Denise Schmandt-Besserat

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Denise Schmandt-BesseratThe Earliest Precursor of Writing») is assistant professor of art at the University of Texas at Austin and assistant director of the university's Center for Middle Eastem Studies. Bom in France, she studied at the École du Louvre in Paris and came to the U.S. in 1964 to do research on the Near Eastem archaeological collections at Harvard University's Peabody Museum. In 1969, while a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute, she began an investigation of the earliest uses of clay in the Middle East. Since then she has studied unpublished early clay collections in museums of the U.S., Europe and the Middle East and done fieldwork in France, Iran and Israel.


Contents

Publications - Books and Monographs

  • Forthcoming - How Writing Came About, Japanese translation by Ichiro Nakata, Iwanami Publishing Co. Tokyo, Japan.
  • Forthcoming - How Writing Came About, Polish translation by Jolanta Kozlowska, Agade Publishing House, Warsaw, Poland.
  • 2007 - When Writing Met Art: From Symbol to Story., The University of Texas Press, Spring 2007.
  • 1992 - Before Writing, vol. 1, From counting to Cuneiform, The University of Texas Press.
  • 1992 - Before Writing, vol. 2, A Catalog of Near Eastern Tokens, The University of Texas Press.
  • 1980 - Editor, Ancient Persia. Malibu, California: Undena Publications.
  • 1979 - Editor, Early Technologies. Malibu, California: Undena Publications.
  • 1978 - Editor, Immortal Egypt. Malibu, California: Undena Publications.
  • 1977 - "An Archaic Recording System and the Origin of Writing." Syro Mesopotamian Studies, Vol. 1.
  • 1976 - Editor, The Legacy of Sumer. Bibliotheca Mesopotamica, Vol. IV. Malibu, California: Undena Publications.


