University of Oklahoma Press, Norman). According to the historians, the Pyramids were constructed in Egypt during 2800-2400 BC and may be considered as the first large structure construction ever. Twelve quarrymen carved 186 stones in 22 days, and the structure was erected using 44 men. The Structural Engineer, April 2009, The main problems / drawbacks of all ramp systems. Most pyramids built then were little more than mountains of mud-brick encased in a veneer of polished limestone. Journal of the American Ceramic Society 89 (12), 3788–3796. This idea was previously described by John Bush in 1977,[4] and is mentioned in the Closing Remarks section of Parry's book. Iron oxide nodules, source of a range of red pigments, Thebes. This method is presented as a levering device to work complementary with Mark Lehner's idea of a combined ramp and levering techniques. White limestone, which is finer, was used to coat the interior walls and as the main material for the outer casing. Granite, quarried near Aswan, was used to construct some architectural elements, including the portcullis (a type of gate) and the roofs and walls of the burial chamber. All details and information about Ancient Building Techniques Concrete Use in Ancient Egypt [DOCUMENTARY] can de found below. Obelisks were a prominent part of the architecture of the ancient Egyptians, who placed them in pairs at the entrances of temples. [56] Yannis Gourdon, co-director of the joint mission at Hatnub, said:[56]. This is governed by the science of aerodynamics. In Stationen. The earliest … There were two crews of approximately 2,000 workers sub-divided into named gangs of 1,000. Unfinished Northern Pyramid of Zawyet el'Aryan, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Egyptian_pyramid_construction_techniques&oldid=1002213567, Articles with dead external links from April 2020, Articles needing additional references from December 2020, All articles needing additional references, Articles with unsourced statements from August 2019, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2017, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 23 January 2021, at 10:43. Carbon dating samples from core blocks and other materials revealed that dates from the 1984 study averaged 374 years earlier than currently accepted and the 1995 dating averaging 100–200 years. And it's said the stone was transported a great distance from Arabia, and that the edifices were raised by means of earthen ramps, since machines for lifting had not yet been invented in those days; and most surprising it is, that although such large structures were raised in an area surrounded by sand, no trace remains of either ramps or the dressing of the stones, so that it seems not the result of the patient labor of men, but rather as if the whole complex were set down entire upon the surrounding sand by some god. The method most accepted for assisting ramps is levering[24] (Lehner 1997: 222). Occasionally, granite was used in the outer casing as well, such as in the Pyramid of Menkaure. The vast majority of the workforce provided support services such as scribes, toolmakers and other backup services. Nubian vaults, which were used to build houses in ancient Egypt and involve the construction of vaulted roofs using dried mud blocks, both utilize local materials and eliminate the need for … [47] But Lehner and Hopkins did experiments with copper tools, noting that they were adequate for the job in hand, provided that additional manpower was available to constantly resharpen the ancient tools. Mark Lehner speculated that a spiraling ramp, beginning in the stone quarry to the southeast and continuing around the exterior of the pyramid, may have been used. This is comparable to the accuracy possible with modern construction methods and laser leveling. The Ancient Egyptian Superior Farming Techniques . Keable was able to perform his method in approximately 2 minutes. The Bent Pyramid at Dahshur seems to indicate acceptance of a new technique at a transition between these two building techniques. They used iron hammers, chisels and levers (this is a modern shortcut, as the ancient Egyptians were limited to using copper and later bronze and wood). But in truth, it most certainly was not done this way! [6][7] The filling has almost no binding properties, but it was necessary to stabilize the construction. The pools were then left to evaporate, leaving behind a moist, clay-like mixture. Ancient Egyptian Engineering Techniques,Ancient Egypt Engineering Facts, Ancient Egyptian Numbers & Numeral system. Monumental buildings were built via the post and lintel method of construction. Did the Egyptians create a canal and a port to bring stone to the Great Pyramid? The rituals involved leaving a foundation deposit buried not only under the corners of, for example, a temple, but sometimes at the … Ship building prevailed. For use in the construction of their ocean faring ships, the Egyptians imported cedar from the people inhabiting the coastal areas of modern Lebanon or Syria. Metals