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Neanderthals Found Near Rome In A Cave, “Hunted” and Eaten By Hyenas

Neanderthals Found Near Rome In A Cave, “Hunted” and Eaten By Hyenas


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The ancient remains of nine Neanderthals found near Rome have been discovered in a cave. Italian archaeologistsspeculating as to how the Neanderthals found near Rome died, discovered tell-tale smashed bones which revealed a brutal story in which a pack of hyenas attacked and killed the hunters, before dragging them back to their cave den and feasting on them.

Fossilized Neanderthals found near Rome in the Guattari Cave in San Felice Circeo. (Emanuele Antonio Minerva / Italian Ministry of Culture)

Neanderthals Found Near Rome Likely Also Lived In Caves

The Guattari Cave was discovered in 1939 in San Felice Circeo about 100 kilometers (60 miles) south-east of Rome. At that time the discovery sparked international interest after Italian archaeologists unearthed what was hailed as “one of the best preserved Neanderthal skulls ever found.”

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According to The New York Times , because this skull had a large hole in the temple, its finder, paleontologist Alberto Carlo Blanc, suggested that the cave’s Neanderthal inhabitants had engaged in “ritual cannibalism.”

Neanderthals emerged from Africa and hunted their way across Eurasia from the Atlantic coast to the Ural mountains between 400,000 years ago and 40,000 years ago before becoming extinct.

While Neanderthals are often portrayed as less intelligent, but stronger relatives of modern humans, it is now known that our cousins had similar sized brains, developed complex stone tools, wore jewellery, and maintained “a culture” that we find represented in their cave art.

Finding so many Neanderthal bones at one site “is very rare,” the Italian Culture Ministry archaeologist in charge of the excavation said. (Emanuele Antonio Minerva / Italian Ministry of Culture)

The “Hunting Hyena Hypothesis” Takes Over

The 2010 publication of the Neanderthal draft genome sequence revealed that “about 2 percent of the DNA in the genomes of modern-day people with Eurasian ancestry is Neanderthal in origin.” Then, in September 2020, a Sciencereport by evolutionary geneticists Martin Petr and Janet Kelso showed how Homo sapiens’ DNA “imprinted onto Neanderthal populations when the two species met in Eurasia around 45,000 years ago.”

Now, a team of scientists from the Archaeological Superintendency of Latina and the University of Tor Vergata in Rome have unearthed more human remains in the Guattari Cave cave mixed in with those of rhinoceroses, giant deer, wild horses and hyenas.

Among the ancient remains the researchers identified “nine Neanderthals: seven adult males, one female and a young boy.” Some of the bones are 50,000 to 68,000 years old, while other are believed to be 100,000 years old.

This image released by the Italian Culture Ministry shows a fossil jaw that was discovered in the cave southeast of Rome, shedding new light on how the Italian peninsula was populated and under what environmental conditions. (Emanuele Antonio Minerva / Italian Ministry of Culture)

Sometimes Neanderthal Hunters Became The Hunted

An article in The Guardian says that among the Neanderthal remains uncovered at the Guattari cave the researchers discovered “ skullcaps and broken jawbones.” Accounting for this, Dr Mario Rolfo, professor of archaeology at Tor Vergata University, said evidence suggests some of the Neanderthals had met their demise after being “hunted, mauled and dragged back to their den” and eaten. Neanderthals were “prey for these animals,” said Rolfo, and he added that hyenas “hunted them, especially the most vulnerable, like sick or elderly individuals.”

Italy’s culture minister, Dario Franceschini, said the new findings were “extraordinary” and Dr Mario Rolfo describes the discovery as “spectacular.” However, none of this would have been discovered if an earthquake hadn’t sealed the cave for more than 60,000 years, trapping the evidence within a virtual time capsule.

While it is known that hyenas made a den inside the cave while they ate the Neanderthals, the researchers think that the shelter might at one time have served Neanderthal populations as an actual hunting station /residence.

