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Thread: Autosomal DNA of 66 medieval-era Lower Nubians.

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    Autosomal DNA of 66 medieval-era Lower Nubians.

    Researchers have successfully analyzed the genome/autosomal DNA of 66 of medieval-era Lower Nubians.


    Many samples carry 62% - 51% Western Eurasian ancestry, with plenty of typical Eurasian mtdna, such as
    H2 and U5.

    We report genome-wide data for 66 individuals from the site of Kulubnarti (~650-1000 CE), increasing the number of ancient individuals with genome-level data from the Nile Valley from three to 69. Our results shed light on the genetic ancestry of a Christian Period group and help to address a long-standing question about the relationships among people buried in two neighboring cemeteries who show skeletal evidence of differences in morbidity and mortality that are broadly suggestive of differences in social status. We find that the Kulubnarti Nubians were admixed with ~43% Nilotic-related ancestry on average (individual proportions varied between ~36-54%) and the remaining ancestry reflecting a West Eurasian-related gene pool likely introduced into Nubia through Egypt, but ultimately deriving from an ancestry pool like that found in the Bronze and Iron Age Levant. The admixed ancestry at Kulubnarti reflects interactions between genetically-distinct people in northeast Africa spanning almost a millennium, with West Eurasian ancestry disproportionately associated with females, highlighting the impact of female mobility in this region. We find no significant differences in ancestry among individuals from the two plausibly socially-stratified cemeteries at Kulubnarti, supporting hypotheses that the groups may have been socially divided but were not genetically distinct.
    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1...02.17.431423v1


    It appears that medieval Nubians were pretty much like modern Horners, which means they were a hybrid population.


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    2 members found this post helpful.
    Real Expert: Interesting paper. We have some evidence from Ancient Egypt, from Middle Egypt (Schuenemann et al 2016, Ancient Egyptian mummy genomes suggest an increase of Sub-Saharan African ancestry in post-Roman periods) which was published in Nature, and those samples show strong affinity to Levant and Middle East. These samples are in Lower Nubia between the First and 2nd cataract of the Nile. At no time did the Greeks or Romans ever get past the first Cataract, the Romans did try a few times but were defeated as that was a tough logistics problem to move enough troops and supplies. So these populations are likely very similar to what the Greeks and Romans encountered and have what appears 57% West Eurasian and 43% Nilotic ancestry, and admixed population. Greek-Roman writers such as Flavius Philostratus noted that the peoples living around/just past the First Cataract, which was the border of Egypt and Lower Nubia were a mixed people, darker than Egyptians but lighter than Ethiopians (Aethiopes) [Snowden 1970 "Blacks in Antiquity", p.4, published by Harvard Press). He lived around the 3rd century.

    So it seems the DNA evidence is consistent with what Philostratus described. Very interesting Paper it seems, need to check that one out as well.

    Lots of neat stuff seems to be coming out recently

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    p.s
    interesting for me that the 2 e-GG24 individuals (R101 and R93) ( an E-Z830 branch )
    https://www.yfull.com/tree/E-GG24/
    carried mtdna h2a
    Sefhardi, aschenazi, bulgarian
    die Überlebenden
    https://www.yfull.com/live/tree/E-Y62418/
    https://yfull.com/mtree/H3ap/
    k12b ancient
    Closest:
    3.30708331
    R136_Imperial_Era_Marcellino_&_Pietrophenotype: east med with pontic vibe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Palermo Trapani View Post
    Real Expert: Interesting paper. We have some evidence from Ancient Egypt, from Middle Egypt (Schuenemann et al 2016, Ancient Egyptian mummy genomes suggest an increase of Sub-Saharan African ancestry in post-Roman periods) which was published in Nature, and those samples show strong affinity to Levant and Middle East. These samples are in Lower Nubia between the First and 2nd cataract of the Nile. At no time did the Greeks or Romans ever get past the first Cataract, the Romans did try a few times but were defeated as that was a tough logistics problem to move enough troops and supplies. So these populations are likely very similar to what the Greeks and Romans encountered and have what appears 57% West Eurasian and 43% Nilotic ancestry, and admixed population. Greek-Roman writers such as Flavius Philostratus noted that the peoples living around/just past the First Cataract, which was the border of Egypt and Lower Nubia were a mixed people, darker than Egyptians but lighter than Ethiopians (Aethiopes) [Snowden 1970 "Blacks in Antiquity", p.4, published by Harvard Press). He lived around the 3rd century.