were smelted and cast to form axes, chisels, rivets and jugs. In the ancient cities, the construction tools were very simple, and made of stone, copper, or bronze. For the architect, tools included levels and different types of vertical gauges for measuring plumb lines. Arithmetic Techniques. (Julian Keable ed.) There is no known accurate historical or archaeological evidence that definitively resolves the question. The best known example of ancient Egyptian architecture are the Egyptian pyramids while excavated temples, palaces, tombs and fortresses have also been studied. They derived these estimates from modern third-world construction projects that did not use modern machinery, but conclude it is still unknown exactly how the Great Pyramid was built. Not only were the structures superior in a visionary capacity, but … After cutting stones, they were moved down the Nile on large wooden barges and then transported to the site on large wooden sledges pulled by hundreds of men or oxen. 1993. Extreme Egyptian Masonry: (Egyptian Masonry Skills). Using Egyptian Engineering Techniques construction either of temples or of pyramids was a continuous process.The stone blocks were cut from quarries, such as Saqqara, Giza, and Dashur. Hawass, Zahi. They estimated they would have needed around 20 extra men for this maintenance. These methods include studying pottery remains, as well as carbon dating, and stratigraphy. Materials scientist Joseph Davidovits has claimed that the blocks of the pyramid are not carved stone, but mostly a form of limestone concrete and that they were "cast" as with modern concrete. [39], Houdin has another hypothesis developed from his architectural model, one that could finally explain the internal "Grand Gallery" chamber that otherwise appears to have little purpose. In Lehner's (1997: 222) point of view, levers should be employed to lift the top 3% of the material of the superstructure. Around 70,000 B.C., Neanderthals arrived in Egypt’s Nile Valley. M. W. Barsoum, A. Ganguly & G. Hug, (2006). Edited by Heike Guksch and Daniel Polz. The earliest Egyptian sails were simply placed to catch the wind and push a vessel. How the Pyramids Were Built. The art was created using mediums ranging from papyrus drawing to the pictographs and include funerary sculpture carved in relief and in the round from sandstones, quartzites, diorite, and granite. Houdin and Brier and the Dassault team are already credited with proving for the first time that cracks in beams appeared during construction, were examined and tested at the time and declared relatively harmless. To add to the uncertainty, there is considerable evidence demonstrating that non-standardized or ad hoc construction methods were used in pyramid construction (Arnold 1991: 98,[25] Lehner 1997: 223). Most Egyptologists acknowledge that ramps are the most tenable of the methods to raise the blocks, yet they acknowledge that it is an incomplete method that must be supplemented by another device. Evidence suggests that around 5,000 were permanent workers on salaries with the balance working three- or four-month shifts in lieu of taxes while receiving subsistence "wages" of ten loaves of bread and a jug of beer per day. They buried their dead, cared for the sick, and even developed a slightly more sophisticated fl… Sanctification of obelisks dates back to the pre-dynasty period. These types of tools include chisels, mallets, and pick-hammers. An example of this design can be … To make the gypsum mortar, it had to be dehydrated by heating which requires large quantities of wood. … Other measuring instruments included rules, ropes, and squares.As … In particular, construction in ancient Egypt was complicated by the composition of its land much of it either soggy, marsh soil or shifting sand. Historical accounts for the construction of the Egyptian pyramids do little to point definitively to methods to lift the blocks; yet most Egyptologists refer to these accounts when discussing this portion of pyramid construction. The techniques used to build the Giza pyramids were developed over a period of centuries, with all of the problems and setbacks that any modern-day scientist or engineer would face.Pyramids originated from simple rectangular \"mastaba\" tombs that were being constructed in Egypt over 5,000 years ago, according to finds made by archaeologist Sir Flinders Petrie. Rather, the same multitude of workmen who raised the mounds returned the entire mass again to its original place; for they say that three hundred and sixty thousand men were constantly employed in the prosecution of their work, yet the entire edifice was hardly finished at the end of twenty years. [26] One of the widely discredited ramping methods is the large straight ramp, and it is routinely discredited on functional grounds for its massive size, lack of archaeological evidence, huge labor cost, and other problems (Arnold 1991: 99, Lehner 1997: 215, Isler 2001: 213[27]). Most of the construction hypotheses are based on the belief that huge stones were carved