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Thread: Genetic Origins of Minoans and Mycenaeans

  1. #51
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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Promenade View Post
    This whole paper is amusing to me because I remember davidski claiming just a few weeks ago that genetically Mycenaeans would appear just like the steppe individuals. If anything it leads me to believe they came from the east.



    Why would the Mycenaeans be closer to Sicilians than modern Greeks though? The inhabitants of Magna Grecia mixed with the native inhabitants of the Sicily itself when they first colonized, they even considered themselves a new people, and the island has been home to everyone from the Carthaginians to the Normans. That would mean mixing with the Sicels changed very little and then they remained the same for the next 3000 years while Greece failed too.

    One factor might be that the mainland Greeks, particularly in the north, received some ancestry from the migration of the Slavic tribes. The Italians got virtually none of that. Northern Italians and Tuscans did get some Celtic and some, if less, Germanic, the prior before the fall of Rome, in the first millennium BC, and the latter after the fall of Rome, but much less of it got to places like Sicily. In fact, I think a good percentagae of what they did get was mediated through the Romans, perhaps, and then the "Lombards", i.e. northern Italians from Lombardia and Liguria and some from Piemonte, as well as from the native "Italic" tribes, who might not have had all that much "steppe" by the time they got to Sicily. I mean, look at the "steppe" percentages in Bronze Age Iberia, even with all that R1b. The small percentage from the Muslim invasions in Sicily and perhaps infusing a bit into far southern Italy didn't change things very much, apparently, at least that's what it looks like to me based on the NA percentages autosomally.

    We won't really know if we're totally on the right track, however, until we get ancient dna from Italy. That will trump any speculations based on PCAs, modern proportions etc. I don't mean to imply otherwise.

    I've been saying since I was on dna forums and then on 23andme and then here that all that "West Asian" in southern Italy and Sicily did not come with the Muslims. The folk migration to Sicily was from North Africa, and we know how much North African they have. The "Arabs" were the very thin layer at the top, the elites. We'll have to see what the ancient dna from Italy tells us about what Bronze Age and Magna Graecia southern Italians were like.

    There's also been a lot of ******** and mythology on the internet about southern Italy/Sicily. The Normans were under 100 men at arms when they arrived. How much autosomal change could they have brought? The Carthaginians had two small emporia in northwestern Sicily, no presence at all on mainland southern Italy. It wouldn't matter to me in the least if southern Italians had a lot of this ancestry, but I still believe that major autosomal change comes from large folk migrations which does not describe these people at all.

    I don't know what the ancient dna will show for Italy, but it seems pretty clear that Iberia and Greece don't fit the same pattern as central and Northern Europe. How could they? It's very different when you move into virtually de-populated places or where the "natives" have experienced lots of disease and debilitation from repeated crop failures due to either degradation of the soil and/or climate change?


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    Really I get much fun from steppemaniacs, how they transform a paper in a kind of game show about who is more steppic.

    But now back to the serious matter, the game show is hijacked by an incapability to distingish between EHG and WHG and between direct CHG and hybridized European CHG.
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    Yes Yetos, you are correct. My bad here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yetos View Post
    Dorian Invasion is an inner ddevastation on NW Greeks to S Greeks
    and is much much younger for at least 1500 years from the bellow
    Maybe you reffering to the Mycenean descent that came from Istros (Δουναβης)

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Nice to finally have some Minoan and Mycenaean genomes.

    There are only 4 Minoan and 1 Mycenaean Y-DNA samples, so we can't tell much from that. This data at least confirms that the Minoans carried G2a, J1a and J2a1 as I had predicted. Too bad they couldn't identify the deeper clades, although I am confident that the J2a1 clades will fall under M319 (Y5009), L210, M92 (Z6254), CTS6804 and YP879. I am certain that T1a-P77 will show up too if more samples are tested. Perhaps some L1b too, but at very low frequency.

    It's a shame that there is only one Mycenaean Y-DNA sample as I was really looking forward to know which Steppe Y-DNA they carried. Ever since 2009 I have been wondering if they were primarily R1a (so more Srubna-derived) or R1b (more Catacomb culture-derived), or a blend of both. I think they were primarily R1b-Z2103 but with possibly a bit of R1a. More recently I suggested that they also carried E-V13 and J2b lineages and that they may have been related to the Illyrians who invaded the Balkans around the same time. The J2a1 sample tested is obviously an assimilated Minoan, so it doesn't shed any light on the patrilineal origins of Mycenaeans.

