Great Lectures Series at the Penn Museum

The Golden Age of King Midas Exhibition Catalogue

The Golden Age of King Midas Exhibition Catalogue

Gordion is frequently remembered as the location of an intricate knot ultimately cut by Alexander, but in antiquity it served as the center of the Phrygian kingdom that ruled much of Asia Minor during the early first millennium BCE. The site lies approximately 70 km southeast of Ankara in central Turkey, at the intersection of the great empires of the East (Assyrians, Babylonians, and Hittites) and the West (Greeks and Romans); consequently, it occupied a strategic position on nearly all trade routes that linked the Mediterranean with the Near East. The University of Pennsylvania has been excavating at Gordion since 1950, revealing a wide range of discoveries that span nearly four millennia. The vast majority of this material attests to the city’s interaction with the other great kingdoms and city states of the Near East during the Iron Age and Archaic periods (ca. 950–540 BCE), especially Assyria, Urartu, the Neo-Hittite city-states of North Syria, Persia, Lydia, and Greece, among others. Gordion is thus the ideal centerpiece for an exhibition dealing with Anatolia and its neighbors during the first millennium BCE. Through a special agreement signed between the Republic of Turkey and the University of Pennsylvania in August of 2012, Turkey has loaned the Penn Museum over 100 Phrygian artifacts from four museums in Turkey (Ankara, Gordion, Istanbul, and Antalya) for an exhibition entitled The Golden Age of King Midas. This includes the majority of the material unearthed in Tumulus MM (the “Midas Mound”, ca. 740 BCE), which was the burial site of King Midas’ father, as well as a number of objects from a series of Lydian tombs. The Turkish loan has made possible an unusually large and elaborate exhibition, which also features a disparate group of rarely seen objects from the Penn Museum’s own collection, particularly from the Ukraine, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Greece. With the historic King Midas (ca. 740–700 BCE) as its major theme, the exhibition encompasses the relationships between Phrygia and Lydia, Persia, Assyria, and Greece. The catalogue of the exhibition contains essays on Gordion, Phrygia, and the ancient Near East, as well as the most important objects in the exhibition.

C. Brian Rose is Pritchard Professor of Classical Studies and History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania and Curator-in-Charge of the Mediterranean Section of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

Gareth Darbyshire is Gordion Archivist at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

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The New Chronology of the Bronze Age Settlement of Tepe Hissar, Iran

The New Chronology of the Bronze Age Settlement of Tepe Hissar, Iran

Tepe Hissar is a large Bronze Age site in northeastern Iran notable for its uninterrupted occupational history from the fifth to the second millennium B.C.E. The quantity and elaborateness of its excavated artifacts and funerary customs position the site prominently as a cultural bridge between Mesopotamia and Central Asia. To address questions of synchronic and diachronic nature relating to the changing levels of socioeconomic complexity in the region and across the greater Near East, chronological clarity is required. While Erich Schmidt's 1931-32 excavations for the Penn Museum established the historical framework at Tepe Hissar, it was Robert H. Dyson, Jr., and his team's follow-up work in 1976 that presented a stratigraphically clearer sequence for the site with associated radiocarbon dates. Until now, however, a full study of the site's ceramic assemblages has not been published. This monograph brings to final publication a stratigraphically based chronology for the Early Bronze Age settlement at Tepe Hissar. Based on a full study of the ceramic assemblages excavated from radiocarbon-dated occupational phases in 1976 by Dyson and his team, and linked to Schmidt's earlier ceramic sequence that was derived from a large corpus of grave contents, a new chronological framework for Tepe Hissar and its region is established. This clarified sequence provides ample evidence for the nature of the evolution and the abandonment of the site, and its chronological correlations on the northern Iranian plateau, situating it in time and space between Turkmenistan and Bactria on the one hand and Mesopotamia on the other.

Ayşe Gürsan-Salzmann, a graduate of Robert College (Istanbul) and Ball State University, earned her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a Consulting Scholar in the Mediterranean Section of the Penn Museum and the Deputy Director of the Gordion Archaeological Project.

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Excavations in Residential Areas of Tikal—Group 7F-1 Tikal Report 22

Excavations in Residential Areas of Tikal—Group 7F-1 Tikal Report 22

Tikal Report 22 presents the results of excavations carried out in residential group 7F-1 at Tikal in Guatemala during the 1957, 1963, and 1965 seasons. As with similar Tikal Reports (TR 19, TR 20A/20B, and TR 21), TR 22 is devoted to the presentation of detailed excavation data and analysis. In this case, the residential group presented may have been home to descendants of a ruler who died in the sixth century C.E.