    So it seems the DNA evidence is consistent with what Philostratus described. Very interesting Paper it seems, need to check that one out as well.

    Lots of neat stuff seems to be coming out recently

    I agree with what you've wrote. However, Christian Nubia in medieval times had plenty interactions with the Byzantine Empire, and the Church of Byzantium did sent missionaries to Egypt and Nubia. From what I recall reading, Axum/present day Northern Ethiopia interacted with the Byzantine Empire, and was religiously also under the influence by the Church of Eastern Rome. So, I'm wondering if some Byzantine folks have left a minor genetic input on medieval Nubians? Some of the samples carried the hp J2a. Anyway, I do think, that the bulk of the Western Eurasian ancestry is from native Egyptians, if not from the "Hyksos". It's also likely, that Lower Nubia was already populated by a Horner-like people since at least the Bronze age time. Therefore, these medieval Nubians could've had different layers of Western Eurasian ancestry, sources.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingjohn View Post



    p.s
    interesting for me that the 2 e-GG24 individuals (R101 and R93) ( an E-Z830 branch )
    https://www.yfull.com/tree/E-GG24/
    carried mtdna h2a
    And some of the males with typical Western Eurasian Ydna carried African mtnda.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    What is particularly interesting to me is that the West Eurasian ancestry in these Medieval Christian people in Nubia was not, as is usual, brought by men, but rather by women. Did they exchange their natural resources for women from the lower Nile? The chart makes it clear that the West Eurasian in these people was not brought predominantly by Arab slave traders, which was often a default position in the past.

    "We find that the Kulubnarti Nubians were admixed with ~43% Nilotic-related ancestry on average (individual proportions varied between ~36-54%) and the remaining ancestry reflecting a West Eurasian-related gene pool likely introduced into Nubia through Egypt, but ultimately deriving from an ancestry pool like that found in the Bronze and Iron Age Levant. The admixed ancestry at Kulubnarti reflects interactions between genetically-distinct people in northeast Africa spanning almost a millennium, with West Eurasian ancestry disproportionately associated with females, highlighting the impact of female mobility in this region."

    @King John, those two mtdna might have made it to Egypt from more western North Africa, perhaps all the way from Morocco, before heading down to Nubia?

    There was additional admixture since the Christian period, apparently, presumably from African people given that I don't think present day Nubians are 57% West Eurasian, or, perhaps, this studied Christian group was not necessarily reflective of the entire population in the Medieval Period?

    An interesting question arises versus Horners. To my knowledge their mtDna is not as West Eurasian as this, and they have more yDna leading back to the Levant. So, we may have an example of different pulses of West Eurasian dna into Nubia and the Horn.

    Anyone know if modern Nubians show this West Eurasian mtDna, and if they have a lot of Levantine yDna?

    Perhaps the paper itself when I get to read it will explain things more clearly.


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    Quote Originally Posted by real expert View Post
    Researchers have successfully analyzed the genome/autosomal DNA of 66 of medieval-era Lower Nubians.


    Many samples carry 62% - 51% Western Eurasian ancestry, with plenty of typical Eurasian mtdna, such as
    H2 and U5.



    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1...02.17.431423v1


    It appears that medieval Nubians were pretty much like modern Horners, which means they were a hybrid population.

    so looks like ancient Egyptian?

