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General >> Project Goliath - The History of The Sling >> Proposed Outline. v2
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Message started by Chris on Aug 31st, 2004 at 9:16pm

Title: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by Chris on Aug 31st, 2004 at 9:16pm
Preface [Chris]
 
• Forgotten weapon.
• Limited literature on the sling.  Reason for book.
• The slings historical significance, and how it shaped the course of history.
• It's significance today.

Anatomy of The Sling [Jeff H]

Casting Styles [David T]

Pre-Historic Period

• Paleolithic, Neolithic.  General origins of the sling.  [Chris]
- Where did the sling develop?
- What was the sling used for?
- What other projectile weapons were being used and how did they compare.
- Earliest evidence of use.

• Bronze Age
- Sumerian (Mesopotamia) (3200–2360 BC)
- Egypt (2850–715 BC)
- Minoan & Mycenean (3000–1100 BC)
- Indus Valley (3000–1500 BC)
- Akkadian (2350–2230 BC)
- Assyrian (1800–889 BC)
- Babylonian I (1728–1686 BC)
- Hittite  (1640–1200 BC)
- Hebrew (1000-740 BC)

• Iron Age
- Mede  (835–550 BC)
- Phoenician (1100–332 BC)
- Scythian (800–300 BC)
- Phrygian (1000–547 BC)
- Persian (559–330 BC)
- Babylonian II (625–539 BC)
- Cimmerian  (750–500 BC)
- Lydian  (700–547 BC)
- Etruscan  (900–396 BC)
- Olmec (1200-1000BC)
- Greek (900–200 BC)



Historic Period

• Roman Empire (500 BC - 300 AD) [Graham Cole]

• Barbarian Tribes (200-400 AD)

• Byzantine Empire (500- 1453 AD)

• Mongol Empire (220 BC - 1360 AD)

• Mayan (1000BC–1500 AD)

• Aztec empire (1400-1519 AD)

• Inca Empire (1438-1538 AD)

• Europe
- Viking (780-1100AD)
- Norman (1000-1400)
- Anglo-Saxon (400-900 AD)
- Southern (Balear Islands, Spain,…)
- Celtic (500BC - 300AD)

Modern Period

• Renaissance (14th cen – 16th cen)

• Enlightenment (16th cen - 1790)

• Modern Time [Foner]
- Spanish Civil war
- Balearic Traditions + many other nations' (pacific islands,…)
- World War I (II?)
- Palestine


Physics of The Sling (and Projectiles) [Hondero, Yurek, Matthias]

Sling-Related Weapons  
• Bolas  
• Staff-sling  
• Cestrosphendon [Mithras]

References

Index

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by Chris on Aug 31st, 2004 at 9:27pm
Each historical section should review the following if possible:

- What context the sling was used in (military, hunting, herding?)
- How were the slings made? Material? Made by whom? Length? Pouch type? etc…
- What other projectile weapons were being used and how did they compare?
- Review of notable physical evidence from this era. (slings? Projectiles? Art?)
- Review of notable written evidence from this era.
- Notable military actions with slingers.

Let me know what else could be covered in each subsection (i.e. - Assyrian)




I much prefer this outline as it keeps everything within it's own group.  The other outline had way to much overlap.  You can't have a section like "types of slings" when your going to talk about each type in it's respective section (like Roman or Greek slings).  I think this is much cleaner, and I'd love to hear what you guys think.  

It's not complete, but I think I've nailed most of the sling-using groups.  I've included almost every civilization on the planet (except asian ones, as I don't believe they used slings, but please let me know if I'm wrong).

Please add to this outline.  If you know, for example, of central-european groups that used the sling, let me know and I'll add them.

I've included the writers names in square brackets.  If you'd like to commit to a section, even a really small one like Mede civilization, which would only need to be a few pages long, let me know.  You'll have your name in what could be the definitive sling publication for hundreds of years!  