Publications – WEB


Publications – Articles

  • Forthcoming - "When Writing Met Art" in Adriano Giannola and Giuseppe Zavola, eds. When Writing Meets Art, Naples.
  • Forthcoming - “Chirographic Culture,” in Patrick C. Logan, ed. Encyclopedia of Language Sciences, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge , Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Forthcoming - “The Token System of the Ancient Near East: its Role in Counting, Writing, the Economy and Cognition” in Colin Renfrew, ed. Measuring the World and Beyond, The McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridge, England.
  • Forthcoming - Communication with Symbols: Art and Writing,“ Paul Bahn, ed., Volume in honor of Alexander Marshack.
  • Forthcoming with Michael Erard, “Writing Systems,“ Encyclopedia of Archaeology, Elsevier.
  • Forthcoming - “Record Keeping before Writing, “ Proceedings of the 2004 XXIX Convegno della Societa Italiana di Glottologia, Viterbo, October 28-30.
  • 2008 - “From Tokens to Writing: The Pursuit of Abstraction,” Bulletin of the Georgian National Academy of Sciences, vol. 3, No. 1.
  • 2008 - with Michael Erard, ”Origins and Forms of Writing,“ in Charles Bazerman, ed., Handbook of Writing Research, Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc, Inc., Publishers, Mahwah, N.J. p. 7-.
  • 2007 - “The Interface between Writing and Art in the Tepe Gawra Glyptic“ Melanges en Honneur de Henri de Contenson, Syria, vol. 83, 2006, p. 183-194.
  • 2006 - “Visiting Archaeological Sites in Iran,“ Near Eastern Archaeology, Vol. 68 No. 3, p. 139-144.
  • 2005 - "About 'Hieroglyphs' – A Neolithic System of Sacred Symbols," Neo-Lithics 2/05, p. 39.
  • 2005 - "The Interface between Writing and Art," in Lance Strate and Edward Wachtel, eds., The Legacy of McLuhan, Hampton Press, Inc. Cresskill, New Jersey, p. 109-121.
  • 2005 - “Art and the Human Figure: Before and After Writing,“ in M. Perna, ed., Studi in Onore Enrica Fiandra, De Boccard, Paris, p. 357-368.
  • 2004 - “The Birth of Narrative Art,” Archaeology Odyssey, Vol. 7, No 5, p. 36-55.
  • 2004 - “Near East, Ancient: Neolithic,” in Antonia Bostrom, ed., The Encyclopedia of Sculpture, Vol. 2, Fitzroy Dearborn, New York, p. 1153-54.
  • 2003 - “The Origin of Writing,” Iranian Journal of Anthropology, vol. 1, No. 2, p. 22-32.
  • 2003 - “Baghdad Then and Now,” EME, Explorations in Media Ecology, vol. 2, No. 2, p. 117-118.
  • 2003 - “Masks of Death,” Archaeology Odyssey, Vol. 6, No 2, p. 19-27.
  • 2002 - “Dal Cantabile allo Scriture,” Le Scienze, No. 12, 2002, p. 16-20.
  • 2002 - “One, Two, Three” Archaeology Odyssey, September-October, p. 6-7.
  • 2002 - “From Behind the Mask – Plastered skulls from ‘Ain Ghazal,” Origini vol. XXIV, p. 95-140.
  • 2002 - “Signs of Life, “ in Jack Meinhardt, ed. The Origins of Things, Biblical Archaeology, Washington D.C., p. 21-28.
  • 2002 - “Signs of Life,” Archaeology Odyssey, Jan. -February, p. 6-7 and 63.
  • 2001 - “Writing, Evolution of “ International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavorial Sciences, Elsevier, Amsterdam, p. 16619-16625.
  • 2001 - “L’ impatto della Scrittura sull’ arte,” Pluriverso, vol. 3, p. 14-21.
  • 2001 - “Feasting in the Ancient Near East, “ in Michael Dietler and Brian Hayden, eds., Feasts, Archaeological and Ethnographic Perspectives on Food, Politics, and Power. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, p. 391- 403.
  • 2000 - “The Personal Name in Mesopotamia: Its Impact on the Evolution of Writing ” Proceedings of the 1st international Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East, Universita degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza,” Rome, p. 1493-1501.
  • 2000 - “Le Feste Nel Vicine Oriente Antico,” in Simonetta Graziani, ed., Studi sul Vicino Oriente Antico Dedicati alla memoria di Luigi Cagni, Vol. 2, Istituto Italiano per l’Africa e Oriente, Direzione Generale dei Musei Vaticani, Rome, p. 921-932.
  • 1999 - “Tokens: The Cognitive Significance,” 6th Neolithic Seminar, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Documenta Praehistorica Vol. XXVI, p. 21-28.
  • 1999 - “A Decorated Skull from MPPNB ‘Ain Ghazal,” with G. O. Rollefson and J. C. Rose, Paléorient, Vol. 24, No. 2, p. 99-104.
  • 1999 - “The Origin of Writing and Counting in the Ancient Near East,” in Norman Simms,ed. Letters and Texts of Jewish History, Hamilton, New Zealand, p. 51-59.
  • 1998 - “A Stone Metaphor of Creation,” Near Eastern Archaeology, vol. 61, No. 2, p. 109-117.
  • 1998 - “ ‘Ain Ghazal Monumental Figures,” in Bulletin of American School of Oriental Research, vol. 310, p. 1-17.
  • 1998 - “A Neolithic Female Revealing her Breasts,” in Jan Braun, ed. Written on Clay and Stone, Ancient Near Eastern Studies Presented to Krystyna Szarzynska on the Occasion of Her 80th Birthday, Agade, Warsaw 1998, p. 79-85.