The remains scattered across the cave floor. One of the Neanderthals found in the cave lived about 100,000 to 90,000 years ago. The other eight were dated to around 65,000 to 50,000 years ago. (Emanuele Antonio Minerva / Italian Ministry of Culture)

Dental Tartar and Vegetable Matter Adds To Neanderthal Info

The researchers in Italy also discovered the remains of vegetable matter in the cave and a preliminary analysis of dental tartar has revealed that the Neanderthals “ate a varied diet including cereals,” which are associated with brain expansion .

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Dr Rolfo has announced that his team of researchers now plan to analyze the Neanderthal’s in an effort to better understand “their ways of life and history.”

Only in February this year we wrote about another team of archaeologists who were planning on re-analyzing ancient Neanderthal teeth discovered at the start of the 20th century in a Jersey cave. This team claimed that interbreeding between Neanderthals and modern humans occurred earlier than previously thought, and that Neanderthals and Homo sapiens “had a shared ancestry.”

One thing that is now perfectly clear is that both species of ancient hunters were on the menu for hyenas during the turbulent times when man and beast battled for survival.


Neanderthals were likely hunted by hyenas and dragged back to cave

Italian archaeologists have uncovered the fossilized remains of nine Neanderthals – who may have been hunted by hyenas – in a cave near Rome.

The Italian Culture Ministry announced the discovery Saturday (local time), saying it confirmed that the Guattari Cave in San Felice Circeo was “one of the most significant places in the world for the history of Neanderthals”.

A Neanderthal skull was discovered in the cave in 1939.

The fossilized bones include skulls, skull fragments, two teeth and other bone fragments.

The oldest remains date from between 100,000 and 90,000 years ago, while the other eight Neanderthals are believed to date from 50,000-68,000 years ago, the Culture Ministry said in a statement.

The excavations, begun in 2019, involved a part of the cave that hadn’t yet been explored, including a lake first noted by the anthropologist Alberto Carlo Blanc, who is credited with the 1939 Neanderthal skull discovery.

Culture Minister Dario Franceschini called the finding “an extraordinary discovery that will be the talk of the world”.

Mario Rolfo, a professor of archaeology at Tor Vergata University, said most of the Neanderthals had been killed by hyenas and dragged back to their cave den as food, The Guardian reported.

"Neanderthals were prey for these animals," The Guardian quoted him as saying. "Hyenas hunted them, especially the most vulnerable, like sick or elderly individuals."

Anthropologist Mauro Rubini said the large number of remains suggest a significant population of Neanderthals, “the first human society of which we can speak”.

Archaeologists said the cave had perfectly preserved the environment of 50,000 years ago.

They noted that fossilized animal remains found in the cave - elephant, rhinoceros and giant deer, among others - shed light on the flora and fauna of the area and its climactic history.


Remains of 1,00000 year-old Neanderthals 'killed by hyenas' discovered in Italian cave

The remains of Neanderthals, believed to be 1,00,000 years old, have been unearthed by some Italian archaeologists in a cave about 100 km southeast of Rome.

The archaeologists found the remains of nine neanderthals, thought to have been killed by hyenas, in the Guattari Cave in the coastal town of San Felice Cicero. After the discovery, the team identified the skull fragments and broken jawbones.

The expedition was carried out by scientists from the Archaeological Superintendency of Latina and the University of Tor Vergata, who said the remains belonged to seven adult males one female, and another of a young boy, according to a report by The Guardian.

They said the individuals most likely lived in different time periods as some bones could be 50,000 to 68,000 years old.

The examined remains include broken jaw bones and skullcaps. The cave where they were found had already gained popularity for its having fossils of neanderthals. The last discovery was made in 1939.

"It is a spectacular find. A collapse, perhaps caused by an earthquake, sealed this cave for more than 60,000 years, thereby preserving the remains left inside for tens of thousands of years,” Mario Rolfo, professor of archaeology at Tor Vergata University, was quoted as saying by The Guardian.

Besides the bones, the researchers also found traces of vegetables alongside the humans and those of rhinoceroses, giant deer, and hyenas.

Due to this, the researchers believe the Neanderthals were killed by hyenas and then dragged back to the cave, which was most likely their den.

“Neanderthals were prey for these animals. Hyenas hunted them, especially the most vulnerable, like sick or elderly individuals,” added Rolfo.

Rolfo added that his team intended to analyse the DNA of the neanderthals to understand their ways of life.