    Egyptian painting of a Libyan, a Kushi, a Syrian, and an Egyptian.In the Middle East, the Egyptians were seen as the Dark Other (Wikicommons)

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by kingjohn View Post



    p.s
    interesting for me that the 2 e-GG24 individuals (R101 and R93) ( an E-Z830 branch )
    https://www.yfull.com/tree/E-GG24/
    carried mtdna h2a

    thanks

    I6328 is T1a1a-L208

    I6340 is T1a1a-I31477

    I19140 who is LT is strange.......LT split into Haplogroups L and T ....42000years ago


    Every Haplogroup except E is West-Eurasia ....................do you know exactly where this area is ?
    Fathers mtdna ... T2b17
    Grandfather mtdna ... T1a1e
    Sons mtdna ... K1a4
    Mum paternal line ... R1b-S8172
    Grandmum paternal side ... I1-Y33791
    Wife paternal line ... R1a-Z282

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    Torzio: Lower Nubia was the area just pass the First Cataract of the Nile River, which was the border between ancient Egypt and Nubia. That border back then is not much different than the modern Egyptian and Sudan border. The area were these samples are from is nearer to the second cataract of the Nile, so in what again was Lower Nubia in ancient times.

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    2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by torzio View Post
    thanks

    I6328 is T1a1a-L208

    I6340 is T1a1a-I31477

    I19140 who is LT is strange.......LT split into Haplogroups L and T ....42000years ago


    Every Haplogroup except E is West-Eurasia ....................do you know exactly where this area is ?

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    Admixture between Egyptians and Nubians, which probably went both ways, didn't need to wait for the Christian period.

    "Much of Nubia came under Egyptian rule during the New Kingdom period (1550-1070 BC). Following Egypt's disintegration amid the Late Bronze Age collapse, the Kushites reestablished a kingdom in Napata (now modern Karima, Sudan). Though Kush had developed many cultural affinities with Egypt, such as the veneration of Amun, and the royal families of both kingdoms often intermarried, Kushite culture was distinct; Egyptian art distinguished the people of Kush by their dress, appearance, and even method of transportation.[6]King Kashta ("the Kushite") peacefully became King of Upper Egypt, while his daughter, Amenirdis, was appointed as Divine Adoratrice of Amun in Thebes.[8] Piye invaded Lower Egypt in the eighth century BC, establishing the Kushite-ruled Twenty-fifth Dynasty. Piye's daughter, Shepenupet II, was also appointed Divine Adoratrice of Amun. The monarchs of Kush ruled Egypt for over a century until the Assyrian conquest, finally being expelled by the Egyptian Psamtik I in the mid-seventh century BC. Following the severing of ties with Egypt, the Kushite imperial capital was located at Meroë, during which time it was known by the Greeks as Aethiopia.

    From the 3rd century BC to 3rd AD century, northern Nubia would be invaded and annexed to Egypt. Ruled by the Greeks and Romans for the next 600 years, this territory would be known in the Greco-Roman world as Dodekaschoinos. It was later taken back under control by the fourth Kushite king Yesebokheamani. The Kingdom of Kush persisted as a major regional power until the fourth century AD when it weakened and disintegrated from internal rebellion amid worsening climactic conditions. Meroë was captured and destroyed by the Kingdom of Aksum, marking the end of the kingdom and its dissolution into the three polities of Nobatia, Makuria and Alodia."

    The Christian period in Nubia was indeed very important, however.
    "The earliest references to Nubia's successor kingdoms are contained in accounts by Greek and Coptic authors of the conversion of Nubian kings to Christianity in the sixth century. According to tradition, a missionary sent by Byzantine empress Theodora arrived in Nobatia and started preaching the gospel about 540. It is possible that the conversion process began earlier, however, under the aegis of Coptic missionaries from Egypt, who in the previous century had brought Christianity to the Abyssinians. The Nubian kings accepted the Monophysite Christianity practiced in Egypt and acknowledged the spiritual authority of the Coptic patriarch of Alexandria over the Nubian church. A hierarchy of bishops named by the Coptic patriarch and consecrated in Egypt directed the church's activities and wielded considerable secular power. The church sanctioned a sacerdotal kingship, confirming the royal line's legitimacy. In turn the monarch protected the church's interests. The queen mother's role in the succession process paralleled that of Meroe's matriarchal tradition. Because women transmitted the right to succession, a renowned warrior not of royal birth might be nominated to become king through marriage to a woman in line of succession.