  • 1998 - “Neolithic Art and Symbolism at ‘Ain Ghazal,” American Journal of Archaeology, Vol.102, p. 582-584.
  • 1997 - “Accounting Before Writing in the Ancient Near East,” Porocilo, Vol. 24, p. 151-156.
  • 1996 - “Neolithic art and Symbolism at ‘Ain Ghazal,” American Journal of Archeology, Vol. 101, No. 3, 1997, p. 506-507.
  • 1996 - "Symbols of Gods and Symbols of Goods," in Piera Ferioli and Enrica Fiandra, ed. Administration in Ancient Societies, Ministero per I beni culturali ambianti ufficio centrale per I beni archivistifci, Rome, p. 15-23.
  • 1996 - "Writing," The Oxford Companion to Archaeology, Oxford University Press, p. 761-763.
  • 1996 - "Art, Writing and Narrative in Mesopotamia," in H. Gasche and B. Hrouda, eds, Collectanea Orientalia, Histoire, Arts de l’Espace et Industrie de la Terre, Recherches et Publications, Paris 1996, p. 315-322.
  • 1997 - “Neolithic art and Symbolism at ‘Ain Ghazal,” American Journal of Archeology, Vol. 100, No. 3, p. 516-517.
  • 1995 - “Non-verbal Communication in the Ancient Near East," in Jack Sasson, ed., Civilizations of the Ancient Near East, Scribner's, New York, p. 2097-2106.
  • 1994 - "Forerunners of Writing," in Harmut Günther, ed., Schrift und Schriftlichkeit, Walter de Gruyter Berlin, p. 264-268.
  • 1994 - "Oneness, Twoness, Threeness - How Ancient Accountants Invented Numbers," reprinted from The Sciences, 1987, in Frank J. Swetz, From Five Fingers to Infinity, Open Court, Chicago, p. 45-51.
  • 1994 - "Tokens: a Prehistoric Archive System," in Enrica Fiandra, Piera Ferioli, eds., Archives Before Writing, Centro Internazionale di Ricerche Archeologiche Anthropologiche e storiche, Rome, p. 13-28.
  • 1994 - "Tokens in Minoan Crete," Discussion for the paper presented by Jean-Claude Poursat in Enrica Fiandra, Piera Ferioli, eds., Archives Before Writing, Centro Internazionale di Ricerche Archeologiche Anthropologiche e storiche, Rome, p. 253-254.
  • 1994 - "Tokens, Seals and Administration in Uruk in the Fourth Millennium B.C.," in Beschreiben und Deuten in der Archaeologie des Alten Orients, Festschrift für Ruth Mayer-Opificius, Altertumskunde des Vorderen Orients, Vol. 4, 1994, p. 283-296.
  • 1994 - "About the Authors," in Connie Burton and Beverly Spicer, Open Ceiling, Futura Communications, Austin, Texas, p. 105-8.
  • 1994 - "Forerunners of Writing: The Social Implications" in W. C. Watt, Writing, Reading and Cognition, Kluwer Academic Publishers, The Netherlands, p. 303-310.
  • 1993 - "Images of Enship," in Marcella Frangipane, H. Hauptmann, M. Liverani et alii, eds, Between the Rivers and Over the Mountains, Archaeologica Anatolica et Mesopotamica Alba Palmieri Dedicata, Dipartimento di Scienze Storiche Archeologische e Anthropologiche dell'Antichita Universita di Roma "La Sapienza," Rome 1993. p. 201- 220.
  • 1992 - "The Origin of Visible Language, " in Jan Wind, Brunetto Chiarelli, Bernard Bichakjian, eds., Language Origin: a Multidisciplinary Approach, Kluwer Academic Publishers, the Netherlands, p. 225-234.
  • 1991 - with Elisabeth Feldbush "Clay Tokens as Forerunners of Writing: The Linguistic Significance" in Elisabeth Feldbush, ed., Proceeding of the 25th Colloquium of Linguistics, Paderborn, 1990, Verlag Niemeyer, Tuebingen, p. 485-493.
  • 1990 - "The Earliest Precursor of Writing," in William S. Y. Wang, The Emergence of Language, Readings from Scientific American Magazine, W. H. Freeman and Co, New York, p. 31-45.
  • 1990 - "Symbols in the Prehistoric Middle East," in Richard Leo Enos, ed., Oral and Written Communication: Historical Approaches, Written Communication Annual, Volume 4, p.16-31.
  • 1990 - "Accounting in the Prehistoric Middle East," Archeomaterials, Vol. 4, No. 1, p. 15-23.
  • 1989 - “Two Precursors of Writing in One Reckoning Device, " in Wayne M. Senner, The Origins of Writing, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, Nebraska, p. 27-39.
  • 1989 - Jointly with Liane Jacob-Rost, "Tokens aus dem Heiligtum Eanna in Uruk," Forschungen und Berichte, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Vol. 27, p. 11-50.
  • 1989 - "Conto e Contabilita nel Medio Oriente Prehistorico," in F. Mario Fales, ed. Prima Dell'Alphabeto, Studi e Documenti, Vol. 4, Erizzo Editrice, Venice, p. 54-60.
  • 1988 - "Tokens at Uruk," Baghdader Mitteilungen, Vol. 19, p. 1-175.
  • 1988 - "From Accounting to Writing," In Bennett A. Rafoth and Donald L. Rubin, eds, The Social Construction of Written Communication, Ablex Publishing Co. Norwood, New Jersey, Chapter 5, p. 119-130.
  • 1988 - "Accounting in Prehistory," Proceedings of the Fifth World Congress of Accounting Historians, No. 301, p. 1-10.