William A. Haviland is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Vermont. His original archaeological research in Guatemala has been the basis of numerous publications.

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The Sphinx That Traveled to Philadelphia—The Story of the Colossal Sphinx in the Penn Museum

The Sphinx That Traveled to Philadelphia—The Story of the Colossal Sphinx in the Penn Museum

Written to celebrate the centennial of the Sphinx's arrival in Philadelphia, The Sphinx That Traveled to Philadelphia tells the fascinating story of the colossal sphinx that is a highlight of the Penn Museum's Egyptian galleries and an iconic object for the Museum as a whole. The narrative covers the original excavations and archaeological history of the Sphinx, how it came to Philadelphia, and the unexpected ways in which the Sphinx's story intersects with the history of Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Museum just before World War I.

The book features ample illustrations—photographs, letters, newspaper stories, postcards, maps, and drawings—drawn largely from the extensive materials in the Museum Archives. Images of related artifacts in the Penn Museum's Egyptian collection and other objects from the Egyptian, Near East, and Mediterranean Sections (many not on view and some never before published), as well as pieces in museums in the United States, Europe, and Egypt, place the story of the Penn Museum Sphinx in a wider context. The writing style is informal and text is woven around the graphics that form the backbone of the narrative. The book is designed to be of interest to a wide audience of adult readers but accessible and engaging to younger readers as well.

Josef Wegner is Associate Curator in the Egyptian Section at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and Associate Professor of Egyptology at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jennifer Houser Wegner is Associate Curator in the Egyptian Section at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

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Globalization—The Crucial Phase

Globalization—The Crucial Phase

Throughout human history, the rate of world population growth overall has been outpaced by the rate of urban population growth. Right now, more the half the world's population lives in cities, and that proportion will only increase in the next fifty years. Rapid urban growth accelerates the exchange of ideas, the expansion of social networks, and the diversity of human interactions that accompany globalization. The present century is therefore the crucial phase, when the world's increasing interconnectedness may give rise to innovation and collaboration or intensify conflict and environmental disaster.

Bringing together scholars of anthropology and social science as well as law and medicine, Globalization: The Crucial Phase presents a holistic and comprehensive understanding of the way the world is changing. The contributors reveal the changing scale of social, economic, and financial diversity, examine the impact of globalization on the environment, health, and nutrition; and consider the initiatives to address the social problems and opportunities that arise from global migration. Collectively, these diverse interdisciplinary perspectives provide an introduction to vital research and policy initiatives in a period that will bring great challenges but also great potential.

Contributors: Nancy Biller, Christina Catanese, Robert J. Collins, Megan Doherty, Zhengxia Dou, Richard J. Estes, James Ferguson, David Galligan, Mauro Guillén, Cameron Hu, John D. Keenan, Alan Kelly, Janet M. Monge, Marjorie Muecke, Neal Nathanson, Sarah Paoletti, Adriana Petryna, Alan Ruby, Theodore G. Schurr, Brian Spooner, Joseph S. Sun, Zhiguo Wu, Huiquan Zhou.

Brian Spooner is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania and coeditor (with William L. Hanaway) of Literacy in the Persianate World: Writing and the Social Order, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

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Excavations in Residential Areas of Tikal—Nonelite Groups Without Shrines Tikal Report 20A

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Excavations in Residential Areas of Tikal—Nonelite Groups Without Shrines is a two-volume presentation of the excavations carried out in and near small residential structures at Tikal, Guatemala, beginning in 1961. These reports show that Tikal was more than a ceremonial center; in addition to its numerous temples, the great Maya city was home to a large population of people. These volumes look at the residential structures themselves as well as domestic artifacts such as burials, ceramic test pits, chultuns.

Tikal Report 20A is a descriptive presentation of the excavation data and includes nearly two hundred illustrations. Together with Tikal Report 20B, which reviews and interprets this data, this report augments the data presented in Tikal Reports 19 and 21.

William A. Haviland is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Vermont. His original archaeological research in Guatemala has been the basis of numerous publications, including an earlier technical volume from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Excavations in Small Residential Groups of Tikal, Groups 4F-1 and 4F-2: Tikal Report 19 .