Video: Fossilized Remains of Nine Neanderthals Found in Cave Near Rome

Archaeologists in Italy unearthed the fossilized remains of nine Neanderthals who met a rather gruesome fate when they were preyed upon by hyenas thousands of years ago. According to a press release from the Italian Cultural Ministry, the remarkable find was made at a location known as Guattari Cave, which is a site that had been sealed off from the world by way of a landslide some 60,000 years ago until its accidental discovery in 1939. An initial investigation of the cavern at the time produced a Neanderthal skull which was heralded as "sensational," but now pales in comparison to what a modern excavation has uncovered.

While working to improve the safety conditions of the cave, workers were stunned to find the remains of a staggering nine additional Neanderthals. Eight of these individuals are believed to be somewhere between 50 to 68 thousand years old and the ninth body is thought to be around 90 to 100 thousand years old. Italy's Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini, declared the find to be "an extraordinary discovery that the whole world will talk about because it enriches research on Neanderthals." Among the remains unearthed during the excavation are various skull caps, jaw bones, two teeth, and various other fragments.

As for how the Neanderthals wound up in the cave, archaeologists paint a grim picture of their demise. Based on the "abundant hyena remains" found in the location, experts believe that the site served as a den for the carnivorous creatures. As such, scientists studying the bones suggest that the unfortunate Neanderthals were hunted down by hyenas and dragged into the cave where they were then eaten. This macabre conclusion is informed by the fact that the newly discovered remains "show clear signs of gnawing." Bolstered by the new Neanderthal find, researchers in Italy intend to redouble their efforts to study the cave in the hopes of unearthing any additional secrets of the distant past that may be hidden there.


Photios

MattH

This article does not mention the carved stones in the cave. Hyenas are not dexterous at using tools let alone carving stones.

MattH

Then I discover this on a news site.

Discoveries of ventilation holes in the ceiling of the cave had led some anthropologists to believe that Neanderthals also engaged in ritual cannibalism, according to the ministry, which added that some of the discovered bones had been burned.

Mark Tapley

Probably similar to those noble and peaceful Amer. Indians of the southwest who stirred their tribal neighbors into the stew at every opportunity. No Neanderthal vegans I wager, just pursuing their natural paleo diet. If aunt Tilly got covid she may have been lunch.

MattH

And now I spot that the cannibalism is described as ritualistic. What absolute garbage.

Cannibalism occurred because of hunger and competition for resources, usually nothing to do with ritual. The urban myth that people feasted on the hearts of their enemies to devour or gain the courage of ones enemy is just an apologist position taken by many historians and anthropologists who do not wish to have either foot on the path to reality.

Cannibalism is recorded in many areas of the world including the Donner party in America and the plane crashed Uruguayan rugby team in the Andes. When needs must the devil drives.

It was a cultural norm in the Pacific as there was little more than seafood and birds for protein sources. When Captain James Cook undertook his voyages of discovery he recorded that in most Polynesian archipelago groups the inhabitants had just had a war with neighbours, were at war, or were preparing for war.

Cook and earlier explorers introduced domestic animals throughout the Pacific to provide protein sources. Pigs were generally the most successful introduced species.

Europeans were also dispatched and eaten. The Boyd massacre is the most notable event in New Zealand where over 60 Europeans were eaten. The crew of a long boat on the sister ship on one of Cooks voyages were consumed in Cannibal Cove, Marlborough Sounds.

The missionaries curbed the practice but the introduction of large mammals made the eventual near elimination of cannibalism possible.

Mark Tapley

While it makes for a good story I think it is unlikely the mostly timid scavengers would attack a human unless weak or injured. They also would not expend the energy required to drag the carcass back to a den. Probably when the old dilapidated cave dwellers died, they were just dragged to the back of the cave and thrown in with aunt Tilly. The dating system estimates are also just more fancy guess work.


Neanderthals found in Italian cave were prey of hyenas

Archaeologists discovered the remains of nine Neanderthals in Italy. The archaic humans were found in a prehistoric site about 100km southeast of Rome.

The nine neanderthal remains were analysed and were found to be seven men, one woman, and one boy, according to Business Insider.