  • 1988 - "Tokens as Funerary Offerings," Vicino Oriente, Vol. VII, p. 3-9.
  • 1988 - "Quantification and Social Structures," in David R. Maines and Carl Couch, eds, Information, Communication and Social Structures. Charles C. Thomas, publisher, Springfield, Ill. p. 137-153.
  • 1987 - "Oneness, Twoness, Threeness," The Sciences, Vol. 27, No. 4, p. 44-49.
  • 1986 - "Tokens: Facts and Interpretation," Visible Language, Vol. 20, No. 3, p. 250-273.
  • 1986 - "An Ancient Token System: The Precursor to numerals and Writing," Archaeology, Vol. 39, No. 6, p. 32-39.
  • 1986 - "Tokens at Susa," Oriens Antiquus, Vol. XXV, No. 1-2, p. 93-125.
  • 1986 - “The Origin of Writing – An Archaeologist’s Perspective,” Written Communications, Vol 3. No. 1, p. 31-45.
  • 1986 - "The Earliest Precursor of Writing" (reprinted from Scientific American, vol. 238, No. 6, 1978) in William S.Y. Wang, ed., Language, Writing and the Computer, W.H. Freeman Co., p. 31-40.
  • 1986 - "Before Numerals," (reprinted from Visible Language, Vol. 18, No. 1) Orpheus, No. 1, p. 48-60.
  • 1985 - “Clay Symbols for Data Storage in the VIIth Millennium B.C." in M. Liverani and Alba Palmieri, eds., Studi di Paletnologia in onore di Salvatore M. Puglisi, Universita di Roma, La Sapienza, Roma, p. 149-154.
  • 1985 - "Tonmarken und Bilderschrift," Das Altertum, Vol. 31, No. 2, p. 76-82.
  • 1985 - "Avant la Naissance des Chiffres" Internationale de l'Imaginaire, Vol. 2. p. 73-82.
  • 1984 - "Before Numerals," Visible Language, Vol. 18, No. 1, p. 48-60.
  • 1984 - "Proto-literate Counting: The Archaeological Evidence," Collected Papers of the Society for Near Eastern Studies, Montreal, Vol. 2, p. 21-24.
  • 1983 - "Tokens and Counting," Biblical Archaeologist, Vol. 46, p. 117-120.
  • 1983 - "The Earliest Precursor of Writing" (reprinted from Scientific American Vol. 238, No. 6, 1978), in Brian M. Fagan, ed., Prehistoric Times, W. H. Freeman Co., p. 194-203.
  • 1982 - "The Emergence of Recording," American Anthropologist, Vol. 84, No. 4, p. 871- 878.
  • 1982 - "How Writing Came About," Zeitschrift fur Papyrologie und Epigraphik, p. 1-5.
  • 1982 - "The Earliest Precursor of Writing," (reprinted from Scientific American, Vol. 238, No. 6, 1978) in S. Y. Wang, ed., Human Communication, W. H. Freeman Co., p. 80-89.
  • 1981 - "Decipherment of the Earliest Tablets," Science, Vol. 211, 18 January, p. 283-285.
  • 1981 - "Tablets and Tokens: A Re-Examination of the So-Called 'Numerical Tablets'." Visible Language, Vol. XV, No. 3, p. 321-344.
  • 1981 - "The Invention of Writing," (reprinted from Discovery, Vol. I, No. 4, 1977) in Maxine C. Hairstone and Cynthia L. Selve, eds., Selected Papers from the 1981 Texas Writing Conference, Austin, p. 213-236.
  • 1981 - “The Envelopes that Bear the First Writing,” Technology and Culture, Vol. 21, No. 3, p. 357-385.
  • 1980 - "Ochre in Prehistory: 300,000 Years of the Use of Iron Ores as Pigments." In T. A. Wertime and J. Muhly, eds., The Coming of the Age of Iron. Festschrift in honor of Cyril S. Smith. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, p. 127-150.
  • 1980 - "An Archaic Recording System Prior to Writing" in F.E.H. Schroeder, Popular Culture Before Printing, Bowling Green University Press, p. 17-36.
  • 1979 - “L’invention de l’ecriture,” in G. Freyre et al., Les Imaginaires, vol. II, p. 119-130.
  • 1979 - "An Archaic Recording System in the Uruk-Jemdet Nasr Period," American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 83, No. 1, p. 19-48.
  • 1979 - "The Earliest Precursor of Writing," reprinted from Scientific American, Vol. 238, No. 6, C.C. Lamberg-Karlovsky, ed., in Hunters, Farmers and Civilizations, W.H. Freeman and Co., p. 152-161.
  • 1977 - "The Beginnings of the Uses of Clay in Turkey," Anatolian Studies, Vol. 27, p. 133-150.
  • 1977 - "The Invention of Writing," Discovery: Research and Scholarship at the University of Texas at Austin, Vol. 1, No. 4, p. 4-7.
  • 1977 - Jointly with C. C. Lamberg-Karlovsky, "A Reevaluation of the Bampur, Khurab, and Chah Huseini Collection in the Peabody Museum: Relations with Tepe Yahya and Ceramics of Tepe Yahya IV C." In T. C. Young, Jr. and L. D. Levine, eds., Mountains and Lowlands: Essays in the Archaeology of Greater Mesopotamia. Festschrift in honor of R. H. Dyson Jr., Malibu, California: Undena Publications, p. 113-134.
  • 1976 - "Sumer: Art in an Urban Context." In Denise Schmandt-Besserat, ed., The Legacy of Sumer. Malibu, California: Undena Publications, p. 79-86.
  • 1976 - "A Series of Exhibits on the Ancient Middle East at The University of Texas at Austin," Archaeology, Vol. 30, No. 1, p. 56-57.
  • 1967 - "A Palestinian Pottery Collection on Exhibit at the Peabody Museum," Harvard University Bulletin, Vol. XV, No. 4, p. 345-352.