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Excavations in Residential Areas of Tikal—Nonelite Groups Without Shrines Tikal Report 20B

pub tikal excavations

Excavations in Residential Areas of Tikal—Nonelite Groups Without Shrines is a two-volume presentation of the excavations carried out in and near small residential structures at Tikal, Guatemala, beginning in 1961. These reports show that Tikal was more than a ceremonial center; in addition to its numerous temples, the great Maya city was home to a large population of people. These volumes look at the residential structures themselves as well as domestic artifacts such as burials, ceramic test pits, chultuns.

Tikal Report 20B is primarily analytical in nature, reviewing and interpreting the data from Report 20A to draw new conclusions about settlement, demography, and society at Tikal. Together, Tikal Reports 20A and 20B augment the data presented in Tikal Reports 19 and 21.

William A. Haviland is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Vermont. His original archaeological research in Guatemala has been the basis of numerous publications, including an earlier technical volume from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Excavations in Small Residential Groups of Tikal, Groups 4F-1 and 4F-2: Tikal Report 19.

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Reconfiguring the Silk Road New Research on East-West Exchange in Antiquity

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From the Bronze Age through the Middle Ages, a network of trade and migration routes brought people from across Eurasia into contact. Their commerce included political, social, and artistic ideas, as well as material goods such as metals and textiles. Reconfiguring the Silk Road offers new research on the earliest trade and cultural interactions along these routes, mapping the spread and influence of Silk Road economies and social structures over time. This volume features contributions by renowned scholars uncovering new discoveries related to populations that lived in the Tarim Basin, the advanced state of textile manufacturing in the region, and the diffusion of domesticated grains across Inner Asia. Other chapters include an analysis of the dispersal of languages across the Eurasian Steppe and a detailed examination of the domestication of the horse in the region. Contextualized with a foreword by Colin Renfrew and introduction by Victor Mair, Reconfiguring the Silk Road provides a new assessment of the intercultural evolution along the steppes and beyond.

Contributors: David W. Anthony, Elizabeth Wayland Barber, Dorcas R. Brown, Peter Brown, Michael D. Frachetti, Jane Hickman, Philip L. Kohl, Victor H. Mair, J. P. Mallory, Joseph G. Manning, Colin Renfrew.

Victor H. Mair is Professor of Chinese Language and Literature at the University of Pennsylvania and editor of the University of Pennsylvania Press Encounters with Asia series.

Jane Hickman is editor of Expedition magazine and Special Assistant for Museum Programs at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

Colin Renfrew is Disney Professor Emeritus of Archaeology and former Director of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.

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Excavations at Gilund: The Artifacts and Other Studies

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Located in the Mewar region of Rajasthan, India, Gilund is the largest known site of the Ahar-Banas Cultural Complex, a large agropastoral group that was contemporaneous with and flanked by the Indus Civilization. Occupied during the Chalcolithic and Early Historic periods, the ancient site of Gilund holds significant clues to understanding third millennium B.C.E cultural interactions in South Asia and beyond.

Excavations at Gilund  provides a full analysis of the artifacts recovered during the five-year excavation project conducted by the University of Pennsylvania and Deccan College. The excavators investigated the regional development of early farming villages, their shifting subsistence practices, their economy and trade with other cultures, and the traces of Gilund's transition from the Chalcolithic to the Iron Age. Their findings shed light on the extent and nature of early trade networks, the rise of early complex societies, and the symbolic and ideological beliefs of this region. This volume synthesizes new discoveries with previous findings and considers Gilund in a broader regional and global context, making it the most comprehensive presentation of archaeological data for this region to date.

Contributors:  Marta Ameri, Shweta Sinha Deshpande, Debasri Dasgupta Ghosh, Lorena Giorgio, Praveena Gullapalli, Julie Hanlon, Peter Johansen, Matthew Landt, Gregory L. Possehl, Teresa P. Raczek, Vasant Shinde.

Vasant Shinde  is Professor of Archaeology at the Deccan College Postgraduate and Research Institute in India.

Teresa P. Raczek  is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Kennesaw State University.

Gregory L. Possehl  was Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania and curator of the Asian Collections at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

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Experiencing Power, Generating Authority: Cosmos, Politics, and the Ideology of Kingship in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia

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For almost three thousand years, Egypt and Mesopotamia were each ruled by the single sacred office of kingship. Though geographically near, these ancient civilizations were culturally distinct, and scholars have historically contrasted their respective conceptualizations of the ultimate authority, imagining Egyptian kings as invested with cosmic power and Mesopotamian kings as primarily political leaders. In fact, both kingdoms depended on religious ideals and political resources to legitimate and exercise their authority. Cross-cultural comparison reveals the sophisticated and varied strategies that ancient kings used to unify and govern their growing kingdoms.

