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This list relates to the academic year Academic Year 2016/17 which ended on 23/06/2017
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  1. Background Reading for course 17 items
    1. Recommended texts 8 items
      No single book yet provides an up-to-date interpretative synthesis of the archaeology of the early Islamic world. The following books provide good introductions to the art and archaeology of this vast region.
      1. Islamic art and architecture 650-1250 - Richard Ettinghausen, Oleg Grabar, Marilyn Jenkins 2001

        Book Recommended Excellent overviews of the major architectural and artistic developments in the early Islamic period, though centred on Syria-Palestine and Iraq and monumental buildings.

      2. The New Cambridge History of Islam 2010

        Book Recommended E Book -The best scholarly reference work for the history of the early Islamic period with bibliographic chapters on different periods and regions. This is a great place to start when researching for your essays.

      3. The archaeology of Islam - Timothy Insoll 1999

        Book Recommended

      4. Islamic art in context: art, architecture, and the literary world - Robert Irwin 1997

        Book Recommended

      5. Islamic art and visual culture: an anthology of sources - D. F. Ruggles 2011

        Book Recommended

      6. An introduction to Islamic archaeology - Marcus Milwright c2010

        Book Recommended E Book

      7. Islamic art and architecture - Robert Hillenbrand 1999

        Book Optional

    2. Some easy-to-read introductions to Islam and the early Islamic world 5 items
      These books are primarily written for a popular audience and provide a good introduction to some of the key issues in the course. Do not rely heavily on them in your written assessments.
      1. The great Arab conquests: how the spread of Islam changed the world we live in - Hugh Kennedy 2007

        Book Recommended Introductory - a good narrative account of the conquests

      2. Islamic history: a very short introduction - Adam J. Silverstein 2010

        Book Recommended A VERY short intro (with limited bibliography) to some of the big issues in Islamic history

      3. The great caliphs: the golden age of the 'Abbasid Empire - Amira K. Bennison 2009

        Book Recommended

      4. The Koran: a very short introduction - Michael Cook 2000

        Book Optional

      5. Muhammad and the believers: at the origins of Islam - Fred McGraw Donner 2012

        Book Recommended Important account of how Islam first evolved

    3. Reference works 4 items
      1. Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd edition

        Webpage Recommended The most important reference book for the Islamic world. It has entries on sites, regions, individuals, politics, key terms. It is easiest to use online.

      2. The Encyclopaedia of Islam - H. A. R. Gibb, P. J. Bearman 1960-2009

        Book Essential The most important reference book for the Islamic world. It has entries on sites, regions, individuals, politics, key terms. It is easiest to use online.

      3. Dictionary of Islamic architecture - Andrew Petersen 1996

        Book  Basic reference work for sites and buildings in early Islamic world

      4. An historical atlas of Islam - Hugh Kennedy 2002

        Book 

  2. Week 1: Why the Early Islamic World? 21 items
    What do we mean by the Islamic world and what does it mean to different scholars today? What is the role of the first centuries of Islam in current world history. This introductory session outlines the core questions and aims of the module. We will consider the nature of the sources, the geography and environment of the Islamic world, the history of the discipline and how these factors have shaped the development and current state of Islamic archaeology.
    1. Recommended Reading 4 items
      1. The archaeology of Islam - Timothy Insoll 1999

        Book Essential Read 'Introduction', pp 1-25

      2. The great Arab conquests: how the spread of Islam changed the world we live in - Hugh Kennedy 2007

        Book Recommended Read 'Foreword: Remembrance of things past', pp 12-33. Copies in INST ARCH 3833

      3. The rise of Islamic archaeology - Vernoit, Stephen

        Article Recommended

      4. Early Islamic Syria: an archaeological assessment - Alan Walmsley 2007

        Book Essential E Book - Read Ch 1 - Defining Islamic Archaeology in Syria-Palestine, pp 15-30