Translations

  • 1978 - “Gli antecedenti della scrittura,” Le Scienze, Vol. XXI, No. 120, p. 6-15.


Encyclopedia Articles

  • Forthcoming with Michael Erard, Writing Systems, Encyclopedia of Archaeology, Elsevier, Oxford.
  • Forthcoming - “Registrazioni proto-storiche,” Storia della Scienza, Encyclopedia Italiana.
  • Forthcoming - “Evolution of Writing,” International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Elsevier Sciences, Oxford.
  • Forthcoming - Archaeological Encyclopedia of Syro-Mesopotamia, Iran and Arabian Peninsula:
  • - “En - Priest king,”
  • - “Ancient Recording Systems”
  • - “Tokens”
  • - “Origins of Writing,”
  • 2000 - “Ancient Near East,” Encyclopedia of Sculpture, Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, Chicago.
  • 1999 - “Artifacts and Civilization” The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences, p. 35-37.
  • 1996 - "Writing," The Oxford Companion to Archaeology, Oxford University Press, p. 761-763.
  • 1996 - "Writing" The Oxford Companion to Archaeology, Oxford University Press, p. 781-3.
  • 1989 - "Tokens", International Encyclopedia of Communications, Oxford University Press and the Annenberg School of Communication, The University of Pennsylvania, p.
  • 1980 - "Tokens", The Arete Encyclopedia of Archaeology.