    The emergence of Christianity reopened channels to Mediterranean civilization and renewed Nubia's cultural and ideological ties to Egypt. The church encouraged literacy in Nubia through its Egyptian-trained clergy and in its monastic and cathedral schools. The use of Greek in liturgy eventually gave way to the Nubian language, which was written using an indigenous alphabet that combined elements of the old Meroitic and Coptic scripts. Coptic, however, often appeared in ecclesiastical and secular circles. Additionally, early inscriptions have indicated a continuing knowledge of colloquial Greek in Nubia as late as the twelfth century.

    The Christian Nubian kingdoms, which survived for many centuries, achieved their peak of prosperity and military power in the ninth and tenth centuries. However, Muslim Arab invaders, who in 640 had conquered Egypt, posed a threat to the Christian Nubian kingdoms. Most historians believe that Arab pressure forced Nobatia and Muqurra to merge into the kingdom of Dunqulah sometime before 700. Although the Arabs soon abandoned attempts to reduce Nubia by force, Muslim domination of Egypt often made it difficult to communicate with the Coptic patriarch or to obtain Egyptian-trained clergy. As a result, the Nubian church became isolated from the rest of the Christian world."
    http://countrystudies.us/sudan/5.htm

    So, this could have been a period of renewed admixture, particularly because it seems to be the traridition in the Coptic Church that men marry and then become priests. Plenty of opportunity for that to happen when they studied in Egypt.

    I think this is also very interesting in that there was a matriarchal tradition in Kush with even the royal power passing through the maternal line.

    It would be very interesting to see a comparison of the mtDna (and ydna) of these samples with those of modern Copts, who would be the best examples of pre-Islamic Egyptians. I'd be interested to know their percentage of West Eurasian as well.

    I think Horners have less than some of these Nubians, averaging around 50% I think, yes?

    Copts:




    You see SSA in some of them, but not very much. Some of them look completely Middle Eastern to me, some a bit like the Samaritans.






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    Quote Originally Posted by Palermo Trapani View Post
    Torzio: Lower Nubia was the area just pass the First Cataract of the Nile River, which was the border between ancient Egypt and Nubia. That border back then is not much different than the modern Egyptian and Sudan border. The area were these samples are from is nearer to the second cataract of the Nile, so in what again was Lower Nubia in ancient times.

    Is what you indicate the area called West-Eurasia ?
    or is
    West-eurasia in the Caucasus .................or is it on the east side of the Caspian sea ?


    I am after the reference called West-Eurasia and where is it ( too many people have too many different answers ) ................I do not associate any DNA with nations, religion, languages or ethnicity ..............Dna is older than these

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    torzio: The Study referred to West Eurasian ancestry Bronze Age ancestry that is related/associated with the populations that diverged from the Base West Eurasian Cluster, i.e., WHG, EHG, CHG, EEF_Anatolian, Levant_Neolithic, Iran_Neolithic, etc. So in the context of this study, I quickly read through it and the West Eurasian source ancestry that was modeled in two way admixture models was from the Levant to the Caucus region. With respect to the sources of West Eurasian ancestry, Sirak et al 2021 (pp.8-9) state and I quote

    "We examined the fit of the 21 ancient populations previously used for admixture f3-statistics as the West Eurasian-related source and found multiple plausible solutions for two-way admixture models (p>0.05) between Dinka and Bronze or Iron Age people from the Levant (Levant_BAIA) or Anatolia (Anatolia_EBA) (Supplementary Data 7). No West Eurasian populations predating the Bronze Age fit as plausible sources, suggesting that the West Eurasian-related ancestry in the Kulubnarti Nubians is complex and itself admixed, plausibly requiring both Levantine- and/or Anatolian-related ancestry as well as a non-trivial amount of Iranian/Caucasus-related ancestry, which was spread into Anatolia and the Levant in the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age."

