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THE ROSETTA STONE

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« on: August 14, 2007, 12:37:12 pm »


The famous Rosetta Stone, now located at the British Museum, also has an inscription in Greek, Demotic and Hieroglyphs






A new Rosetta Stone unearthed


 


A team of German and Egyptian archaeologists working in the Nile Delta has unearthed "quite a remarkable" stele dating back 2 200 years to Ptolemaic Egypt which bears an identical inscription in three written languages - like the famed Rosetta Stone.

Announcing the find on Monday, University of Potsdam chief Egyptologist Christian Tietze said the stone fragment was "quite remarkable and the most significant of its kind to be found in Egypt in 120 years".

The grey granite stone, 99cm high and 84cm wide, was found "purely by accident" at the German excavation site of the ruined city of Bubastis, a once important religious and political centre 90km north-east of modern-day Cairo.

It shows a royal decree, written in ancient Greek, Demotic and Hieroglyphs, that mentions King Ptolemy III Euergetes I along with the date 238 BC.

"The decree is significant because it specifically mentions a reform of the ancient Egyptian calendar which was not in fact actually implemented until some 250 years later under Julius Caesar," Tietze said.

The inscription consists of 67 lines of Greek text and 24 lines of Demotic along with traces of Hieroglyphs outlining the calendar reform and praising Ptolemy.

The king is lauded for importing grain from Syria, Phoenicia and Cyprus to alleviate famine in ancient Egypt, among other deeds.

"It documents the might and beneficence of Ptolemy III," Tietze said.

Bubastis was the capital city of Egypt in the eighth Century BC. The temple where the Germany dig site is located was probably destroyed by an earthquake, according to Tietze.


http://www.laputanlogic.com/articles/2004/04/index.html
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« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2007, 07:00:39 pm »

                   

                                          T H E   R O S E T T A   S T O N E





The Rosetta Stone is a Ptolemaic era stele written with the same text in two Egyptian language scripts (hieroglyphic and demotic) and in classical Greek. It was created in 196 BC, discovered by the French in 1799 at Rosetta, a harbor on the Mediterranean coast in Egypt, and contributed greatly to the decipherment of the principles of hieroglyphic writing in 1822 by Frenchman Jean-François Champollion. Comparative translation of the stone assisted in understanding many previously undecipherable examples of hieroglyphic writing. The text of the Rosetta Stone is a decree from Ptolemy V, describing the repealing of various taxes and instructions to erect statues in temples.

The Stone is 114.4 centimeters high at its tallest point, 72.3 centimeters wide, and 27.9 centimeters thick (45 1/16th in. high, 28 7/8ths in. wide, 11 in. thick). Weighing approximately 760 kg (1,676 pounds), it was originally thought to be granite or basalt but is currently described as granodiorite and is dark grey-bluish-pinkish in color.



The Rosetta Stone is a well-known example from a series of decrees, the Ptolemaic Decrees, issued by the Hellenistic Ptolemaic dynasty, which ruled Egypt from 305 BC to 30 BC. The series consists of the Decree of Canopus by Ptolemy III, Decree of Memphis by Ptolemy IV (as represented by The Memphis Stele) and the Rosetta Stone decree by Ptolemy V.

Copies of the Ptolemaic Decrees were erected in several temple courtyards, as the decrees specified. The decree of the Rosetta Stone is also on the Stelay of Noubarya and in the text engraved in the Temple of Philae. The Stelay of Nobaringya was found in the early 1880s, and was used to complete lines missing from the Rosetta Stone.
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« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2007, 07:05:30 pm »

                         




Modern-era discovery

 
The Rosetta Stone solved a particularly difficult linguistic problemAfter Napoleon's 1798 conquest of Egypt, the French founded Institut de l'Égypte in Cairo, bringing many scientists and archaeologists to the region.