Reviews

  • 2000 - Richard Rudgley, Lost Civilizations of the Stone Age, The Free Press, New York, Isis. Vol. 91, No. 3, p. 579-580.
  • 1995 - Henri-Jean Martin, The History and Power of Writing, Univ. of Chicago Press, 1994, Technology and Culture.
  • 1995 - Henri-Jean Martin, The History and Power of Writing, Univ. of Chicago Press, 1994, Los Forum, No 21, p. 32-34.
  • 1994 - H. Nissen, P. Damerow, R.K. Englund, Archaic Bookkeeping: Early Writing and Techniques of Economic Administration in the Ancient Near East, The University of Chicago Press, 1993, Forum, Language Origin Society, p. 12-14.
  • 1995 - Ibid, for Libraries and Culture, vol. 30, No. 3, p. 313-314.
  • 1995 - H. Nissen, P. Damerow, R.K. Englund, Fruehe Schrift und Techniken der Wirtschafts-verwaltung im alten Vorderen Orient, for the Journal of The American Oriental the Society, Vol. 114, No. 4 (1994) p. 659-661.
  • 1991 - Paul Heyer, Communication and History, Libraries & Culture, Vol. 26, No 4, p. 613 -615.
  • 1991 - Paul Heyer, Communication and History, in Language Origin Society Newsletter, No 12, p. 15-17.
  • 1990 - Paul Heyer, Communication and History, in Comtemporary Sociology, vol.18, No. 5, p. 540-541.
  • 1989 - Jack Goody, The Logic of Writing and the Organization of Society, in Libraries and Culture, Vol. 24, No 2, p. 239-241.
  • 1988 - Jack Goody, The Logic of Writing and the Organization of Society, in Language Origins Society Newsletter, No. 4, p. 9-12.
  • 1988 - Roy Harris, The Origin of Writing, in Libraries and Culture, Vol. 23, No. 1, p. 81-83.
  • 1987 - Roy Harris, The Origin of Writing, in Language Origins Society Newsletter, No. 5, p. 14-18.
  • 1986 - Ancient Near Eastern Cylinder Seals from the Marcopoli Collection, by Beatrice Teissier, The Journal of Library History, Vol. 21, No. 4, p. 774-775.
  • 1983 - Pre-Writing in Southeastern Europe, by Shan M. N. Winn, American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 88, p. 71-72.
  • 1983 - La Statuaire du Proche Orient Ancien, by Agnes Spycket, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 103, No. 4, p. 789-791.
  • 1979 - L'Art Antique du Proche Orient, by Pierre Amiet, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 99, No. 3, p. 480.
  • 1978 - The Neolithic of the Near East, by James Mellaart, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 98, No. 1, p. 593-594.
  • 1978 - Stone Age Painting in India, by Robert R. R. Brooks and Vishnu S. Wakankan, American Anthropologist, Vol. 80, No.1, p. 184-185.
  • 1977 - Godin Tepe: Second Preliminary Report, by T. Cuyler-Young, Jr. and L. Levine, Journal of the Oriental Society, Vol. 97, p. 61-64.


Exhibition Catalogues

  • 1999 - Legacy of the Middle East, Exhibition on the Occasion of the Centennial of King Abdul Aziz Ibn Abdul Rahman Al-Saud.
  • - Catalogue for the Exhibition
  • - Teachers’ Guide
  • - Internet version of Catalogue and Teachers’ Guide, www.humanities-interactive.org.
  • - Video for the Exhibition
  • 1977 - Ancient Persia, The Art of an Empire, Austin, Texas, The University Art Museum. p. 117.
  • 1975 - The First Civilization: The Legacy of Sumer, Austin, Texas: The University of Texas Art Museum, p. 95.
  • 1966-68 - Descriptive catalogues of the Peabody Museum collections (mimeos): -Alishar Huyuk, -Troy, -Mersin, -Tarsus, -Palestinian Pottery Assemblage, -Samieh, -Jericho, -Beth Shemesh, -Sir Aurel Stein Collection, -Southeastern Iran, -Predynastic Egypt.


Audio Visual

  • 1987 - Origins and Development of Western Writing, (video). Alarion Press, Boulder, Colorado.
  • 1980 - The Origin and Development of Writing, (Sound film strip) Alarion Press, Boulder, Colorado.
  • 1979 - Origins of Writing, (slide show), circulated by the Archaeological Institute of America.


Links

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