuating area but Dorset was a core part of it.
Hmm, good point. How's this: "it was one of over 100 hill forts of similar size built in Wessex (of which Dorset was later a part) around the same time"? Nev1 (talk) 15:18, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
What does the source say about the area that the 100 were in? I think Wessex is misleading due to the chronology and imprecise as an area, so I'd prefer something along the lines of "it was one of over 100 similarly sized hill forts built around the same time in the area that now forms the modern counties of Dorset, Hants, ......"ϢereSpielChequers 16:07, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
The source says "In the first two or three hundred years of its existence the hillfort of Maiden Castle was closely similar to other hillforts in Dorset. Likewise the situation in Dorset can be paralleled throughout Wessex with probably over a hundred hillforts of comparable form and size constructed at this time". Wessex is defined in the glossary as "An area of central southern England which can be defined in a number of ways... For the purpose of this book it loosely refers to the area covered by the counties of Dorset, Wiltshire, Berkshire, and Hampshire but can also include parts of Oxfordshire and West Sussex". I've replaced Weesex in the article with these counties. Nev1 (talk) 16:20, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
If available; prominence, current ecotype and underlying geology are all details worth including in the article - see Hod Hill for a hill fort that covers those issues.
It's mentioned that the underlying rock is chalk, but I've not come across the prominence as opposed to height above sea level or the current ecotype. Hod Hill doesn't seem to have the relevant sources, any ideas where to find this information? Nev1 (talk) 15:18, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
I would have thought the sources would give some mention as to the prominence - you can calculate it from the contour map so I'd be surprised if one of the writers covering the topic hadn't mentioned the height above the village - it has repercussions both in the views and the defensibility of the site.ϢereSpielChequers 16:07, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
The English Heritage Book of Maiden Castle doesn't have anything on the prominence or any contour maps to work it out from. I'll take a look at Maiden Castle: Excavations and Field Survey 1985–86 and see if there's anything there... but that will have to wait until tomorrow. Nev1 (talk) 18:21, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Also I've made a few tweaks, hope you don't mind them. ϢereSpielChequers 14:28, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for indulging me, I was sure there would be some coverage of that aspect. ϢereSpielChequers 20:05, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Support. Well written and comprehensive article. Ruslik_Zero 08:54, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Oppose (for the time being) Badly organised and not well enough written. The problems with the article begin with its muddly, badly-constructed introduction. All the info is there, but none of it is well organised. I have made suggestions that could remedy this, on the discussion page. Every new section needs to start with a clear statement so that the reader knows exactly what the section is about eg. If the section is about the Neolithic period, then do not begin the whole section with the phrase "Excavations show....." The section needs to begin "In the Neolithic period....." This is about clarity of language, and writing it is quite easy, if you adopt that sort of formula. Amandajm (talk) 13:54, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
I have replied to your comments on the talk page (although it would have helped to keep the discussion centralised here), and while you raise some valid points I can't say I agree with all of them. For example, as I've explained on the talk page, I think your suggestion of adding a title "History of site" is completely superfluous. As for you taking issue with the start of each section, the opening paragraph puts the section in context, with dates. Nev1 (talk) 14:26, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Support Now that the first paragraph has been improved, and the other introductory paragraphs slightly better orgainsed, I am happy to support this article as FA. Amandajm (talk) 01:46, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
When changing an oppose to support, pls strike the old oppose !!! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 07:06, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Image review: all images are appropriately licensed. Jappalang (talk) 12:43, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Support Commentsjust beginning a read-through now and might make some straightforward changes to improve prose, but please revert if you feel I have inadvertently changed meaning. I will note any queries below - Casliber (talk·contribs) 04:35, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Not a deal-breaker, but I do feel prose flows better when one decribes who obscure people are - e.g. Augustus Pitt Rivers (an adjective or two on who he is (a bit like the persons immediately following).
In around 100 BC the hill fort shrank, and settlement became focused at the eastern end of the site. - the hill fort actually shrank? Or better to just reduce this to "In around 100 BC, the settlement within the hill fort shrank to the eastern end of the site." (??)
it would have been visible from miles away - "several" miles away? or "many" miles away? "miles away" on its own sounds weird.
To sum up, the prose was repetitive in places, but I was able to trim a fair few redundancies readily as I liked the subject matter and the topic was a pleasure to read. The above quibbles are pretty straightforward and not enough to oppose at this juncture. Casliber (talk·contribs) 06:10, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the copy edit. I have added an explanation of who Sharples and Wheeler are on a few occasions, although I am wary of making it repetitious. I've changed the sentence about "shrinking" to "In around 100 BC habitation at the hill fort shrank went into decline and became focused at the eastern end of the site", which I think is clearer. As for "miles away", I've added "several" although the source is vague. Most importantly, I'm glad you liked the subject :-) Nev1 (talk) 17:33, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this page.