Chris

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by english on Sep 1st, 2004 at 7:09am
I like it.  Good order.  You might want to separate Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic into three defined section; the paleolithic was very, very primitive, compared to the late mesolithic and neolithic.  In the paleolithic, flintknapping for example was very crude - whereas in the neolithic some cultures had some knowledge of bronze, if not copper.  The bow wasn't around in the paleolithic, for example.  I also found a picture in a book about prehistory (a children's book - you can find all sorts if you look about) of some slingstones at maiden castle, that were reportedly used for repelling the Romans.  Or not, as the case in fact was, because the Britons were annihilated.  I'll scan it or something.

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by Hobb on Sep 1st, 2004 at 11:13am
Nice outline, very clean.  You might want to add a section for Celtic slings.  I'm not sure which time period they would fit into, though.

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by english on Sep 1st, 2004 at 12:33pm
Celtic slings would be bronze age/iron age borderline, so either would be ok.  In fact, maiden castle was a British/Celtic fort, so the slingstones found there would be part of that proposed section.

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by Chris on Sep 1st, 2004 at 2:30pm
It would be good to include the Vikings, Norse, Anglo-Saxon and Celts.  Could someone quickly research this and let me know what time periods I should place them into.  Right now I have the european cultures in the Historical Period, which is incorrect. I know celts were iorn age, what were the others?

Chris

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by Johnny on Sep 1st, 2004 at 2:40pm
What about Hebrew slingers? The time of the Judges was the late Bronze age. David lived in the Iron age. I don't know if the "age" matters, put the Hebrews where you want. I think you need to include the Hebrews, David is the most famous slinger!

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by Chris on Sep 1st, 2004 at 9:58pm
I've included many of your suggestions.  Please give it a look over and let me know how to further improve it.

I've grouped all the european cultures in the modern section despite the fact they begin in the iron age.  The all extend into historic time (which I consider roman onwards).  It just doesn't seem right to include them along side Greeks and Phoenicians.

Chris

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by english on Sep 2nd, 2004 at 7:49am
The Anglo-Saxons are late Iron Age, and they did develop quite good steel making technology.  I am not sure whether the Normans need a whole sub-chapter, but I don't know how much information on them there is.  The Vikings are certainly "historic age".  However, I disagree with doing a chapter on the Mongols - I am fairly certain the sling was not used by them.  Barbarian Tribes should contain all of the peoples mentioned in "Europe", because that is what they were in reality.
 The way I see it, there should be more actual content to the book, and less in the contents.  By which I mean, we don't want a book with three pages of contents and only 100 pages of text.
 David only lived in the Iron Age because he stole iron-working technology from the Philistines.  But I'd certainly agree with his inclusion - he is what everyone thinks of as a slinger.

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by Johnny on Sep 2nd, 2004 at 10:12am
I don't think "stole" is a proper term in reference to David bringing iron into Hebrew metal-working. King Achish gave David the Philistine city of Ziklag as a gift, when David was a mercenary serving in their armies. Thereafter, Ziklag belonged to the Kings of Judah(1 Samuel 27:6). Archaeologist confirm that Israel began smithing iron around 1000 BC.

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by english on Sep 2nd, 2004 at 10:58am
Well, fine. You evidently know far more about this than I do.  Biblical history, and indeed the history of the so-called holy land and middle east, has never particularly interested me.  I suppose it is the sections in the Old Testament where it is essentially about allegiances amongst tiny tribal kingdoms that turned me away from the subject.  The fact that David got iron-working technology from the Philistines is one of the few facts I know about the whole region.

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by Chris on Sep 2nd, 2004 at 10:30pm
"The way I see it, there should be more actual content to the book, and less in the contents.  By which I mean, we don't want a book with three pages of contents and only 100 pages of text. "

I think having a comprehensive outline ensures the book with be comprehensive as well.  By laying out who and what we want to cover in each section, we know what the final product will include.  We also need a clean way of dividing up work, and allowing people to pursue topics big and small.  Even if some of the lesser-know cultures like the Phrygian only have a page or two, that will still add up to be a thick volume.  