    The mtDNA data is not much more useful for the Mycenaeans. Oddly, 3 out of the 4 samples tested belonged to the rare haplogroup X2. The 4th is merely reported as H, which could be anything.

    If we exclude uncertain haplogroups like H and T2b, about half of Minoan mtDNA samples could be traced back the Neolithic Greece (J2b1a, K1a2, U5a1). The rest shows strong affinities with Anatolia and the Caucasus (haplogroups H13a1, I5, U3b3) and was mostly absent from Neolithic Europe. Note that U3b was not found in Neolithic Europe and the oldest known sample in Europe so far was from Thracia dated 800-500 BCE.

    The admixture data as presented in the paper do not really allow to determine the actual proportion of Minoan DNA that was inherited from Neolithic Greece, as opposed to Neolithic Anatolia. What is certain is that the Minoans brought about 20% of CHG admixture that wasn't present before in Neolithic Greece. The Armenian EBA samples had 50% of CHG, so if there had been a direct migration from that region (Kura-Araxes) to Greece, it would mean that 40% of Minoan DNA is from Kura-Araxes. However it is practically impossible that a migration occurs over such a distance without blending with other populations (in Anatolia) on the way. If we look at the Anatolian Bronze Age samples, they either have 20% or 25% of CHG, which is almost identical to that of the Minoans. This could mean that a much bigger portion of Minoan DNA is not descended from Neolithic Greece. I wouldn't say 100% because of the presence of U5a1 and J2b1a (K1a2 was also found in Neolithic Anatolia though), but I'd say that over 50% and up to 85% of Minoan DNA came from the wave of EBA migrants from Anatolia.

    The authors say the Mycenaeans can be modelled as having 13% of Yamna-related admixture, but have more if we take Srubnaya or Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age Europe as the source population of the invaders. I wonder why they do not take into account the possibility that the Mycenaeans came from the Middle Bronze Age Balkans? The most likely scenario based on archaeological evidence is that they originated in the Late Catacomb or Early Srubna culture, but first settled in the Balkans, including Illyria, before truly invading Greece shortly after. They would have spent only a few generations in the Balkans, but that may be enough to acquire more Neolithic farmer DNA. In any case, the overall genetic impact of the Mycenaean invaders on the population of Greece at the time would be at least 15-20%. It's just very hard to tell apart all that ENF admixture.
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    6 out of 6 members found this post helpful.
    There is something I don't understand in the admixture analysis from the paper. Modern Greeks from Thessaloniki are shown as having 20% of red EHG, 20% of pink CHG, 59% of blue ENF and 1% of dark green Natufian, but they completely lack the purple admixture that makes up 35-100% of Neolithic Greeks, 15-30% of Minoans and 25-45% of Mycenaeans. It's also missing from other modern Greeks and Cypriots. What happened to that admixture? It couldn't simply have vanished like that. Is that because they didn't re-run those samples using the same K17 parameters? If so that would be highly unprofessional of them for a published peer-reviewed paper. If not, that raises a lot of questions.




    I also disagree with Lazaridis and al. when they say that "Modern Greeks resemble the Mycenaeans, but with some additional dilution of the Early Neolithic ancestry". Mycenaeans are much closer to the Minoans than to Modern Greeks. Modern Greeks have 3x more EHG (about 20%) than Mycenaeans (7%), but they also have WHG (3% according to D-stat). This suggests that numerous waves of European invaders (Dorians, Celts, Romans, Goths, Slavs) contributed to a large share of modern Greek DNA. Since obviously no invader to Greece were pure EHG, and none had more than 50% of EHG in average (30-35% might be more realistic as the Romans had comparatively low EHG), to increase from 7% to 20% of EHG, the percentage of post-Mycenaean DNA from European invaders must be comprised between 25% and 40%. Most of it will be blue ENF and pink CHG that won't be identifiable using these relatively simple admixtures. What we see is only the clear increase in EHG, which is only one third to half of the new invaders' DNA.