Experiencing Power, Generating Authority draws on rich material records left behind by both kingdoms, from royal monuments and icons to the written deeds and commissions of kings. Thirteen essays provocatively juxtapose the relationships Egyptian and Mesopotamian kings had with their gods and religious mediators, as well as their subjects and court officials. They also explore the ideological significance of landscape in each kingdom, since the natural and built environment influenced the economy, security, and cosmology of these lands. The interplay of religion, politics, and territory is dramatized by the everyday details of economy, trade, and governance, as well as the social crises of war or the death of a king. Reexamining established notions of cosmic and political rule, Experiencing Power, Generating Authority challenges and deepens scholarly approaches to rulership in the ancient world.

Contributors: Mehmet-Ali Ataç, Miroslav Bárta, Dominique Charpin, D. Bruce Dickson, Eckart Frahm, Alan B. Lloyd, Juan Carlos Moreno Garcia, Ludwig D. Morenz, Ellen Morris, Beate Pongratz-Leisten, Michael Roaf, Walther Sallaberger, JoAnn Scurlock.

Jane A. Hill is Director of the Predynastic Egyptian Collections Project at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and a Consulting Scholar in the Museum's Egyptian Section. She also teaches anthropology at Rowan University.

Philip Jones is Associate Curator in the Babylonian Section at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and Executive Editor of the Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary Project.

Antonio J. Morales is Research Associate at the Institute of Egyptology of the Freie Universität Berlin.

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Hasanlu V: The Late Bronze and Iron I Periods

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Hasanlu V provides archaeologists with a new, more accurate chronology of Hasanlu, the largest and arguably the most important archaeological site in the Gadar River Valley of northwestern Iran. This revised chronology introduces Hasanlu Periods VIa, V, and IVc for the first time. Based on new findings, the report overturns current constructions of the origins of the archaeological culture in Hasanlu, which sought to link the Monochrome Burnished Ware Horizon (formerly known as the Early Western Grey Ware Horizon) to the migration of new peoples into western Iran in the later second millennium B.C. Hasanlu V shows instead that the Monochrome Burnished Ware Horizon developed gradually from indigenous traditions. This reappraisal has important implications for our understanding of Indo-Iranian migrations into the Zagros region.

Michael D. Danti is an archaeologist of the Near East, Assistant Professor at Boston University, and Consulting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. He is author of The Ilkhanid Heartland: Hasanlu Tepe (Iran) Period I , also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Megan Cifarelli teaches art history and directs the Museum Studies Program at Manhattanville College.

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Evolution of Mind, Brain, and Culture

Descartes boldly claimed: "I think, therefore I am." But one might well ask: Why do we think? How? When and why did our human ancestors develop language and culture? In other words, what makes the human mind human?

Evolution of Mind, Brain, and Culture offers a comprehensive and scientific investigation of these perennial questions. Fourteen essays bring together the work of archaeologists, cultural and physical anthropologists, psychologists, philosophers, geneticists, a neuroscientist, and an environmental scientist to explore the evolution of the human mind, the brain, and the human capacity for culture. The volume represents and critically engages major theoretical approaches, including Donald's stage theory, Mithen's cathedral model, Tomasello's joint intentionality, and Boyd and Richerson's modeling of the evolution of culture in relation to climate change.

No recent publication combines this breadth of evidential and theoretical perspective. The essays range in topic from the macroscopic (the evolution of social cooperation) to the microscopic (examining genetic data to infer evolutions in brain structure and function), and from the ancient (paleoanthropological reconstructions of hominin cognitive abilities) to the modern (including modern hominin's similarities to our primate cousins). Considered together, these essays constitute a fascinating, detailed look at what makes us human.

Gary Hatfield is Adam Seybert Professor in Moral and Intellectual Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania.