"However, I disagree with doing a chapter on the Mongols - I am fairly certain the sling was not used by them."

I've included many groups that may or may not have used the sling.  At this point, I'm not willing to leave them out until proven otherwise.  

"Barbarian Tribes should contain all of the peoples mentioned in "Europe", because that is what they were in reality. "

I was thinking more along the lines of Germanic, Hun, Visigoth, etc. groups.   What would you recommend calling them?

Chris

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by english on Sep 3rd, 2004 at 6:44am
Well, you've got to remember that the Saxons, Vikings, Jutes, Frisians, etc are all basically Germanic barbarian tribes.  They didn't move away and suddenly become a different people.  The Huns almost certainly did not use the sling, and neither did the Mongols - the Hun/Mongol (and other central Asian tribes) weapon is the composite bow - they had no need for slings.  This isn't to say they definitely did not use the sling - it is simply that they didn't use it enough to leave evidence that is substantial enough to warrant an entire chapter.
 I agree that by adding in all the tribes and cultures mentioned, you would end up with a hefty volume.  What I was thinking was, some of them could be clumped together, and make a substantial chapter, rather than a lot of little sub-chapters.  I don't agree with the actual content; I think that chapters on cultures who used the sling, but whom most people haven't heard of, are a very good thing.  That helps to back up the idea of the sling as a universal weapon.

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by Chris on Sep 3rd, 2004 at 11:22pm
"This isn't to say they definitely did not use the sling - it is simply that they didn't use it enough to leave evidence that is substantial enough to warrant an entire chapter. "  

Very true.  As I think we'll find with many of the groups currently included.  

"What I was thinking was, some of them could be clumped together, and make a substantial chapter, rather than a lot of little sub-chapters."

Chapters are the bullet-pointed Items.  Divisions are in bold, and sub sections, within chapters are dashed.  There will be some horizontal rule or similar separating the later.  (I'll have to clean up the Historical period a bit).  

Chris

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by Dan_Bollinger on Sep 16th, 2004 at 11:47am
Let's face it, a book has one, two, or perhaps three authors at most.  What you are creating -- where many people work on one, small chapter or sub-chapter -- is properly called an encyclopedia.  Encyclopedias have editor(s) to keep the sections complete and coherent.  My two cents.

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by lobohunter on Oct 8th, 2004 at 10:10am
I agree with Dan. About this being a encyclopedia
infact a comprehensive encyclopedia. This may not be that project . But I would love to see a volume that included everything that was possible about the sling

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by Gaius_Cornelius on Oct 20th, 2004 at 9:20am
Nothing here about the sling in the far East. I don't know anything about this, but it seems to me that the sling must have been used because the Trebuchet is essentially a development of the staff sling and, as I understand it, the Trebuchet originated in the East and was developed as it travelled through the middle East. The Trebuchet was finally "perfected" in Western Europe. As such, its history seems rather like that of gunpoweder.

Of course a number of seige weapons used a slinging action. A detailed treatement of seige weapons is probably beyond the scope of this project, but they should at least get a mention.

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by Chris on Oct 20th, 2004 at 11:12pm
Slings are known to have been used in India, Mongolia, Korea, and throughout South East Asia, but not China or most of Russia (see map).  I've been corresponding with Tint, who has an Asian background, and he doesn't believe the Chinese used slings either.  Maybe I can get him into this thread to comment.   It is an interesting geographical gap.  

Korfmann's Map of sling-related archeological sites:


Chris

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by tint on Oct 21st, 2004 at 5:09am
Yeah, Chris and I have been sending eachother personal messages concerning the use of sling in asia.  
The research has not been easy.  To start with, there is'nt even an official term for the sling in Chinese.  Dictionaries have different translations for the device e.g. Stone throwing belt, leather belt for throwing stones......etc.  Some dictionaries even confuse it with the seige engine!  The Chinese really have very little knowledge of the weapon.  (That means I am an expert amoung my tribe! ;D)

I have really looked all I can and can find no references of the sling being used in chinese warfare.  Tibet is the only place where the sling is popular but then Tibet was not a part of ancient china.