from quarries with copper chisels, and these blocks were then dragged and lifted into position. Proof-of-concept tests using similar compounds were carried out at a geopolymer institute in northern France and it was found that a crew of five to ten, working with simple hand tools, could agglomerate a structure of five, 1.3 to 4.5 ton blocks in a couple of weeks. The slurry was a solution of water, sand, and gypsum. Isler, Martin "On Pyramid Building II." Geologists have carefully scrutinized Davidovits's suggested technique and concluded his concrete came from natural limestone quarried in the Mokattam Formation. This system is composed of a central ramp flanked by two staircases with numerous post holes, using a sled which carried a stone block and was attached with ropes to these wooden posts, ancient Egyptians were able to pull up the alabaster blocks out of the quarry on very steep slopes of 20 percent or more ... As this system dates back at least to Khufu's reign, that means that during the time of Khufu, ancient Egyptians knew how to move huge blocks of stone using very steep slopes. Then, one by one, the stones were struck by what was curiously, and rather enigmatically, described only as a rod of metal. The sledges were pulled along a path made slick with Nile mud or by wetting the sand, which made it easier to move the heavy blocks. Egyptian artists also used a variety of woods in their work, including the native acacia, tamarisk, and sycamore fig as well as fir, cedar, and other conifers imported from Syria. Sticks, Stones, and Shadows: Building the Egyptian Pyramids. Zahi Hawass believes that the majority of workers may have been volunteers. The limestone was then dissolved in large, Nile-fed pools until it became a watery slurry. 1991. Arithmetic techniques were used for organising labour and trade and Geometry was used for construction purposes. The new Documentary reveals how Ancient Egyptians built the pyramids using man-made stones, which look exactly like natural rocks. at Dashur (Lipke 1984, 64; Steffy 1994, 25-27, 32-36, Patch and Haldane 1990). Yet, the dimensions of the pyramid are extremely accurate and the site was leveled within a fraction of an inch over the entire 13.1-acre base. The Twelfth Dynasty tomb of Djehutihotep has an illustration of 172 men pulling an alabaster statue of him on a sledge. According to Miroslav Verner, a workforce of no more than 30,000 was needed in the Great Pyramid's construction. [citation needed]. Building in Egypt: Pharaonic Stone Masonry. [37] This 10-square-meter clear space housed a crane that lifted and rotated each 2.5-ton block, to ready it for eight men to drag up the next internal ramp. The Egyptians were a practical people and this is reflected in their astronomy. [42] However, Davidovits alleges that the bulk of the soft limestone came from the same natural Mokkatam Formation quarries found by geologists, and insists that ancient Egyptians used the soft marly layer instead of the hard layer to re-agglomerate stones. Without the use of pulleys, wheels, or iron tools, they used critical path analysis to suggest the Great Pyramid was completed from start to finish in approximately 10 years. [41] He also claims that the Famine Stele, along with other hieroglyphic texts, describe the technology of stone agglomeration. There is a notch of sorts in one of the right places, and in 2008 Houdin's co-author Bob Brier, with a National Geographic film crew, entered a previously unremarked chamber that could be the start of one of these internal ramps. Engineers have constructed a working model based on their interpretation of a relief found in the Hathor temple at the Dendera Temple complex. Egyptian knowledge of glass making was advanced. Arithmetic techniques were used for organising labour and trade and Geometry was used for construction purposes. Aspects of construction technique and safety issues should be considered for the construction process as well as for subsequent dressing. One area for which the Egyptians are particularly famous, of course, is their stone working. Since the Egyptians made no use of block and tackle methods, or cranes, it is usually assumed that wooden and bronze levers were used to manoeuvre the … Egyptian pyramid construction techniques are the controversial subject of many hypotheses. The statue is estimated to weigh 60 tons and Denys Stocks estimated that 45 workers would be required to start moving a 16,300 kg (35,900 lb; 16.3 t) lubricated block, or eight workers to move a 2,750 kg (6,060 lb; 2.75 t) block. To develop this hypothesis, Jean-Pierre Houdin, also an architect, gave up his job and set about drawing the first fully functional CAD architectural model of the Great Pyramid. In several cases, later pyramids were built on top of natural hills to further reduce the volume of material needed in their construction. New blocks, he suggests, could be cast in place, on top of and pressed against the old blocks. Now Egyptians try to make a marvel of these things, alleging that the ramps were made of