Holly Pittman is Bok Family Professor in the Humanities and Professor of History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania, and Curator in the Near East Section at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

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The Archaeology of Phrygian Gordion, Royal City of Midas: Gordion Special Studies 7

Some of the most dramatic new discoveries in Asia Minor have been made at Gordion, the Phrygian capital that controlled much of central Asia Minor for close to two centuries. The most famous ruler of the kingdom was Midas, who regularly negotiated with Greeks in the west and Assyrians in the east during his reign. Excavations have been conducted at Gordion over the course of the last 60 years, all under the auspices of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

In spite of the economic and political importance of Gordion and the Phrygians, the site is consistently omitted from courses in Old World archaeology, primarily because Gordion lies too far to the west for many Near Eastern archaeologists, and too far to the east for classical archaeologists. Moreover, there is no book that offers a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the material culture of Gordion during the Phrygian period, a gap that will be filled by this volume. The chapters cover all aspects of Gordion's Phrygian settlement topography from the arrival of the Phrygians in the tenth century B.C. through the arrival of Alexander the Great in 333 B.C., focusing on the site's changing topography and the consistently fluctuating interaction between the inhabitants and the landscape. A reexamination of the material culture of Phrygian Gordion is particularly timely, given the dramatic recent changes in the site's chronology, wherein the dates of many discoveries have changed by as much as a century. The authors are among the leading experts in Near Eastern archaeology, historic preservation, paleobotany, and ancient furniture, and their articles highlight the interdisciplinary nature of the Gordion project. A significant component of the book is a new color phase plan of the site that succinctly presents the topography in diachronic perspective.

C. Brian Rose is Pritchard Professor of Classical Studies and History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania and Curator-in-Charge of the Mediterranean Section of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

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The New Chronology of Iron Age Gordion: Gordion Special Studies 6

The New Chronology of Iron Age Gordion argues that the history and archaeology of the site of Gordion, in central Turkey, have been misunderstood since the beginning of the excavations in the 1950s. The first excavation director, Rodney Young, found evidence for substantial destruction during the first decade of fieldwork; this was interpreted as proof that Gordion had been destroyed ca. 700 B.C. by the Kimmerians, a group of invaders from the Caucusus/Black Sea region, as attested in several ancient literary sources. During the last decade, however, renewed research on the archaeological evidence, within, above, and below the destruction level indicated that the catastrophe that destroyed much of Gordion occurred 100 years earlier, in 800 B.C., and was the result of a fire that quickly got out of control rather than a foreign invasion.

This discovery requires a reassessment of Anatolian history during the entire first millennium B.C. and has serious implications for our understanding of the surrounding regions, such as Assyria, Syria, Greece, and Urartu, among others. The New Chronology of Iron Age Gordion is the product of a multidisciplinary research program, with dendrochronology and radiocarbon dating working hand in hand with textual and artifact analysis, each of which is treated in a separate chapter in this volume. All of these categories of evidence point to the same conclusion and demonstrate that we need to look at Gordion, and much of the ancient Near East, in a completely new way.

C. Brian Rose is Pritchard Professor of Classical Studies and History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania and Curator-in-Charge of the Mediterranean Section of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

Gareth Darbyshire is Gordion Archivist at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

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Great Beasts

Anzu: The Lion-Headed Eagle Who Wanted to Rule the Universe

October 5, 2016 - 6:00pm

Dr. Steve Tinney starts off the series with an in-depth look at Anzu, one of ancient Mesopotamia’s iconic monsters, a giant eagle with a lion’s head, depicted in art from as early as 2500 BCE.

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Upcoming Lecture Dates

DateEventTime
Oct
05
Anzu: The Lion-Headed Eagle Who Wanted to Rule the Universe06:00PM - 08:00PM
Nov
02
Centaurs, Sirens and Chimaera: The Greeks and their Monsters06:00PM - 08:00PM
Dec
07
The Strong Silent Type: The Sphinx06:00PM - 08:00PM
Jan
04
The Hobbits of Flores Island:  Myth, Magic, Majesty of Homo floresiensis06:00PM - 08:00PM
Feb
01
Monsters of the Maya Cosmos06:00PM - 08:00PM
Mar
01
Underwater Panthers and Their Place in the Native American Cosmos06:00PM - 08:00PM
Apr
05
Beasts in the Night Sky: The Constellation Myths of Greece and Rome06:00PM - 08:00PM
May
03
Man-lions, “Blood-seed” Demons, and Wish-fulfilling Cows: Assorted Beings from the Indian Imagination06:00PM - 08:00PM
Jun
07
Tomb Guardians: The Story of the Chinese Winged Lions in the Penn Museum06:00PM - 08:00PM

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