French Army engineer Captain Pierre-François Bouchard discovered the stone sometime in mid-July 1799 (the sources are unfortunately not more specific), while guiding construction work at Fort Julien near the Egyptian port city of Rosetta (now Rashid). The Napoleonic army was so awestruck by this unheralded spectacle that, according to a witness, "it halted of itself and, by one spontaneous impulse, grounded its arms." (As quoted by Robert Claiborne, The Birth of Writing [1974], p. 24.) He understood that it was important and showed it to General Jacques de Menou. They sent it to the Institut de l'Égypte, where it arrived in August. The French language newspaper Courrier de l'Egypte announced the find in September.

After Napoleon returned to France in 1799, 167 scholars remained behind with French troops which held off British and Ottoman attacks. On March 1801, the British landed on Aboukir Bay and scholars carried the Stone from Cairo to Alexandria alongside the troops of de Menou. French troops in Cairo capitulated on June 22, and in Alexandria on August 30.

After the surrender, a dispute arose over the fate of French archaeological and scientific discoveries in Egypt. De Menou refused to hand them over, claiming that they belonged to the Institute. British General John Hely-Hutchinson, 2nd Earl of Donoughmore, refused to relieve the city until de Menou gave in. Newly arrived scholars Edward Daniel Clarke and William Richard Hamilton agreed to check the collections in Alexandria and found many artifacts that the French had not revealed.

When Hutchinson claimed all materials as a property of the British Crown, a French scholar Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, said to Clarke and Hamilton that they would rather burn all their discoveries, ominously referring to the burned Library of Alexandria. Hutchinson finally agreed that items such as the biology specimens would be the scholars' private property. De Menou regarded the stone as his private property and hid it.

How exactly the Stone came to British hands is disputed. Colonel Tomkyns Hilgrove Turner, who escorted the stone to Britain, claimed later that he had personally seized it from de Menou and carried it away on a gun carriage. Clarke stated in his memoirs that a French scholar and an officer had quietly given up the stone to him and his companions in a Cairo back street. French scholars departed later with only imprints and plaster casts of the stone.

 
Experts inspecting the Rosetta Stone during the International Congress of Orientalists of 1874Turner brought the stone to Britain aboard the captured French frigate L'Egyptienne in February 1802. On March 11, it was presented to the Society of Antiquaries of London. Later it was taken to the British Museum, where it remains. White painted inscriptions on the artifact state "Captured in Egypt by the British Army in 1801" on the left side and "Presented by King George III" on the right.
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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2007, 07:06:55 pm »

                                                  




Translation



In 1814, the Briton Thomas Young finished translating the enchorial (demotic) text, and began work on the hieroglyphic script. From 1822 to 1824, Jean-François Champollion greatly expanded on this work, and he is known as the translator of the Rosetta Stone. Champollion could read both Greek and Coptic, and figured out what the seven Demotic signs in Coptic were. By looking at how these signs were used in Coptic, he worked out what they meant. Then he traced the Demotic signs back to hieroglyphic signs. By working out what some hieroglyphs stood for, he made educated guesses about what the other hieroglyphs meant.

In 1858, the Philomathean Society of the University of Pennsylvania published the first complete English translation of the Rosetta Stone. Three undergraduate members, Charles R Hale, S Huntington Jones, and Henry Morton, made the translation. The translation quickly sold out two editions and was internationally hailed as a monumental work of scholarship. In 1988, the British Museum bestowed the honor of including the Philomathean Rosetta Stone Report in its select bibliography of the most important works ever published on the Rosetta Stone. The Philomathean Society maintains a full-scale cast of the stone in its meeting room at the University of Pennsylvania.
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« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2007, 07:08:35 pm »






Today



The Rosetta Stone has been exhibited in the British Museum since 1802, with only one break, from 1917 to 1919. Toward the end of World War I, in 1917, the Museum was concerned about heavy bombing in London and moved the Rosetta Stone to safety along with other portable objects of value. The Stone spent the next two years in a station on the Postal Tube Railway 50 feet below the ground at Holborn.