salt and natron and that, when the river was turned against them, it melted them clean away and obliterated their every trace without the use of human labor. It is estimated that only 4,000 of the total workforce were labourers who quarried the stone, hauled blocks to the pyramid and set the blocks in place. As the stones forming the core of the pyramids were roughly cut, especially in the Great Pyramid, the material used to fill the gaps was another problem. This wet "concrete" would be carried to the construction site where it would be packed into reusable wooden moulds and in a few days would undergo a chemical reaction similar to the curing of concrete. Other ramps serve to correct these problems of ramp size, yet either run into critiques of functionality and limited archaeological evidence. The majestic form of the Egyptian pyramids is a thing of beauty to behold. There are zig-zagging ramps, straight ramps using the incomplete part of the superstructure (Arnold 1991), spiraling ramps supported by the superstructure and spiraling ramps leaning on the monument as a large accretion are proposed. The Ancient Egyptians had a knowledge to some extent of sail construction. [43] Michel Barsoum and his colleagues at Drexel University published their findings supporting Davidovits's hypothesis in the Journal of the American Ceramic Society in 2006. 1989. Dotesios Printers Ltd. Trowbridge, Wiltshire. Disagreements chiefly concern the methods used to move and place the stones. Four or five men were able to use levers on stones less than one ton to flip them over and transport them by rolling, but larger stones had to be towed. in Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt. Therefore, they could have used it for the construction [of] his pyramid. Edwards or through the use of a crude square level and experienced surveyors. This pyramid was made like stairs, which some call steps and others, tiers. It enabled the raising of the five 60-ton granite beams that roof the King's Chamber. They probably used wooden and bronze levers to move the blocks into position. "Pyramid Construction. BC Where coarse stonework or crude bricks were used, a coating, composed of marble dust and lime rubbed and highly polished, was applied to them. Mortise-and-tenon joints had, of course, been used previously in Bronze Age ships in Egypt, as in the construction of the Khufu s boat at Giza (ca. Therefore, there are many proposed ramps and there is a considerable amount of discrepancy regarding what type of ramp was used to build the pyramids. Scene elements were drafted out using red paint, corrections noted in black paint, and then the painting was executed one color at a time. Also during this period (between 2686 and 2498 BC) the Sadd el-Kafara dam, which used an estimated 100,000 cubic meters of rock and rubble, was built. As suggested by team members, "We thought that it was unlikely that the pyramid builders consistently used centuries-old wood as fuel in preparing mortar. This is governed by the science of aerodynamics. Copper was the earliest metal used for tools in the predynastic period, and continued to be used until the harder bronze alloy was discovered. Workmen probably used copper chisels, drills, and saws to cut softer stone, such as most of the limestone. The River Nile in Egypt received 90% of its water during a 100-day flood period every year, as noted by Herodotus in The Histories, [2, 92], where he states:. In Houdin's method, each ramp inside the pyramid ended at an open space, a notch temporarily left open in the edge of the construction. But this is certain, that the upper part of the pyramid was finished off first, then the next below it, and last of all the base and the lowest part. This does not include Khafre's brother Djedefre's northern pyramid, Abu Rawash, which would have also been built during this time frame of 100 years. They say the ancient Egyptians were great architects. Davidovits's hypothesis gained support from Michel Barsoum, a materials science researcher. This method was tested with materials of less strength than historical analogs (tested with materials weaker than those available in ancient Egypt), a factor of safety of 2, and lifted a 2500-pound block up one course in under a minute. The ancient Egyptians used several different types of ramps, both internal and external to the pyramid, to drag the huge stones into place. The gangs were divided into five phyles of 200 which were in turn split into groups of around 20 workers grouped according to their skills, with each group having their own project leader and a specific task.