As to the reasons why it never became popular one can only guess.  I came up with a few hypothesis:

1) The Chinese were never herders.  In most societies, the people would start off as hunters.  When they run out of games in an area, they'll have to move to another for food.  Then the smart ones would start to herd tamed animals so that they'll have more control over the supply of food.  In some countries i.e. Mongolia.  The tribes would still need to move from place to place looking for grass for their herds.  Some other countries, the grass is plentyful and they can stay and build homes.  As they stay long enough in an area they'll start to grow crops and become farmers.  I know, there are lots of exceptions and I've probably made a few mistakes there but generally that's the development of early societies.  Somehow,  The Chinese managed to skip the herding phase of the development and went straight to farming.  Legend says that there was a very smart king who thaught his people how to grow crops very early on in history.  Anyways, with no herders, the use of the sling to drive herds or protect them like King David did as a shepherd was unthought of in Chinese history.

2) Landscape.  As big a nation as China,  it has relatively little flat lands.  People commonly live on the mountain sides i.e. the shoalin temple where thousands of monks resides.  In such locations, the longer range of the sling is a less apparent advantage over the bow and crossbow.  Especially in the forest areas where trees and bamboos are grown densely and may tangle with the sling.  (while bowmen and crossbowmen can ambush foes easily!)

3) The development of sophicated weapons.  The bow, crossbow and other fancy weapons were being used very early on.  Let's face it, in the hands of a novice bows and crossbows are much more effective weapons than the sling.  I can see that once the trend has been set, it is hard for the sling to catch up in popularity.  Why pratice for years to perfect the sling while the bows and crossbow are just as, if not more, effective?

4) Status.  The "face issue has always played a big part in Chinese culture.  It may well be a reflection of a person's status if he is carrying an impressive weapon.  An expensive bow and arrows,a well carfted crossbow with shiny darts or a long swords with embellishments may serve the purpose of showing off a family's wealth in times of prosper where a small sling with rocks would not do the trick.

5) Leather.  This may be a wild guess but I believe the chinese rarely used leather.  Silk and Cotton are the main material for clothing.  Growing cattle as I've mentioned is not common.  The Chinese Like to keep dogs, chicken and pigs for food.  Cows and ox are mainly for farming and pulling wagons.  Leather was scare and not well used.  The bullwhip for example, also never recieved any popularity amoung the Chinese.

The above are what my wild imagination could come up with.  Please point out any flaws or ask questions for discussion.

Tint (may be the frist slinger of his tribe)

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by tint on Oct 21st, 2004 at 5:12am
By the way, that's a real cool map, Chris!

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by Gaius_Cornelius on Oct 21st, 2004 at 6:27am
How very interesting...

I remember an old Scientific American article that first got me interested in the Trebuchet and I found it reproduced on the web:

http://www.deremilitari.org/resources/pdfs/trebuchet.pdf

This paper states that the Trebuchet originated in China, and that must be where I got the idea from. Unfortunatly, the article does not go into much detail.

However, the sling is pretty essential to the Trebuchet. While it is quite possible that the Trebuchet could have been invented by a people with no history of slinging, I always had it in my mind that the Trebuchet was a development of the staff sling.

Can anybody shed some light on this?

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by english on Oct 21st, 2004 at 11:56am
That's some info there Tint.  And a good selection of hypothesis.  I like the idea about status.  Nations with high levels of status anxiety, especially regarding weaponry, tend not to use the sling, when I think about it.  But naturally, we know better.  I think it is probably the reason that the slign is not more popular as a hunting weapon today.
 I think that the sling would make sense for a Chinese army to use.  A Chinese army would typically be made of peasant conscripts, farmers by profession, and there would be many, many of them.  The sling is easy to mass produce.  The only downside is training.  But I do agree with the ideas about crossbow.
 Anyways, it is an interesting anomaly that the sling is not more widely used in Asia.
 A point about leather:  It is possible to weave a sling pouch, as we all know - leather isn't especially common in the Andes, either - and China has, of course, a highly developed silk culture.  I suppose the problem is the commercial price of silk making it a redundant idea to make something as disposable as a sling out of it.