    In other words modern Greeks are nothing like Mycenaean Greeks, and even less Minoan Greeks. Modern Greeks have much more European ancestry. Y-DNA alone suggests 40 to 45% of European lineages (as opposed to Near Eastern), and over 60% if we included E-V13 (E1b1b came from the Near East but E-V13 clearly emerged in Europe). Greeks possess lineages that are clearly Germanic (3.5% of I1, so about 10% of Germanic overall with I2a2-L801, R1b-U106 and R1a-L664), Slavic (11% of R1a, which is overwhelmingly M458 and CTS1211) and Italo-Celtic (about 7% of R1b-U152 and 1% of G2a-L497).
    Last edited by Maciamo; 03-08-17 at 10:28.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post

    The authors say the Mycenaeans can be modelled as having 13% of Yamna-related admixture, but have more if we take Srubnaya or Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age Europe as the source population of the invaders. I wonder why they do not take into account the possibility that the Mycenaeans came from the Middle Bronze Age Balkans? The most likely scenario based on archaeological evidence is that they originated in the Late Catacomb or Early Srubna culture, but first settled in the Balkans, including Illyria, before truly invading Greece shortly after. They would have spent only a few generations in the Balkans, but that may be enough to acquire more Neolithic farmer DNA. In any case, the overall genetic impact of the Mycenaean invaders on the population of Greece at the time would be at least 15-20%. It's just very hard to tell apart all that ENF admixture.
    afaik charriots and swords appeared in the Carpathian Basin, not the Balkans prior to the appearance of the Myceneans
    anyway it is strange that BA Balkan or Carpathian Basin DNA does not appear in the models

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    afaik charriots and swords appeared in the Carpathian Basin, not the Balkans prior to the appearance of the Myceneans
    anyway it is strange that BA Balkan or Carpathian Basin DNA does not appear in the models
    It depends on one's definitions of Balkans. I sometimes include the Carpathians too (notably Romania). I should have said Southeast Europe.

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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    @Maciamo,
    "In other words modern Greeks are nothing like Mycenaean Greeks, and even less Minoan Greeks. "

    Myceneans were Greeks, the literal predecessor of modern Greece, I can't imagine that modern Greeks are nothing like them? You just said modern Greeks might have 25-40% non-Mycenean ancestry, that would still make them mostly Mycenaean. I remember reading that Greek Islanders don't have the North European admixture mainland Greeks do. They might be roughly the same as Mycenaeans.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Stone Henge and the Minoan civilization were created by very close relatives, mind blowing. Both were 70-80% EEF.

    Another interesting thing is both the Minoans and the Egyptians were indigenous to their separate regions. Egyptians mostly Levant_Neo, Minoans mostly Anatolia_Neo. Both were indigenous, descended from the primitive stone age people that lived in their regions 1,000s of years earlier.

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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Haired14 View Post
    @Maciamo,
    "In other words modern Greeks are nothing like Mycenaean Greeks, and even less Minoan Greeks. "

    Myceneans were Greeks, the literal predecessor of modern Greece, I can't imagine that modern Greeks are nothing like them? You just said modern Greeks might have 25-40% non-Mycenean ancestry, that would still make them mostly Mycenaean. I remember reading that Greek Islanders don't have the North European admixture mainland Greeks do. They might be roughly the same as Mycenaeans.
    That would make them mostly Mycenaeans if you reckon that Mycenaeans are themselves a blend of many populations. They had ancestry from Mesolithic SE Europeans, Neolithic Greeks, Neolithic Anatolians, Chalcolithic Iranians/Caucasians, Bronze Age Kura-Araxes, then of course Mesolithic Steppe (EHG), Neolithic Balkans, Bronze Age Steppe, etc. It's pretty meaningless to say that modern Greeks share 60-75% of DNA with such a heavily admixed population as the Mycenaeans, who shares lots of ancestry with all modern Europeans. With that logic, Albanians and Bulgarians could be just as close to the Mycenaeans.

    Anyway, my point was that 25 to 40% of post-Mycenaean ancestry isn't trivial. That's much more than the whole Indo-European ancestry in India, even among the Brahmins (who have 15-20% of Steppe ancestry). According to the Haak et al. (2015) paper (which Angela loves to quote), modern Spaniards have only 20% of Steppe ancestry, while Albanians have a mere 13%. And yet both are considered Indo-European populations (because of the language they speak). This puts into perspective the 25% to 40% of post-Mycenaean European ancestry in modern Greeks. And I did not even include the post-Mycenaean Middle Eastern ancestry! There is no way to calculate this from the admixture data, but why wouldn't other Middle Eastern people have contributed to the modern Greek gene pool in the last 3500 years? After all Greece was part of the Macedonian, Roman, Byzantine then Ottoman empires, which had open borders between Greece and the whole eastern Mediterranean from 332 BCE to 1918 CE (2250 years). It's unthinkable that Europeans contributed 40% of modern Greek DNA and that during that time no population exchange at all happened within the empire to which Greece belonged! The genetic exchange with Anatolia would surely have been considerable over time, considering all the Greek-speaking cities in Ionia or the Pontus, and the displacement of all these Anatolian Greeks to European Greece after 1918. Iosif Lazaridis is himself a Greek whose family hails from the Pontus region. It's baffling that he shouldn't have considered the impact of over 2000 years of intermingling with neighbouring Anatolian populations on those Greek communities that later resettled in the modern state of Greece.