    2. Further reading: the sources and their problems 6 items
      1. Numismatics - Stefan Heidemann

        Chapter Optional E Book

      2. Islamic art and visual culture: an anthology of sources - D. F. Ruggles 2011

        Book Optional

      3. Islamic history: a framework for inquiry - R. Stephen Humphreys 1991

        Book Optional

      4. Arabic Papyri and Islamic Egypt - Petra Sijptesteijn

        Chapter Optional E Book

      5. Archaeology and text - John Moreland 2001

        Book Optional

      6. Ceramics from Islamic lands - Oliver Watson 2004

        Book Optional

    3. Further reading: historiography 11 items
      1. Archaeology and Islam - A. Northedge

        Chapter 

  3. Week 2. Out of Arabia: Muhammad and the Rise of Islam 24 items
    By AD 400, ancient Eurasia was dominated by two great super-powers: the Roman (sometimes called Byzantine) and Sasanian empires. Outside both empires was the Arabian peninsula, occupied by a number of fluid kingdoms and tribes, some practicing Christianity and Judaism, others a variety of pagan religions. This session contextualise the origins and development of Islam and the early Islamic state within its late antique and Arabian setting. What were the distinguishing features of Arabian society before Islam? How did Islam develop and what were its key characteristics in this formative period? Finally, how did Muhammad and his small group of followers – the ‘Community of Believers’ – conquer the Arabian peninsula and vast swathes of the territories of the Roman and Sasanian empires? And what was the impact of the conquests for their new subjects?
    1. Recommended Reading 5 items
      1. Arabia and the Arabs: from the Bronze Age to the coming of Islam - Robert G. Hoyland 2001

        Book Essential Ch 7- Art, architecture and artefacts’. Consult other chapters of interest.

      2. Early Islamic Syria: an archaeological assessment - Alan Walmsley 2007

        Book Essential E Book - Read p 31-47

      3. The prophet and the age of the caliphates: the Islamic Near East from the sixth to the eleventh century - Hugh Kennedy 2004

        Book Essential E Book - READ Ch 2 'The Birth of the Islamic State', p 15-33.

    2. Background 6 items
      1. The Mediterranean world in late antiquity, AD 395-600 - Averil Cameron 1993

        Book Recommended Read p152-96

      2. Muhammad and the believers: at the origins of Islam - Fred McGraw Donner 2012

        Book Recommended Read p34-89

      3. The Koran: a very short introduction - Michael Cook 2000

        Book Recommended

      4. Pre-Islamic Arabia - Michael Lecker

        Chapter Optional E Book

      5. The rise of Islam, 600–705 - Chase F. Robinson

        Chapter Optional E Book - Thorough and useful overview

    3. Further Reading 13 items
      1. Roman Arabia - G. W. Bowersock 1983

        Book Optional

      2. The early Islamic conquests - Fred McGraw Donner c1981

        Book Optional E Book

      3. The House of the Prophet and the Concept of the Mosque - Jeremy Johns

        Chapter Optional

      4. Urbanism in Arabia - DONALD WHITCOMB 05/1996

        Article Optional

      5. Rome and the Arabs - Irfan Shahîd 1984

        Book Optional Not held by UCL. Try SOAS and BL.

  4. Week 3. From Conquest to Empire: The Umayyads 23 items
    The Arab conquests created the largest empire the world had ever seen, an empire that stretched from Spain to the Indus. This empire was known as the caliphate – from the Arabic title of the ruler khalifat Allah ‘the deputy of god’. After a short period of consolidation, the caliphate was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty who ruled out of Jerusalem and then Damascus between 660 and 750. The first session will examine the key developmental phases in the state under the Umayyads and the introduction of some of the key traits that we identify with ‘Islamic’ rulership. We will zoom in on Syria, the seat of the Umayyad dynasty, and examine some of the key changes that took place in Jerusalem and Damascus before turning to the desert frontier of Bilad al-Sham and discussing a series of sites known collectively – although perhaps not very accurately – as the ‘desert castles’ or qusur (Arabic plural: qasr).
    1. Recommended Reading 5 items
      1. New documentary texts and the early Islamic state - Robert Hoyland, Hoyland, Robert 19/10/2006

        Article Essential

      2. The Meaning of the Umayyad Dome of the Rock - Nasser Rabbat, Rabbat, Nasser 1989

        Article Recommended

      3. Umayyad Castles: the shift from Late Antique Military Architecture to Early Islamic Palatial Building - Denis Genequand

        Chapter Essential Copies in TC INST ARCH 3831

    2. Background - the Umayyads 4 items
      1. Islamic art and architecture 650-1250 - Richard Ettinghausen, Oleg Grabar, Marilyn Jenkins 2001

        Book Optional READ pp 15-70

    3. Further reading - Umayyad art and architecture 13 items
      1. From Arabian Tribes to Islamic Empire - Patricia Crone March 2008 (Hardcover)

        Book Optional Not held by UCL - available at SOAS and BL.