The Neanderthals were hunted by hyenas and were mauled by the vicious creatures before being brought back to their cave, the Guardian reports, noting that researches found traces of vegetables alongside human remains &ldquoand those of rhinoceroses, giant deer, wild horses and, of course, ferocious hyenas.&rdquo

According to the news release by Italy&rsquos Culture Ministry, &ldquoThe characteristic of this place is that of allowing a real journey through time: today's conditions are substantially the same as 50,000 years ago and the presence of fossils makes the cave an exceptional database. Recent excavations have returned thousands of animal bone finds that enrich the reconstruction of the fauna, environment and climate.&rdquo

The research that began in October 2019 yielded &ldquosignificant fossil finds . attributable to 9 individuals: 8 datable between 50 thousand and 68 thousand years ago and one, the oldest, datable between 100 thousand and 90 thousand years ago.&rdquo

A Neanderthal skull and bones from the Guattari cave in San Felice Circeo, near Rome in Italy. (Emanuele Antonio Minerva / Italian Ministry of Culture)

The release continues to explain: &ldquoIn addition to abundant hyena remains, various groups of large mammals have been determined including: the aurochs, the large extinct bovine, which is one of the prevalent species together with the red deer but also the remains of rhinoceros, elephant, giant deer (Megaloceros), cave bear, and wild horses. The presence of these species accords well with the age of about 50 thousand years ago, when the hyena dragged its prey into the den using the cave as a shelter and food storage. In fact, many of the bones found show clear signs of gnawing.&rdquo

&ldquoNeanderthals were prey for these animals,&rdquo said Mario Rolfo, professor of prehistoric archeology at the Tor Vergata University of Rome. &ldquoHyenas hunted them, especially the most vulnerable, like sick or elderly individuals.&rdquo

Experts maintain the possibility that the Guattari cave may have been inhabited by Neanderthals at one point, before hyenas took possession of it.

The researchers said that most of the Neanderthals were killed elsewhere then brought into the cave that served as the hyenas&rsquo den. &ldquoOnce inside,&rdquo the Guardian notes, &ldquothe animals consumed their prey.&rdquo

The Neanderthal remains found in Guattari cave include skullcaps and broken jawbones. (Emanuele Antonio Minerva / Italian Ministry of Culture)

The Neanderthal remains found in Guattari cave include skullcaps and broken jawbones, the first new discovery in the cave that had previously provided Neanderthal fossils in 1939. According to the Guardian, &ldquosince then, no further human remains had been uncovered in Guattari.&rdquo

Italy&rsquos Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini, declared the find &ldquoAn extraordinary discovery that the whole world will talk about because it enriches research on Neanderthals. It is the result of the work of our Superintendency together with universities and research bodies, truly an exceptional thing."

&ldquoWith this excavation campaign,&rdquo said Mauro Rubini, director of the SABAP [Superintendence of Fine Arts and Landscape Archeology] anthropology service for the provinces of Frosinone and Latina, &ldquowe have found numerous individuals, a discovery that will allow us to shed an important light on the history of the population of Italy. Neanderthal man is a fundamental stage of human evolution, he represents the apex of a species and is the first human society we can talk about.&rdquo

According to Francesco Di Mario, SABAP official archaeologist for the provinces of Frosinone and Latina and director of the excavation and use of the Guattari cave &ldquoThey are all adult individuals, except one perhaps at a young age.&rdquo

Di Mario continued to say &ldquoIt is a satisfactory representation of a population that must have been large enough in the area. We are carrying out studies and analyzes, not only genetic, with much more advanced techniques than in [paleontologist Alberto Carlo] Blanc's time, capable of revealing a lot of information.&rdquo

"The geological and sedimentological study of this deposit,&rdquo Rolfo pointed out, &ldquowill make us understand the climatic changes that occurred between 120 thousand and 60 thousand years ago, through the study of species animals and pollen, allowing us to reconstruct the history of the Circeo and the Pontine plain.&rdquo

The Guardian reports Rolfo as saying &ldquoIt is a spectacular find,&rdquo before going on to say &ldquoA collapse, perhaps caused by an earthquake, sealed this cave for more than 60,000 years, thereby preserving the remains left inside for tens of thousands of years.&rdquo

Rolfo&rsquos team of researchers plan to analyse the DNA of the Neanderthal remains to have a more in-depth understanding of their lives and past.