    It's very hard to estimate how much DNA in modern Greeks came from Anatolia, or elsewhere in the Near East, in the last 2000 or 3000 years, but I am confident it is more than 10% and probably more than 20%. So overall it could be than less than half of the modern Greek DNA is directly inherited from the Mycenaean-age population.

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    [QUOTE=Diomedes;516171]Yes Yetos, you are correct. My bad here.[/

    Don't you worry Diomedes, Maciamo has done the same mistake as you in his post above....:I quote" This suggests that numerous waves of European invaders (Dorians, Celts, Romans, Goths, Slavs) contributed to a large share of modern Greek DNA." Maybe Yetos can shed some light here.


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    Quote Originally Posted by blevins13 View Post
    Don't you worry Diomedes, Maciamo has done the same mistake as you in his post above....:I quote" This suggests that numerous waves of European invaders (Dorians, Celts, Romans, Goths, Slavs) contributed to a large share of modern Greek DNA." Maybe Yetos can shed some light here.
    I suppose you are referring to the Dorian invasion. The fact is that we still don't know where the Dorians originated, except that they came from the north. This could have been in northern Greece or Macedonia, but also from Albania or further north in the Balkans. They might also have been a hybrid population of foreign invaders and assimilated northern Greeks, who joined up forces to run over central and southern Greece. It's often the case with invasions. In the context of the turmoils of 1200 BCE around the East Med, it's quite likely that some foreign invaders did participate to the Dorian invasion following the civilisation collapse in Greece proper.

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    @Maciamo,

    *Relatively* speaking the Myceneans were mixed. All of their ancestors don't have to have lived in Greece for 20,000 years for them to be unmixed. The genetic shifts we see in ancient DNA; EEF migration, Steppe migration, occur once every like 5,000 years. For the most part people were born, had kids, and died on the same plot of land.

    Mycenaeans were by and large EEF. The models give them like 70% EEF. Some EEF would have come from the north alongside Steppe admixture, some came alongside CHG admixture, but still by and large Myceneans traced their ancestry back to the Neolithic Aegean or at least Neolithic Greece and Turkey.

    European genetic diversity is more complex than EEF, WHG, CHG, EHG. The EEF's in Poland may be more related to Sardinians than to Eastern Europeans but they share unique genetic markers (eg, mtDNA H1b2) only with Eastern Europeans. While there are other Europeans with a more similar EEF/EHG/etc. composition to Myceneans than what modern Greeks have, modern Greeks probably have the closest genealogical relationship with Myceneans.

    The more recent admixtures in Greece; Goths, Slavs, ancient Anatolia, etc. are all hypothetical right now. Maybe the ancient Greeks didn't mix at all with people in Turkey.

    I do think obvious difference between Myceneans and modern Greeks is really interesting. Coincidentally everywhere from Turkey to Ireland EEF got beat up during the Bronze age.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    I suppose you are referring to the Dorian invasion. The fact is that we still don't know where the Dorians originated, except that they came from the north. This could have been in northern Greece or Macedonia, but also from Albania or further north in the Balkans. They might also have been a hybrid population of foreign invaders and assimilated northern Greeks, who joined up forces to run over central and southern Greece. It's often the case with invasions. In the context of the turmoils of 1200 BCE around the East Med, it's quite likely that some foreign invaders did participate to the Dorian invasion following the civilisation collapse in Greece proper.
    Yes I am referring to that....Yetos prospective is quite different from yours, I guess further studies will clarify this.


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    So, anyone shocked by this study?
    Seems pretty reasonable

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    at the mergin:

    "Similarly, ~79% of present-dayGreeks have light or dark brown hair, with the remainder split between blond and black."

    with so a great precision in phenotypes, I wonder if it is worth comparing pops and studying the genotypes for pigmentation!!!

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by MOESAN View Post
    at the mergin:

    "Similarly, ~79% of present-dayGreeks have light or dark brown hair, with the remainder split between blond and black."

    with so a great precision in phenotypes, I wonder if it is worth comparing pops and studying the genotypes for pigmentation!!!
    Most light hair and eyes came in middle ages. In ancient and prehistoric Greece, it was rare if not non existent.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    What high steppe in Greeks?
    Relatively high.