      2. The expansion of the early Islamic state - Fred McGraw Donner c2008

        Book 

      3. Why did 'Abd al-Malik build the Dome of the Rock - A Elad

        Chapter Optional Not held by UCL (on order) - available at SOAS and BL.

      4. Quṣayr ʻAmra - Garth Fowden 2004

        Book Optional

      5. The Great Mosque of Damascus: studies on the makings of an Ummayad visual culture - Finbarr Barry Flood 2001

        Book Optional

      6. The shape of the holy: early Islamic Jerusalem - Oleg Grabar, Abeer Audeh, Said Nuseibeh, Mohammad Al-Asad c1996

        Book Optional

  5. Week 4. The Abbasids and the Mature Empire 16 items
    In 750, the Abbasids seized power and moved to Iraq, the centre of their power. There, they founded a new capital at Baghdad and later Samarra, both on a scale that was unrivalled elsewhere in size or splendour. In marked contrast to western Europe and the neighbouring Byzantine empire, this period was characterised by the development of large cities, monumental architecture, new technologies in areas such as ceramics, glass-making, paper-making and agriculture. Accordingly, the Abbasid period is often described as a ‘Gold Age’. What impact did the move of the capital from Syria to Iraq have on the empire? How did the Abbasids establish and maintain their vast territories? What did the new architecture of caliphal power look like? And how did they interact with their neighbours on the frontiers and what was the role of jihad in this period?
    1. Recommended Reading 5 items
      1. Chapter 10 - - Frontier or Frontiers? Interaction and Exchange in Frontier Societies

        Chapter Essential Copies in TC INST ARCH 3839

      2. Islamic art and architecture - Robert Hillenbrand 1999

        Book Recommended Read Ch 'The Abbasids' 277-309

      3. The historical topography of Samarra - Alastair Northedge, Fondation Max van Berchem, British School of Archaeology in Iraq 2005

        Book Essential READ Ch 6 - Surra Man Ra'a: the city of al-Mu'tasim, pp 97-130

    2. Background - the Abbasids 3 items
      1. Islamic art in context: art, architecture, and the literary world - Robert Irwin 1997

        Book Optional Ch 5 - Palace Life, p104-131

      2. The great caliphs: the golden age of the 'Abbasid Empire - Amira K. Bennison 2009

        Book Optional

    3. Further reading 8 items
      1. Cities and caliphs: on the genesis of Arab Muslim urbanism - Nezar AlSayyad 1991

        Book Recommended 'Planned capital cities: ideal constructs or imperial palaces' Copies in TC INST ARCH 3835

      2. The early Abbasid Caliphate: a political history - Hugh Kennedy c1981

        Book Optional

      3. The Armies of the Caliphs - Hugh (Hugh N.) Kennedy September 7, 2001

        Book Optional

      4. The topography of Baghdad in the early Middle Ages - Jacob Lassner 1970

        Book Optional Not held by UCL, available at SOAS and BL. Read esp 'The Building of Madinat as-Salam' and the 'Dar al-Khalifa'

      5. Remarks on Samarra and the archaeology of large cities - Alastair Northedge, Northedge, Alastair 200503

        Article 

  6. Week 5. The “Islamic” city: the debate 17 items
    Was there a model of ‘Islamic urbanism’ and if so, when did it appear? Cities underwent significant change during the course of late antiquity and the early Islamic period. In Syria-Palestine and the Islamic West, the gridded and colonnaded streets of the ‘classical’ Graeco-Roman city were replaced by irregular alleys, suqs (markets) and mosques effecting a transformation from polis (Greek ‘city’) to madina (Arabic – ‘city’) as Hugh Kennedy has described in an important article. But the Muslims did not simply take over the existing fabric, they built their own cities too: the amsar (garrison cities), palace-cities as well as other urban centres to fill trading, social or economic needs.
    1. Recommended Reading 5 items
      1. Anjar and early Islamic urbanism - R. Hillenbrand 1999