The Stone left the British Museum only once, on October of 1972, to be exhibited for one month at the Louvre Museum on the 150th anniversary of the decipherment of hieroglyphic writings with the famous Lettre a M Dacier of Jean-François Champollion.

In July 2003, Egypt demanded the return of the Rosetta Stone. Dr. Zahi Hawass, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Cairo, told the press: "If the British want to be remembered, if they want to restore their reputation, they should volunteer to return the Rosetta Stone because it is the icon of our Egyptian identity."

In 2005, Hawass was negotiating for a three-month loan, with the eventual goal of a permanent return. In November 2005, the British Museum sent him a replica of the stone.
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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2007, 07:10:37 pm »








Synopsis in English



“ In the reign of the new king who was Lord of the diadems, great in glory, the stabilizer of Egypt, and also pious in matters relating to the gods, superior to his adversaries, rectifier of the life of men, Lord of the thirty-year periods like Hephaestus the Great, King like the Sun, the Great King of the Upper and Lower Lands, offspring of the Parent-loving Gods, whom Hephaestus has approved, to whom the Sun has given victory, living image of Zeus, Son of the Sun, Ptolemy the ever-living, beloved by Ptah;

In the ninth year, when Aëtus, son of Aëtus, was priest of Alexander and of the Savior Gods and the Brother Gods and the Benefactor Gods and the Parent-loving Gods and the God Manifest and Gracious; Pyrrha, the daughter of Philinius, being athlophorus for Bernice Euergetis; Areia, the daughter of Diogenes, being canephorus for Arsinoë Philadelphus; Irene, the daughter of Ptolemy, being priestess of Arsinoë Philopator: on the fourth of the month Xanicus, or according to the Egyptians the eighteenth of Mecheir.

THE DECREE: The high priests and prophets, and those who enter the inner shrine in order to robe the gods, and those who wear the hawk's wing, and the sacred scribes, and all the other priests who have assembled at Memphis before the king, from the various temples throughout the country, for the feast of his receiving the kingdom, even that of Ptolemy the ever-living, beloved by Ptah, the God Manifest and Gracious, which he received from his Father, being assembled in the temple in Memphis this day, declared:

Since King Ptolemy, the ever-living, beloved by Ptah, the God Manifest and Gracious, the son of King Ptolemy and Queen Arsinoë, the Parent-loving Gods, has done many benefactions to the temples and to those who dwell in them, and also to all those subject to his rule, being from the beginning a god born of a god and a goddess—like Horus, the son of Isis and Osirus, who came to the help of his Father Osirus; being benevolently disposed toward the gods, has concentrated to the temples revenues both of silver and of grain, and has generously undergone many expenses in order to lead Egypt to prosperity and to establish the temples... the gods have rewarded him with health, victory, power, and all other good things, his sovereignty to continue to him and his children forever.
 ”

The complete Greek text, in English, is about 1600–1700 words in length, and is about 20 paragraphs long (average 80 words/paragraph).
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« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2007, 07:16:31 pm »








References


^ Charlotte Edwardes and Catherine Milner. "Egypt demands return of the Rosetta Stone", The Daily Telegraph, 2003-07-20. Retrieved on 2006-10-05.
 
^ Henry Huttinger (2005-07-28). Stolen Treasures: Zahi Hawass wants the Rosetta Stone back—among other things. Cairo Magazine. Retrieved on 2006-10-06.

^ "The rose of the Nile", Al-Ahram Weekly, 2005-11-30. Retrieved on 2006-10-06. 

^ Text of the Rosetta Stone. Retrieved on 2006-11-26.

^ The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (2000-09-06). International Team Accelerates Investigation of Immune-Related Genes. Retrieved on 2006-11-23.

^ Gordon G. Simpson, Caroline Dean (2002-04-12). Arabidopsis, the Rosetta Stone of Flowering Time?. Retrieved on 2006-11-23.