'Extraordinary discovery:' Remains of nine Neanderthals found in Italian cave they were likely killed and eaten by hyenas

Archaeologists have discovered the fossilized remains of nine Neanderthals in a cave near Rome, the Italian Cultural Ministry announced.

The oldest remains date from 90,000 to 100,000 years ago. The other eight Neanderthals are believed to date from 50,000 to 68,000 years ago, the culture ministry said in a statement. over the weekend

Culture Minister Dario Franceschini called the finding “an extraordinary discovery that will be the talk of the world because it enriches research on Neanderthals.”

Most of the Neanderthals had likely been killed by hyenas and then dragged back to the cave they had transformed into their den, according to the Guardian. Once inside, the animals consumed their prey.

“Neanderthals were prey for these animals,” Mario Rolfo, professor of archaeology at Tor Vergata University, told the Guardian. “Hyenas hunted them, especially the most vulnerable, like sick or elderly individuals.”

The remains are of seven adult males, a woman and a boy.

The fossils, which were discovered at the Guattari Cave in San Felice Circeo about 60 miles from Rome, include skulls, skull fragments, two teeth and other bone fragments. Many of the bones found show clear signs of gnawing, the culture ministry said.

Neanderthals didn’t just hunt mammoths:They actually knew how to fish, researchers discover.

In addition to abundant hyena remains, the remains of groups of large mammals were found in the cave, including aurochs (a large extinct bovine), rhinoceroses, elephants, giant deer, cave bears and wild horses.

In the statement, local director of anthropology Mario Rubini said the discovery “will allow us to shed an important light on the history of the population of Italy.” He said the large number of remains suggest a significant population of Neanderthals, “the first human society of which we can speak.”

Neanderthals, the closest ancient relatives of humans, died out about 40,000 years ago, Reuters said. It is unclear what killed them off, although theories include an inability to adapt to climate change and increased competition from modern humans.


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Based on the excavation, hyenas had lived in the cave off and on for thousands of years—maybe alternating with Neanderthals at different times. And during all that time, they seem to have periodically dragged an unlucky Neanderthal back to a den in the cave, where the bones of other long-dead victims lay, already buried under layers of cave-floor sediment.

Most of the newly discovered Neanderthals lived between 50,000 and 68,000 years ago, but at least one dates back to between 90,000 and 100,000 years old. The span of time between the oldest Neanderthal in Guattari Cave and the youngest is nearly as much as the one between now and when the last Neanderthals walked the Earth.

That makes the plan to sequence ancient DNA from the newly discovered remains especially interesting. Researchers are starting to piece together the large, complicated story of how different groups of Neanderthals moved around and interacted with each other during the 300,000 years or so when they alone ruled western Eurasia. But so far, we’ve gotten only glimpses.

Denisova Cave in Siberia is the only place so far where paleoanthropologists have sequenced DNA from Neanderthals who lived at different times the rest of the story relies on bits of information from a scattering of different times and places. The genomes of nine Neanderthals who lived in the same place over tens of thousands of years could tell a much more detailed story about at least one part of our extinct cousins’ long history. They would also nearly double the number of Neanderthal genomes that have been sequenced so far.

Of course, that assumes that all of the Guattari Cave Neanderthals have ancient DNA that is still in good enough condition to sequence. It will take a lot of work in the lab before we know.


Neanderthals found in Italian cave were prey of hyenas

Entornointeligente.com / Nine Neanderthals&rsquo remains were found in the Guattari cave near Rome in Italy. It has been discovered that they were preyed upon by hyenas who mauled then dragged them to the cave. Archaeologists discovered the remains of nine Neanderthals in Italy. The archaic humans were found in a prehistoric site about 100km southeast of Rome.

The nine neanderthal remains were analysed and were found to be seven men, one woman, and one boy, according to Business Insider .

The Neanderthals were hunted by hyenas and were mauled by the vicious creatures before being brought back to their cave, the Guardian reports , noting that researches found traces of vegetables alongside human remains “and those of rhinoceroses, giant deer, wild horses and, of course, ferocious hyenas.”