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by tint on Oct 21st, 2004 at 10:57pm
Gaius,

Thanks for sharing the info.

Could it be that the Trebucet invented by the Chinese were without the sling and pouch?  I have seen drawings of similar machine with a spoon-like end.  Like you said the device was later "perfected" in western Europe.

English,

I guess my theory about leather was stretching a bit.  I came up with that cause with all the weapons in martial arts from china, nothing even close to the sling or bullwhip was ever used.  

It was an interesting idea you came up with.  What a different world it would be if the Chinese used the sling!  I can just imagine with the number of their forces, it'll be like raining rocks on the opposing army!  Training might be difficult but the Chinese were always very discipline when it come to martial arts.

But as things are, I am the only Chinese slinger as far as I know. 8)

Has anyone tried to make a sling with silk?  I am not sure if the material is strong enough.  Worth a try though.  It'll at least be fashionable!

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by english on Oct 22nd, 2004 at 12:03pm
I am certain that silk would be strong enough.  It was used as a premier bowstring in the middle ages, and have you ever heard about the strength of spiders' webs?  Apparently steel wire of the same diameter is about as strong as silk.  It is strong enough.
 I think that technological development is the main reason for Chinese not using the sling - China had developed to a sort of Medieval level, in many ways, by before the Roman empire.  And we know that although the sling was widely used by the Anglo-Saxons, it was not employed by most armies during the medieval period.  When you have the technology to make cast iron bridges, repeating crossbows, highly advanced composite bows, and make them so that they can equip a whole army, then why bother with a few bits of string?  Remember, Chinese armies, once given the gift of the crossbow, did not use the bow for some while, because it was thought to be a barbarian weapon.  Perhaps the same was thought of the sling, as it was a weapon used by the Tibetans.

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by Chris on Oct 22nd, 2004 at 11:52pm
The trebuchet was definitely being used in china, so they new of the sling, they just choose not to use it.  

Tint outlines some good reasons.  I think the key ones are the chinese emphasis on technology and refinement, something they couldn't do with the sling (in a sense, the trebuchet was the refinement).  Chinese crossbows were way ahead of there European counterparts, and we know historically, that when crossbows (or even good bows) come into the picture, sling use declines (at least for warfare).  Second, the Chinese had good armor, and the way an arrow stores it force (in a long shaft behind a small point) makes it a more effective penetration weapon.  Armor, especially plate armor, could deflect sling projectiles.  

Chris

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by tint on Oct 23rd, 2004 at 12:39am
Chris,

shouldn't the sling still survive due to its' longer range to the bow and crossbow?

English,

I didn't know silk was that strong.  I'll see if I can make a silk sling soon.

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by Chris on Oct 23rd, 2004 at 12:29pm
"shouldn't the sling still survive due to its' longer range to the bow and crossbow? "

Not if it can't penetrate armor...  It would only harrass the enemy, not kill them.  Armies would prefer to make their armies deadly, not annoying. :)

Back in the day when slings and bows were equally effective because the armor was either less protective, not used, or had little covereage, range was the decisive factor.  

Chris

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by english on Oct 30th, 2004 at 4:01pm
Tint, I tried making a sling from silk.  It is too fine.  Very strong, but too fine.  I braided some twisted silk threads, and, even with 112 strands, it was still too thin to use for a sling, and very expensive.  That could be the reason.  However, it will make any excellent bowstring.
 I think the too reasons are those suggested - Chinese obsession with refinement of weapons, and technological advances.  

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by tint on Oct 30th, 2004 at 10:29pm
English,

Thanks, I am sure you are a much better braider than I, so I'll give the project a pass.  Suppose someone is obsess enough to make a sling with silk, do you think it'll be any good?

My kevlar slings are very thin, 1.3mm in width.  I use a leather pouch and add rubber tubing near the end of the cords to keep the string from cutting into my hands.  Do you think braided silk could do as good a job as kevlar in this construction?