^ Rosetta stone for Unix. Retrieved on 2007-01-26.




Further reading


Allen, Don Cameron. "The Predecessors of Champollion", Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 144, No. 5. (1960), pp. 527–547.
 
Adkins, Lesley; Adkins, Roy. The Keys of Egypt: The Obsession to Decipher Egyptian Hieroglyphs. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2000 (hardcover, ISBN 0-06-019439-1); 2001 (paperback, ISBN 0-00-653145-8).

Downs, Jonathan. "Romancing the Stone", History Today, Vol. 56, Issue 5. (May, 2006), pp. 48–54.
Parkinson, Richard. Cracking Codes: the Rosetta Stone, and Decipherment. Berkeley, CA; Los Angeles; London: University of California Press, 1999 (hardcover, ISBN 0-520-22306-3; paperback, ISBN 0-520-22248-2); London: British Museum Press, 1999 (paperback, ISBN 0-7141-1916-4).

Parkinson, Richard. The Rosetta Stone. Objects in Focus; London: British Museum Press 2005 (paperback ISBN 978-0714150215).

Ray, John. The Rosetta Stone and the Rebirth of Ancient Egypt (Wonders of the World). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007 (hardcover, ISBN 978-0674024939).
Reviewed by Jonathon Keats in the Washington Post, July 22, 2007.

Solé, Robert; Valbelle, Dominique. The Rosetta Stone: The Story of the Decoding of Hieroglyphics. New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 2002 (hardcover, ISBN 1-56858-226-9).

Wallis Budge, E.A.. The Rosetta Stone. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1989 (paperback, ISBN 0-486-26163-8); Chicago Ridge, IL: Ares Publishers, 1995 (paperback, ISBN 0-89005-331-6).




External links
 

Rosetta StoneThe Rosetta Stone in The British Museum

The translated text in English

The Finding of the Rosetta Stone

The 1998 conservation and restoration of The Rosetta Stone at The British Museum

Champollion's alphabet



Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosetta_Stone"
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« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2007, 07:24:45 am »

                                   






                                         J E A N   F R A N C O I S   C H A M P O L L I O N



THE FATHER OF EGYPTOLOGY



 
 Anyone who has studied ancient Egypt will be familiar with Jean Francois Champollion. He was, after all, credited with deciphering hieroglyphics from the Rosetta Stone and thus giving scholars the key to understanding hieroglyphics. For this effort along, he is frequently referred to as the Father of Egyptology, for he provided the foundation that scholars would need in order to truly understand the ancient Egyptians. Even though he suffered a stroke, dying at the age of forty-one, he himself added to our knowledge of this grand, ancient civilization by translating any number of Egyptian texts prior to his death.   
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« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2007, 07:33:56 am »








Champollion was born on December 23rd, 1790 in the town of Figeac, France to Jacques Champollion and Jeanne Francoise. He was their youngest son, and was educated originally by his elder brother, Jacques Joseph (1778-1867). While still at home, he attempted to teach himself a number of languages, including Hebrew, Arabic, Syriac, Chaldean and Chinese. In 1801, at the age of ten, he was sent off to study at the Lyceum in Grenoble. There, at the young age of sixteen, he red a paper before the Grenoble Academy proposing that the language of the Coptic Christians in contemporary Egypt was actually the same language spoken by the ancient Egyptians. Today, most scholars do, in fact, consider that language to be at least an evolutionary form of the language spoken in the pharaonic period, spiked with the tongues of its foreign invaders such as the Greeks.

His studies continued at the College de France between 1807 and 1809, where he specialized in Oriental languages. he would eventually add Coptic, Ethiopic, Sanskrit, Zend, Pahlevi and Persian to his linguistic repertoire.