According to the news release by Italy&rsquos Culture Ministry, “The characteristic of this place is that of allowing a real journey through time: today's conditions are substantially the same as 50,000 years ago and the presence of fossils makes the cave an exceptional database. Recent excavations have returned thousands of animal bone finds that enrich the reconstruction of the fauna, environment and climate.”

The research that began in October 2019 yielded “significant fossil finds … attributable to 9 individuals: 8 datable between 50 thousand and 68 thousand years ago and one, the oldest, datable between 100 thousand and 90 thousand years ago.”

A Neanderthal skull and bones from the Guattari cave in San Felice Circeo, near Rome in Italy. (Emanuele Antonio Minerva / Italian Ministry of Culture) The release continues to explain: “In addition to abundant hyena remains, various groups of large mammals have been determined including: the aurochs, the large extinct bovine, which is one of the prevalent species together with the red deer but also the remains of rhinoceros, elephant, giant deer (Megaloceros), cave bear, and wild horses. The presence of these species accords well with the age of about 50 thousand years ago, when the hyena dragged its prey into the den using the cave as a shelter and food storage. In fact, many of the bones found show clear signs of gnawing.”

“Neanderthals were prey for these animals,” said Mario Rolfo, professor of prehistoric archeology at the Tor Vergata University of Rome. “Hyenas hunted them, especially the most vulnerable, like sick or elderly individuals.”

Experts maintain the possibility that the Guattari cave may have been inhabited by Neanderthals at one point, before hyenas took possession of it.

The researchers said that most of the Neanderthals were killed elsewhere then brought into the cave that served as the hyenas&rsquo den. “Once inside,” the Guardian notes, “the animals consumed their prey.”

The Neanderthal remains found in Guattari cave include skullcaps and broken jawbones. (Emanuele Antonio Minerva / Italian Ministry of Culture) The Neanderthal remains found in Guattari cave include skullcaps and broken jawbones, the first new discovery in the cave that had previously provided Neanderthal fossils in 1939. According to the Guardian , “since then, no further human remains had been uncovered in Guattari.”

Italy&rsquos Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini, declared the find “An extraordinary discovery that the whole world will talk about because it enriches research on Neanderthals. It is the result of the work of our Superintendency together with universities and research bodies, truly an exceptional thing.”

“With this excavation campaign,” said Mauro Rubini, director of the SABAP [Superintendence of Fine Arts and Landscape Archeology] anthropology service for the provinces of Frosinone and Latina, “we have found numerous individuals, a discovery that will allow us to shed an important light on the history of the population of Italy. Neanderthal man is a fundamental stage of human evolution, he represents the apex of a species and is the first human society we can talk about.”

According to Francesco Di Mario, SABAP official archaeologist for the provinces of Frosinone and Latina and director of the excavation and use of the Guattari cave “They are all adult individuals, except one perhaps at a young age.”

Di Mario continued to say “It is a satisfactory representation of a population that must have been large enough in the area. We are carrying out studies and analyzes, not only genetic, with much more advanced techniques than in [paleontologist Alberto Carlo] Blanc's time, capable of revealing a lot of information.”

“The geological and sedimentological study of this deposit,” Rolfo pointed out, “will make us understand the climatic changes that occurred between 120 thousand and 60 thousand years ago, through the study of species animals and pollen, allowing us to reconstruct the history of the Circeo and the Pontine plain.”

The Guardian reports Rolfo as saying “It is a spectacular find,” before going on to say “A collapse, perhaps caused by an earthquake, sealed this cave for more than 60,000 years, thereby preserving the remains left inside for tens of thousands of years.”

Rolfo&rsquos team of researchers plan to analyse the DNA of the Neanderthal remains to have a more in-depth understanding of their lives and past.


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Seaside Art Gallery The print is based on a series of 100 illustrations Dalí created in the 1950s.

The artwork donated to Hotline Pink Thrift Store in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, often arrives dusty and in broken frames. Customers sometimes skip right past it. But one piece recently caught the attention of a volunteer — and it turned out to be a genuine Salvador Dalí woodblock print.


Watch the video: Gruesome Neanderthal remains found in hidden cave (January 2023).

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