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by english on Oct 31st, 2004 at 5:21am
I think silk would do fine in that situation.  Silk is very fine, that is why it makes such excellent quality cloth.  I'm sure that it would be possible to make a good silk sling, but it would require a massive amount of silk, which, of course, is quite expensive.  Not something you'd use everyday.
 Actually, I'm quite bad at braiding.  I can only do up 8 strand braiding.  And I find that difficult.  I can do 3 and 4 strand in my sleep, but anything above that is a serious mental exercise.

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by english on Nov 13th, 2004 at 6:39am
Leather in China:
 Yuan dynasty, Kublai Khan's administration set up the following governmental departments: "Directorate of Leather and Furs", "Directorate of Felt Manufacturers", "Court of the Imperial Tack" (which dealt with horse saddles and harnesses and so on, leather products).  Also, there is mention of Chinese use of hardened leather as lamellar armour, just as the Mongols did - so it wasn't like leather wasn't around for slings.  I think the other ideas are better.  Nice going though Tint - good ideas.

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by tint on Nov 13th, 2004 at 7:03pm
English,

China was ruled by the Mongols in the Yuan Dynasty.  

But you are right though.  Leather must have been around, it just wasn't very popular.

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by english on Nov 14th, 2004 at 3:30am
Yes, I know that.  But what it shows is that there were leatherworkers, leather, and items that required leather in use.

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by bigkahuna on Nov 26th, 2005 at 1:54am
You're leaving out all of Polynesia!

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by nightweave on Jul 18th, 2006 at 3:06am
Hello All,

Sorry to take so long to reply, but have been busy with RL stuff.

Ok Wiki's are not books they are designed for the specific purpose of sharing information and to be editable by the community to ensure that they are up to date and correct at all times.

If you'd wanted a technical book then you should have done it as html and had several writers and an editor run over the website.  Much like the front page of slinging.org.

So currently I am already watching every page I have created and anything that has been edited by me. That is the wiki way of doing things. You take responsibility for your area or what you want to look after and go from there.

If you want to make it a book two things need to change:

1. Technical books are written completely different from how the propose out lines have been put in place.  I am not going to tell you how to write your wiki but be ware it isn't a book in its current format.

2.  You need committed writers who are going to research their work and do the writing along with a serious editor.

You want the Project Goliath to work?

Then some suggestions come to mind.

1. You have a lot of brilliant, smart and very interesting people on slinging.org each with their own way of doing things. Get them working on the projects that need to be completed. Don't bother doing any layout until that is done. People find things and sub-projects can blow out into their own project. You have a list of things to work on use them.

2. Get a list of things that need to be completed. Then put that out for submissions for people to do.

3. Once you find out who is actually doing the work load them up. Because they are the people who are going to complete Project Goliath,  everyone else is just along for the ride. (Don't hate me for telling you the truth of the matter.)

4. The Forums have a massive amount of data in them, each project should be assigned a person to troll (Dig people not the other one) the forums for that information; That is to be collated and then you have yourself an expert to write that area. (We have a lovely lady already doing this but her scope is too broad.)

5. The joy of wiki. Wiki data can be moved and manipulated anytime and place once this is all completed then you're away. Make sure everyone who works on this project has a logon. Make sure that you can not edit a page without being logged on. Make sure if you did it you keep an eye on the editor so that you can talk to the editor about why he/she changed it.

If you guys are serious about this project then let's stop talking about the way it's laid out and what should be in it; Get a move on and just do it.

If you want to talk about layouts IM me and I'll explain what layout work is but first get you content done.

nightweave

Title: Re: Proposed Outline. v2
Post by Willeke on Jul 18th, 2006 at 11:50am
Nightweave,
You have fallen into the old post trap this time, sorry to confuse you.

If you look at the last post before yours you see its date was back in 05 and the last before that 04.

Later Chris started the WIKI, because that seems the better way for the 'sling book' than any other system currently available.

Willeke

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