        Chapter Recommended Copies in TC INST ARCH 3840

      2. An Urban Structure for the Early Islamic City - Don Whitcomb

        Chapter Essential Copies in TC INST ARCH 3835

    2. Further reading 12 items
      1. The idea and ideal of the town between late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages - Gian Pietro Brogiolo, J. B. Ward-Perkins c1999

        Book Optional

      2. Cities in the pre-modern Islamic world: the urban impact of religion, state and society - Amira K. Bennison, Alison L. Gascoigne 2007

        Book Optional

      3. The archaeology of Islam - Timothy Insoll 1999

        Book Optional READ pp201-226

      4. How to found an Islamic city - Hugh Kennedy

        Chapter Optional

      5. From Shahristan to Medina - Kennedy, Hugh

        Article 

      6. The city in the Islamic world - Salma Khadra Jayyusi, Renata Holod, Attilio Petruccioli, André Raymond 2008

        Book 

      7. Jerusalem and Mecca - F. E. Peters 1986

        Book Optional Not held by UCL, available at SOAS and BL

      8. The city in the Islamic world - Salma Khadra Jayyusi, Renata Holod, Attilio Petruccioli, André Raymond 2008

        Book Recommended

      9. Islamic city, Arab city: orientalist myths and recent views - André Raymond, Raymond, André 23/01/1994

        Article Optional

      10. Gardens, landscape, and vision in the palaces of Islamic Spain - D. Fairchild Ruggles c2000

        Book Optional 'Madinat al-Zahra', pp 53-85

  7. Week 6: The Islamic City at work 16 items
    Following on from session 5, this session explores how the Islamic city worked in the period between the Islamic conquest and 13th century. Exploring how the urban space was structured, we consider how practical services (water supply and waste disposal), economic functions, religious needs, administrative requirements, and elite display and patronage, shaped the cities of the Islamic world. To what extent was the development of neighbourhoods, the interplay of secular and religious rule, and changing pressures of administrative control and security, key elements in shaping urban landscape and its social networks? How did housing, shops, workshops and souks develop in these frameworks? Where did industrial processes take place? What were the rhythms of daily urban life?
    1. Recommended Reading 3 items
      1. The Water Supply of Tinnis: Public amenities and private investments - Alison Gascoigne

        Chapter Essential

    2. Further reading: housing and urban life 6 items
      1. The archaeology of Islam - Timothy Insoll 1999

        Book Optional READ 'The Domestic Environment', pp113-36

      2. Early Islamic Syria: an archaeological assessment - Alan Walmsley 2007

        Book Optional E Book - Especially pp 113-36

      3. The city in the Islamic world - Salma Khadra Jayyusi, Renata Holod, Attilio Petruccioli, André Raymond 2008

        Book Optional Especially: Dar-Al Ma: The Architecture of Water in the Islamic Countries (Calogero Montalbano); The Economy of the Traditional City (André Raymond); The Management of the City (André Raymond); Citizenhood: Proof Against the Century (Mohammed Naciri); House and Fabric in the Islamic Mediterranean City (Attilio Petruccioli); The Gendered City (Lucienne Thys-Şenocak)

    3. Further reading: urban space 7 items
      See session 5 plus:
      1. Cairo - Nezar AlSayyad 2011

        Book Optional

      2. Traditional vs modern Arabian morphologies - Roha Khalaf, Khalaf, Roha W 25/05/2012

        Article 

      3. Les fouilles de Paykend : nouveaux éléments - Rocco Rante, Abdisabur Raimkulov

        Article Optional

  8. Week 7: Religion and Conversion 20 items
    One of the most remarkable consequences of the Arabs conquests was the rapid spread of Islam and Islamic culture. How did a religion that emerged in the Arabian Peninsula in the seventh century spread so far and fast? How and when did the Muslim minority become the majority? What were Muslim-Christian relations like in this formative period? Building on discussion of Islam in previous sessions, we will consider how archaeologists can identify Muslim practices in the material record and the potentials and pitfalls of attempting to map conversion to Islam.
    1. Recommended Reading 5 items
      1. Islam: the view from the edge - Richard W. Bulliet 1994