By the age of eighteen, he was accepted as a teacher of history and politics at Grenoble in 1809, and in the next year, he earned a doctor of letters. In 1811, he published his Introduction to Egypt Under the Pharaohs and in 1814, Egypt of the Pharaohs, or Researches in Geography, Religion, Language and History of the Egyptians Before the Invasion of Cambyses. During this period (1812), he married Rosine Blanc, who would provide him with a daughter, Zoraide, in 1824. This must have been a heady year for the young Frenchmen, for he also published the book titled Precis du systeme hieroglyphique, which expanded his earlier work on hieroglyphic translation that would serve as a basis for all later discoveries on the ancient Egyptian text.
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« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2007, 07:40:39 am »








Champollion continued to teach history and politics at Grenoble until 1816, and in 1818, he was appointed to a chair in history and geography at the Royal College of Grenoble, a position that he held until 1821. This new position apparently allowed him additional time to do research on the ancient language and the archaeology of ancient Egypt. During this period, he gained the patronage of the French kings, Louis XVIII and Charles X, which allowed him to travel on royally sponsored missions in order to examine museum collections such as those in Turin, Leghorn where he examined the Henry Salt collection which he would later persuade Charles X to purchase for the Louvre, Rome where he studied the obelisk and the papyrus of the Vatican Library, Naples and Florence.

After his return from these studies abroad, he was appointed as conservator of the Louvre Museum's Egyptian collection in 1826 and was responsible for its opening to the public in December of 1827. In 1828, he made is first and only trip to Egypt, where he was accompanied by his former Italian pupil Ippolito Rosellini (1800-1843). He had actually befriended the Italian, who would become known as the founder of Egyptology in Italy, while touring Egyptian museum collections in Italy four years earlier. This journey, known as the Franco-Tuscan expedition, was subsidized by the French government and the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Leopold II.

Chmapollion landed in Alexandria in August 1828 and explored both Egypt and Nubia as far as the second cataract. He stayed in Egypt until 1829, with his friend Rosellini, and this was the first systematic survey of the history and geography of Egypt to examine the ancient monuments and their inscriptions after the Napoleonic Description de l'Egypt. In fact, part of the reason for the expedition was to complete the archaeological section of the Description de l'Egypte. While in Egypt, his enthusiastic letters which he wrote were published day by day, and after his death, they were reprinted in a book form by his brother in 1833, and again by his daughter in 1868.
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« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2007, 07:42:04 am »

                         
The Franc-Tuscan Literary Expedition to Egypt, with Champollion seated in the center.
Standing to his right is Ippolito Rosellini. Seated in the foreground is the painter Alexandre Duchesne
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« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2007, 07:45:45 am »





On January 1st, 1829, he wrote to Dacier, the head of the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, from Wadi Halfa in Nubia:

"I am proud to be able to announce, now that I have followed the course of the Nile from it mouth to the second cataract, that we need change nothing in our Letter on the hierogyphical alphabet. Our alphabet is good: it can be successfully applied to the Egyptian monuments dating from Roman and Ptolemaic times, and then which is of far greater importance, to the inscriptions on all the temples, places and tombs of the pharaonic era. All of this vindicates the encouragement you were so kind as to give my work on the hieroglyphs at a time when they were far from being favourably received."

                                       

Champollion's notes and sketches, together with Rosellini's engravings which were finished later, made up some of the first documentary  later be used as the basis for the field investigations by such individuals as Karl Richard Lepisus and John Gardner Wilkinson.

He bought back from Egypt a considerable number of antiquities to enrich the Lourve's Egyptian collection.
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« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2007, 07:51:57 am »

                                            




He bought back from Egypt a considerable number of antiquities to enrich the Lourve's Egyptian collection.

Upon his return to France, he was made a member of the Academie des Inscriptions, and in 1831, a chair in Egyptian history and archaeology was specifically created for him at the College de France. Soon, however, he retired to Quercy, and devoted the last months of his life to the completion and revision of his Egyptian grammar and dictionary On March 4th, 1832, while still preparing the results of his investigations in Egypt, he was struck down by a stroke in Paris, and was buried in Psre Lachaise cemetery.