    I hope this answers your question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Palermo Trapani View Post
    torzio: The Study referred to West Eurasian ancestry Bronze Age ancestry that is related/associated with the populations that diverged from the Base West Eurasian Cluster, i.e., WHG, EHG, CHG, EEF_Anatolian, Levant_Neolithic, Iran_Neolithic, etc. So in the context of this study, I quickly read through it and the West Eurasian source ancestry that was modeled in two way admixture models was from the Levant to the Caucus region. With respect to the sources of West Eurasian ancestry, Sirak et al 2021 (pp.8-9) state and I quote

    "We examined the fit of the 21 ancient populations previously used for admixture f3-statistics as the West Eurasian-related source and found multiple plausible solutions for two-way admixture models (p>0.05) between Dinka and Bronze or Iron Age people from the Levant (Levant_BAIA) or Anatolia (Anatolia_EBA) (Supplementary Data 7). No West Eurasian populations predating the Bronze Age fit as plausible sources, suggesting that the West Eurasian-related ancestry in the Kulubnarti Nubians is complex and itself admixed, plausibly requiring both Levantine- and/or Anatolian-related ancestry as well as a non-trivial amount of Iranian/Caucasus-related ancestry, which was spread into Anatolia and the Levant in the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age."

    I hope this answers your question.

    I had a look around the net and west-eurasia means the north-caucasus, the south -caucasus and Asia-Minor ( anatolia )

    a 2014 paper states this......seems like this current paper followed suit

    A similar signal of west Eurasian ancestry is present throughout eastern Africa. In particular, we also find evidence for two admixture events in the history of Kenyan, Tanzanian, and Ethiopian populations, the earlier of which involved populations related to west Eurasians and which we date to ∼2,700–3,300 y ago. We reconstruct the allele frequencies of the putative west Eurasian population in eastern Africa and show that this population is a good proxy for the west Eurasian ancestry in southern Africa

    So, these west-eurasians entered eastern africa , be it Sudan, Ethiopia , Somalia, Tanzania etc in the early iron-age ................so where did they come from

    in the end , I will stick with this paper and what they claim

    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/423079v1.full
    Last edited by torzio; 19-02-21 at 18:16.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Torzio: I clearly stated that West Eurasian populations include the Western Hunter gathers (WHG), the Eastern Hunter Gathers (EHG), Caucus Hunter Gathers (CHG), Anatolian Farmers, Iran_Neolithic, and Levant Neolithic, etc. The West Eurasians that went into East Africa according to the paper are from the Levant, Anatolia, Iran/Caucuses, etc. That is what the Sirak et al 2021 paper states. The Lazaradis et al paper you linked analyzed 2 samples from like 27K BC from Georgia (Dzudzuana) and finds this ancestry is related to the later Anatolian Farmers and the Villabruna WHG from NE Italy. A another recent paper, I linked it last night, shows that Anatolian type ancestry was coming into Europe before 14K years ago, well before the Neolithic Farmers.

    So nothing in the the papers you are referring to relate to the question you asked me, in my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    What is particularly interesting to me is that the West Eurasian ancestry in these Medieval Christian people in Nubia was not, as is usual, brought by men, but rather by women. Did they exchange their natural resources for women from the lower Nile? The chart makes it clear that the West Eurasian in these people was not brought predominantly by Arab slave traders, which was often a default position in the past.