    High steppe in modern Greeks compared to what Mycenaean peasants had. Modern Greeks have way more of steppe ancestry than Mycenaean commoners. Look at the PCA graph. Mycenaeans cluster with Sicilians, not with mainland Greeks - who are ca. 1/4 more shifted in the direction of Russians.

    Why did you remove my satirical picture (Greek Nationalist's Dilemma)?:


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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Haired14 View Post
    @Maciamo,

    *Relatively* speaking the Myceneans were mixed. All of their ancestors don't have to have lived in Greece for 20,000 years for them to be unmixed. The genetic shifts we see in ancient DNA; EEF migration, Steppe migration, occur once every like 5,000 years. For the most part people were born, had kids, and died on the same plot of land.

    Mycenaeans were by and large EEF. The models give them like 70% EEF. Some EEF would have come from the north alongside Steppe admixture, some came alongside CHG admixture, but still by and large Myceneans traced their ancestry back to the Neolithic Aegean or at least Neolithic Greece and Turkey.

    European genetic diversity is more complex than EEF, WHG, CHG, EHG. The EEF's in Poland may be more related to Sardinians than to Eastern Europeans but they share unique genetic markers (eg, mtDNA H1b2) only with Eastern Europeans. While there are other Europeans with a more similar EEF/EHG/etc. composition to Myceneans than what modern Greeks have, modern Greeks probably have the closest genealogical relationship with Myceneans.
    It doesn't mean anything to say that the Mycenaeans were by and large EEF. That is the case for practically all Europeans populations since the Neolithic! (except Bronze Age Steppe, and modern Finns and Lapps). By that logic the Mycenaeans could be closely related to the Sardinians and Basques, which is obviously nonsense, as their last common EEF ancestors date back to the Early Neolithic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Haired14 View Post
    The more recent admixtures in Greece; Goths, Slavs, ancient Anatolia, etc. are all hypothetical right now. Maybe the ancient Greeks didn't mix at all with people in Turkey.

    I do think obvious difference between Myceneans and modern Greeks is really interesting. Coincidentally everywhere from Turkey to Ireland EEF got beat up during the Bronze age.
    Hypothetical? How is 3.5% of I1 in Greece with subclades dating from the Gothic migrations hypothetical? What about the 20% of clearly Slavic R1a-CTS1211, R1a-M458 and I2a1b-CTS10228 in modern Greece? There is nothing hypothetical about these migrations. Just look at the FTDNA Greece project. Among the I2a1 members, all those tested for deep clades belong to CTS10228. The subclades found downstream are Y4460 (2300 ybp), A2512 (2200 ybp), Z17855 (1650 ybp), and A10959 (1800 ybp), all too young to be anything but Slavic.

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    It appears to me that some of you imply that the ruling class of the Mycenaeans was different from the peasants. If so, why and where did they come from?

    (in the background thoughts about the "Nephalem" and the ruling class of the archaic times. Could the Bible be right after all ...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomenable View Post
    Relatively high.

    High steppe in modern Greeks compared to what Mycenaean peasants had. Modern Greeks have way more of steppe ancestry than Mycenaean commoners. Look at the PCA graph. Mycenaeans cluster with Sicilians, not with mainland Greeks - who are ca. 1/4 more shifted in the direction of Russians.

    Why did you remove my satirical picture (Greek Nationalist's Dilemma)?:

    Hahahahhahaha

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    They are very close to mainland Greeks also. By and large, the Slavic influence is very small in Greece.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomenable View Post
    Relatively high.

    High steppe in modern Greeks compared to what Mycenaean peasants had. Modern Greeks have way more of steppe ancestry than Mycenaean commoners. Look at the PCA graph. Mycenaeans cluster with Sicilians, not with mainland Greeks - who are ca. 1/4 more shifted in the direction of Russians.

    Why did you remove my satirical picture (Greek Nationalist's Dilemma)?:


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    Quote Originally Posted by Diomedes View Post
    It appears to me that some of you imply that the ruling class of the Mycenaeans was different from the peasants. If so, why and where did they come from?

    (in the background thoughts about the "Nephalem" and the ruling class of the archaic times. Could the Bible be right after all ...)
    tell me where the Mycenian charriots and swords came from, and maybe you've got the answer

    and the paper tells in what component the Mycenian genome differs from the Minoan genome

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    With riddles you speak, old man :)

    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    tell me where the Mycenian charriots and swords came from, and maybe you've got the answer

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