[50][51]. M. W. Barsoum, A. Ganguly, G. Hug (2006). [citation needed], During the Middle Kingdom, pyramid construction techniques changed again. "The Great Pyramid Debate -- Evidence from the Lauer Sample." The tombs of supervisors contain inscriptions regarding the organisation of the workforce. It is not surprising that the occasional eyebrow was raised in the past concerning the extent of the Egyptian masonry skills during the Early dynastic period. Thales, according to the philosopher Hieronymus (3rd century BC)[19] visited the Egyptian pyramids during the 7th century BC and by using the intercept theorem, also known as Thales's theorem, measured their height and thus their volume. Journal of Geological Education, vol. Limestone was the primary form of stone used in architecture, although sandstone and granite were also frequently used. It may be that there was a new lever on each tier of steps, or perhaps there was only one lever, quite portable, which they carried up to each tier in turn; I leave this uncertain, as both possibilities were mentioned. These techniques seem to have developed over time; later pyramids were not constructed in the same way as earlier ones. Since the discussion of construction techniques to lift the blocks attempts to resolve a gap in the archaeological and historical record with a plausible functional explanation, the following examples by Isler, Keable, and Hussey-Pailos[29] list experimentally tested methods. The word Neanderthal is a combination of the German word for valley, thal, and the location of the fossils of an early man discovered in the Neander Valley. Construction Techniques in ancient Egypt- Greek-Roman Architecture in Egypt November 2010 In book: Inventory of earthquake-induced failure mechanisms related to (pp.217- 235) [34] In 2006 Houdin announced it in a book: Khufu: The Secrets Behind the Building of the Great Pyramid,[35] and in 2008 he and Egyptologist Bob Brier wrote a second book: The Secret of the Great Pyramid.[36]. These instruments were made of wood, twine, and lightweight stones. The limestone blocks were … Levering methods are considered to be the most tenable solution to complement ramping methods, partially due to Herodotus's description; and partially to the Shadoof; an irrigation device first depicted in Egypt during the New Kingdom, and found concomitantly with the Old Kingdom in Mesopotamia. Another shortcut taken was the use of a front-end loader or fork lift truck, but modern machinery was not used to finish the construction. The precise and accurate execution that characterized Ancient Egyptian construction and architecture was brought about without the use of modern, “advanced” technology. They used levers to lift the capstone to a height of 20 feet (6.1 m). [11][12] Blocks were transported by sledge likely lubricated by water. One of the major problems faced by the early pyramid builders was the need to move huge quantities of stone. Greek architecture: Ancient Greek Construction Methods The Greeks laid their masonry without mortar but with joints cut to great exactness. The Great Wall of China that was constructed around 200 BC is considered another achievement of ancient civil engineering. Of these, the razor was the main implement used for cutting the hair. It is still not known whether the Egyptians used this method but the experiments indicate it could have worked using stones of this size. To explain this discrepancy, Egyptologists proposed the "old wood" theory claiming the earlier dates were possibly derived from recycling large amounts of centuries old wood and other earlier materials. With their 'rudimentary tools,' the pyramid builders of ancient Egypt were about as accurate as we are today with 20th-century technology. Even marble itself was sometimes so treated. The Greeks, many years after the event, believed that the pyramids must have been built by slave labor. A major advance occurred during the reign of the pharaoh Djoser (reign started around 2630 B.C). Lehner, Mark 1997. Houdin's thesis remains unproven and in 2007, UCL Egyptologist David Jeffreys described the internal spiral hypothesis as "far-fetched and horribly complicated", while Oxford University's John Baines, declared he was "suspicious of any theory that seeks to explain only how the Great Pyramid was built". The statue is estimated to weigh 60 tons and Denys Stocks estimated that 45 workers would be required to start moving a 16,300 kg (35,900 lb; 16.3 t) lubricated block, or eight workers to move a 2,750 kg (6,060 lb; 2.75 t) block. in Ancient Rome (pottery used to lighten the vaults of Circo di Massenzio). Arnold, Dieter. These early Egyptian examples of mortise-and-tenons, however, were freestanding and not pegged to lock adjacent strakes … Stonecutters used copper drills and saws, probably using a quartz slurry to aid in the process. The Ancient Egyptians had a knowledge to some extent of sail construction. 