    "We find that the Kulubnarti Nubians were admixed with ~43% Nilotic-related ancestry on average (individual proportions varied between ~36-54%) and the remaining ancestry reflecting a West Eurasian-related gene pool likely introduced into Nubia through Egypt, but ultimately deriving from an ancestry pool like that found in the Bronze and Iron Age Levant. The admixed ancestry at Kulubnarti reflects interactions between genetically-distinct people in northeast Africa spanning almost a millennium, with West Eurasian ancestry disproportionately associated with females, highlighting the impact of female mobility in this region."

    @King John, those two mtdna might have made it to Egypt from more western North Africa, perhaps all the way from Morocco, before heading down to Nubia?

    There was additional admixture since the Christian period, apparently, presumably from African people given that I don't think present day Nubians are 57% West Eurasian, or, perhaps, this studied Christian group was not necessarily reflective of the entire population in the Medieval Period?

    An interesting question arises versus Horners. To my knowledge their mtDna is not as West Eurasian as this, and they have more yDna leading back to the Levant. So, we may have an example of different pulses of West Eurasian dna into Nubia and the Horn.

    Anyone know if modern Nubians show this West Eurasian mtDna, and if they have a lot of Levantine yDna?

    Perhaps the paper itself when I get to read it will explain things more clearly.

    Could be angela
    H2 mtdna is very west eurasian mtdna
    Found in neolithic italy ( i think moots roman paper)

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    "We find that the Kulubnarti Nubians were admixed with ~43% Nilotic-related ancestry on average (individual proportions varied between ~36-54%) and the remaining ancestry reflecting a West Eurasian-related gene pool likely introduced into Nubia through Egypt, but ultimately deriving from an ancestry pool like that found in the Bronze and Iron Age Levant. The admixed ancestry at Kulubnarti reflects interactions between genetically-distinct people in northeast Africa spanning almost a millennium, with West Eurasian ancestry disproportionately associated with females, highlighting the impact of female mobility in this region."
    Kulubnarti was one of the last known refuges for Christians in Nubia. It has only been inhabited since the time of the Christian kingdom of Makuria. The Kulubnarti Nubians lived in a remote island community in northern Sudan and they were probably not directly related to ancient Nubians. The Kulubnarti Nubians migrated from the Levant via Egypt to establish the Christian kingdom.

    We pooled the individuals from Kulubnarti (again excluding outliers) and, using Dinka and Levant_BAIA as a reference pair, estimated admixture to have occurred an average of ~22.2±1.4 generations, or ~620±40 years (95%CI, ~700-545 years), before the studied individuals lived, assuming a generation time of 28 years62 (Supplementary Data 11). Using 815 CE as the midpoint of the calibrated modeled age range for Kulubnarti, this places admixture occurring on average during the early-2nd to late-3rd centuries CE (95%CI), although the dates obtained with this method are based on a model of a single pulse of admixture and thus reflect an intermediate value if the true history includes multiple waves or continuous admixture, which is likely at Kulubnarti given the individual-level variance in ancestry proportions. Running DATES separately on the cemetery groups Kulubnarti_R and Kulubnarti_S, we found that the average admixture dates are overlapping, estimated to have occurred 21.7±1.9 and 22.3±1.7 generations, or ~610±50 and ~625±50 years (95%CI, ~715–500 years), respectively, before the studied individuals lived (Supplementary Data 11). This provides additional support for the similar population histories of the people buried in the two cemeteries.
    Last edited by ThirdTerm; 27-02-21 at 06:02.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThirdTerm View Post
    Kulubnarti was one of the last known refuges for Christians in Nubia. It has only been inhabited since the time of the Christian kingdom of Makuria. The Kulubnarti Nubians lived in a remote island community in northern Sudan and they were probably not directly related to ancient Nubians. The Kulubnarti Nubians migrated from the Levant via Egypt to establish the Christian kingdom.
    Very interesting. They shouldn't be drawing broad conclusions about Nubians based on them in that case.

    Could you direct me to other materials on them?

    Thanks in advance. :)

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