        Book Recommended READ pp37-66

      2. The archaeology of Islam - Timothy Insoll 1999

        Book Essential Especially Ch 2 and 4 if you have not already read them

      3. The archaeology of Islam in sub-Saharan Africa - Timothy Insoll 2003

        Book Essential READ P12-22

      4. The House of the Prophet and the Concept of the Mosque - Jeremy Johns

        Chapter Recommended Copies in TC INST ARCH 3832

    2. Further reading: Islam 12 items
      1. The Koran: a very short introduction - Michael Cook 2000

        Book 

      2. The shape of the holy: early Islamic Jerusalem - Oleg Grabar, Abeer Audeh, Said Nuseibeh, Mohammad Al-Asad c1996

        Book 

      3. An introduction to Islamic archaeology - Marcus Milwright c2010

        Book Optional E Book - Read Ch 6 'Religious Practice in the Islamic world' for a summary

      4. Changing social identity with the spread of Islam: archaeological perspectives - Donald S. Whitcomb c2004

        Book Optional Also available online at the Oriental Institute website

    3. Further reading: Muslim-Christian (and Jewish) interactions 3 items
      See also bibliography for 'iconoclasm' in Week 10.
  9. Week 8. The 'Green Revolution' and Industrial Innovation 25 items
    This week focuses on new introductions and technological change. In the 1970s, Andrew Watson proposed that there was a ‘Green Revolution’ after the Arab conquests that introduced new plant species (water melons, oranges, etc.) and new methods for cultivation across the Islamic world that underpinned this rural boom. The first session will analyse this controversial model and its reception in light of the latest archaeological research on technological change, rural settlement patterns and the introduction of new species. The second session turns to the emergence and spread of new manufacturing techniques and industries. We will focus particularly on the significant developments in the production of glass and glazed ceramics that took place in the Middle East during the 9th century AD, including the development of lustre-painting.
    1. Recommended Reading 6 items
      1. Read one of the following: 2 items
        1. Agricultural innovation in the early Islamic world: the diffusion of crops and farming techniques, 700-1100 - Andrew M. Watson 1983

          Book Essential READ p 1-6, 123-8. Copies in TC INST ARCH 3836

      2. Islamic art in context: art, architecture, and the literary world - Robert Irwin 1997

        Book Recommended READ Ch 6 – Artists, Guilds and Craft Technology

      3. An introduction to Islamic archaeology - Marcus Milwright c2010

        Book Essential E Book - READ ‘Chapter -Crafts and Industry’, pp 143-58

      4. Experiment and innovation: early Islamic industry at al-Raqqa, Syria - Henderson, JulianChallis, KeithO'Hara, SarahMcLouglin, Seanet al Mar 2005

        Article Essential

    2. Further reading: agriculture and rural life 11 items
      1. Irrigation Agrosystems in Eastern Spain: Roman or Islamic Origins? - Karl W. Butzer, Juan F. Mateu, Elisabeth K. Butzer, Pavel Kraus 12/1985

        Article Optional

      2. The Countryside: the Roman Agricultural and Hydraulic Legacy of the Islamic Mediterranean - D Fairchild Ruggles

        Chapter 

      3. Islamic and Christian Spain in the early Middle Ages - Thomas F. Glick 1979

        Book Optional

      4. An introduction to Islamic archaeology - Marcus Milwright c2010

        Book Optional E Book - Read 'The Countryside', pp 59-74

    3. Further reading: technology and production 8 items
      1. Early Islamic pottery: materials and techniques - Anne-Marie Keblow Bernsted 2003