                               DECIPHERING THE ANCIENT EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHICS



In a certain way, Champollion's race to decipher the Egyptian texts was not unlike the space race of the 20th century. It was not a sudden flash of recognition, but a time consuming pursuit with others nipping at his heals.  His final success resulted from his long years of linguistic study of arcane languages, and others in his field contributed to his ultimate goal.

Hieroglyphic writing had long fascinated scholars such as Athanasius Kircher in the seventeenth century and Georg Zoega in the eighteenth, as well as those on Bonaparte's expedition to Egypt. As early as 1802, the Frenchman Silvestre de Sacy (1758-1838) and the Swede Johan David Akerblad (1763-1813) tried to penetrate the secret of the Rosetta stone. Between 1814 and 1818, the celebrated Englishman, Thomas Young studied the artifact and he was well educated to do so, with many of the language skills at his disposal as Champollion. But it would be Champollion who would eventually break the code.

Champollion's quest really began in 1808, when he determined that fifteen signs of the demotic script corresponded with alphabetic letters in the Coptic language. He therefore concluded that this modern language held at least the last vestiges of that spoken by the ancient Egyptians. By 1818, after having examined an obelisk from Philae, he came to understand that some of the glyphs had a phonetic value and were thus part of an alphabet, even though other symbols were strictly symbolic ideograms.
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« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2007, 07:54:41 am »









Champollion's quest really began in 1808, when he determined that fifteen signs of the demotic script corresponded with alphabetic letters in the Coptic language. He therefore concluded that this modern language held at least the last vestiges of that spoken by the ancient Egyptians. By 1818, after having examined an obelisk from Philae, he came to understand that some of the glyphs had a phonetic value and were thus part of an alphabet, even though other symbols were strictly symbolic ideograms.

                                       

Of course, his breakthrough came with the Rosetta Stone.  The Greek era artifact recorded identical text in hieroglyphs, demotic Egyptian and Greek. Others had first examined this stone, but he recognized the Ptolemy name in Greek and demotic, and was therefore able to identify the hieroglyphic rendering.

Of course, Champollion was not studying the Rosetta Stone exclusively.  For example, in 1822, his friend the architect Nicolas Huyot (1780-1840) presented him with copies of the inscriptions on the temple at Abu Simbel, from which Champollion was able to decipher the name of Ramesses, part of whose name was written phonetically and the other part in ideograms.
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« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2007, 07:57:33 am »








Champollion did not publish any of his decipherment work, probably secreting it away on purposes since others had the same goal as he, until in 1822 he read his famous Lettre a M. Dacier, the permanent secretary of the French Academies des Inscriptions, before the Academie des Inscriptions. In this document he made it known that his efforts had revealed an alphabet of twenty-six letters, including syllabic signs, of which ten were identified completely. However, two others were only partly correct, and fourteen others were later proved to be wrong, or missing. He had also figured out the use of determinatives. The letter stated in part:

"I am convinced that the same hieroglyphic-phonetic signs used to represent the sound of Greek and Roman proper names were  used in hieroglyphic texts carved long before the Greeks came to Egypt, and that these already reproduced sounds or articulation in the same way as the cartouches carved under the Greeks and Romans. The discovery of this precious and decisive fact is due to my work on pure hieroglyphic script. It would be impossible to prove it in the present letter without going into lengthy detail."

                                      

Two years later he followed this with his Precis du systeme hieroglyphique (Paris, 1824, 2nd ed., 2 vols., 1828), a more definitive, expanded analysis. he also corrected some of the mistakes that had been made by his English contemporary, Thomas Young (1773-1879), and we can only wonder what else he might have accomplished had he not died at such an early age.


http://touregypt.net/featurestories/champollion.htm
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