2001. One of the most important features of ancient Egyptian architecture is that no wood was used in construction. The best known example of construction in Ancient Egypt is, of course, the great pyramid. Other imports included spices, frankincense, iron and tin, while they exported papyrus, pottery and perfumes. The materials and methods of construction used in the earliest pyramids have ensured their survival in a generally much better state of preservation than for the pyramid monuments of the later pharaohs. In the early pyramids, the layers of stone (called courses) forming the pyramid body were laid sloping inwards; however, this configuration was found to be less stable than simply stacking the stones horizontally on top of each other. Vitruvius in De architectura[5] described a similar method for moving irregular weights. They were marked out with just enough space for workers to stand between them. One incorrect assumption is that the term Neanderthal refers simply to a caveman or a brute. Eventually, stone became to be used almost exclusively for temples and tombs while houses and even palaces were constructed with bricks. [54], The entire Giza Plateau is believed to have been constructed over the reign of five pharaohs in less than a hundred years, which generally includes: the Great Pyramid, Khafre and Menkaure's pyramids, the Great Sphinx, the Sphinx and Valley Temples, 35 boat pits cut out of solid bedrock, and several causeways, as well as paving nearly the entire plateau with large stones. Hodges, Peter. Experiments done by the Obayashi Corporation, with concrete blocks 0.8 metres (2 ft 7 in) square by 1.6 metres (5 ft 3 in) long and weighing 2.5 tonnes (2,500 kg; 5,500 lb), showed how 18 men could drag the block over a 1-in-4 incline ramp, at a rate of 18 metres per minute (1 ft/s). Dr. R H G Parry has suggested a method for rolling the stones, … After 4 years working alone, Houdin was joined by a team of engineers from the French 3D software company Dassault Systemes, who used the most modern computer-aided design technology available to further refine and test the hypothesis, making it (according to Houdin) the only one proven to be a viable technique. For the Middle Kingdom Pyramid of Amenemhat II, there is evidence from the annal stone of the king that foreigners from Canaan were used.[1]. Backsighting must have been possible on a regular basis throughout the building process; there fore, accessibility must have been guaranteed. He believes the gallery acted as a trolley chute/guide for counterbalance weights. Ancient Egyptians used to build two obelisks, one at each side of the temple gate. Marble was not generally used until the 5th cent. Isler's method (1985, 1987) is an incremental method and, in the Nova experiment (1992), used wooden shims or cribbing. Microstructural Evidence of Reconstituted Limestone Blocks in the Great Pyramids of Egypt. The wood for these sledges and tracks would have to have been imported from Lebanon at great cost since there was little, if any, wood in ancient Egypt. Harder stones such as granite or basalt were used to construct monuments, but also served as tools to work softer stones, including limestone and alabaster. Mainz: Philipp von Zabern, 1998. A construction management study carried out by the firm Daniel, Mann, Johnson, & Mendenhall in association with Mark Lehner, and other Egyptologists, estimates that the total project required an average workforce of 14,567 people and a peak workforce of 40,000. 53–62. Lehner, Mark. The Complete Pyramids. It formed the bulk of the materials used in the construction of the pyramids and rough limestone was utilized in the core of the pyramid. Ask the town scholar about that temple, he is an expert on the subject. Egyptologists generally accept this for the 2.5 ton blocks mostly used but do not agree over the methods used for the 15+ ton and several 70 to 80 ton blocks. [52] As Dr. Craig Smith of the team points out: The logistics of construction at the Giza site are staggering when you think that the ancient Egyptians had no pulleys, no wheels, and no iron tools. [38] In 1986 a member of the French team (see below) saw a desert fox at this notch, rather as if it had ascended internally. Archaeologists now believe that the Great Pyramid of Giza (at least) was built by tens of thousands of skilled workers who camped near the pyramids and worked for a salary or as a form of tax payment (levy) until the construction was completed, pointing to workers' cemeteries discovered in 1990 by archaeologists Zahi Hawass and Mark Lehner. Diodorus Siculus's description of the shipment of the stone from Arabia is correct since the term "Arabia" those days implied the land between the Nile and the Red Sea[22] where the limestone blocks have been transported from quarries across the river Nile. Beiträge zur Kulturgeschichte Ägyptens Rainer Stadelmann gewidmet, pp. Those exploring fringe theories of ancient technology have suggested that there were electric lights used in Ancient Egypt. [55], In October 2018, a team of archaeologists from the Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale and University of Liverpool had announced the discovery of the remains of a 4,500-year-old ramp contraption at Hatnub, excavated since 2012. 1850 B.C.) They built a pyramid 6 metres (20 ft) high by 9 metres (30 ft) wide, consisting of a total of 162 cubic metres (5,700 cu ft), or about 405 tons. : 222 ), iron and what were the construction techniques used in ancient egypt, while they exported papyrus, pottery perfumes! 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