        Book Optional

      2. Islamic art and visual culture: an anthology of sources 2011

        Book Recommended

      3. Ancient glass: an interdisciplinary exploration - Julian Henderson 2013

        Book Optional

      4. Ceramics from Islamic lands - Oliver Watson 2004

        Book Optional

  10. Week 9. New Trading Worlds From the Sahara to the Silk Roads 28 items
    Between 800 and 1100 CE, the stability of the Abbasid caliphate and the spread of Muslim diaspora communities supported a huge boom in trade and exchange and the establishment of new trading links stretching from Central Asia to the Atlantic. Slaves, luxury goods, ceramics, metal objects, textiles as well as more mundane goods were exchanged by sea and by land. How did the infrastructure of these new maritime and land trading networks operate? What was being exchanged and how can we identify the movement of goods and peoples archaeologically? We will examine in close detail two case-studies: the Saharan trading routes in North Africa and the Silk Roads in Central Asia.
    1. Recommended Reading 5 items
      1. Mohammed, Charlemagne & the origins of Europe: archaeology and the Pirenne thesis - Richard Hodges, David Whitehouse 1983

        Book Essential The Abbasid Caliphate. Copies in TC INST ARCH 3827

      2. Arab seafaring in the Indian Ocean in ancient and early medieval times - Hourani, George Fadlo ; Carswell, John

        Webpage Recommended Read 'Trade Routes under the Caliphate', pp 51-86 Copies in TC INST ARCH 3838

      3. African connections: an archaeological perspective on Africa and the wider world - Peter Mitchell c2005

        Book Essential E Book - Read ' The Sahara and it s Shores', pp 148-72

      4. Regional exchange and the role of the shop in Byzantine and Early Islamic Syria-Palestine: an archaeological view - Alan Walmsley

        Chapter Essential Copies in TC INST ARCH 3837

    2. Further reading: Sahara 4 items
      1. Islam, archaeology and slavery in Africa - Alexander, Alexander, J 05/01/2001

        Article Optional

    3. Further reading: Silk Roads 4 items
      1. Cotton, climate, and camels in early Islamic Iran: a moment in world history - Richard W. Bulliet c2009

        Book Optional

      2. The road inns (khāns) in Bilād al-Shām - Katia Cytryn-Silverman 2010

        Book Optional

      3. Sogdian traders: a history - Étienne de La Vaissière 2005

        Book Optional

    4. Further reading: trade and exchange 15 items
      1. The Vikings and Islam - Egil Mikkelsen 2008

        Article Optional

      2. Black Sea Trade and the Islamic World down to the Mongol Period - A Peacock

        Chapter Optional

      3. The Roman and Islamic spice trade: New archaeological evidence - Marijke Van der Veen, Jacob Morales 06/2015

        Article Optional

  11. Week 10. The Past in the Present: The Early Islamic World Today 17 items
    The history and heritage of the Islamic world is being destroyed at an unprecedented rate. Major threats come from war and conflict, rapid development, deliberate destruction, looting and the illegal antiquities trade. At the same time, the history of early Islam and the first caliphates have become appropriated in very different ways by nationalist, supra-national and more local agendas. These developments pose significant challenges for archaeologists working in the field and for the discipline of Islamic archaeology. We will discuss in detail the discourse of ‘Islamic iconoclasm’ and the deliberate destruction of heritage in the Middle East today. Since this is the final class, we will also reflect on the current state of research on the Islamic world and the possibilities for the future.
    1. Recommended Reading 5 items
      1. Religion and Iconoclasm - Finbarr Barry Flood, Jaś Elsner 2016-01-1

        Article Essential Read Flood article 'Idol Breaking as Image Making in the 'Islamic' State'

      2. Satellite Imagery-Based Analysis of Archaeological Looting in Syria - Jesse Casana, Jesse Casana, 2015

        Article Recommended Statistics on types of archaeological damage & destruction in Middle East

      3. The Caliphate - Hugh Kennedy - Google Books - Hugh Kennedy

        Book Essential On Order - read, 'The Twentieth Century and Beyond', pp 365-76. PDF will be supplied.

    2. Further reading: iconoclasm 5 items
      1. Mosaics as history: the Near East from late antiquity to Islam - G. W. Bowersock 2006

        Book Optional READ CH 4 - Iconoclasms, pp 91-112

      2. Iconoclasm as Discourse: From Antiquity to Byzantium - Jaś Elsner, Elsner, Jaś 30/09/2012

        Article Optional

      3. Islam, iconoclasm, and the declaration of doctrine - G. R. D. King, King, G. R. D. 1985-6-24

        Article Optional

    3. Further reading: heritage politics 7 items
      There is a vast literature but the following are helpful:
      1. Heritage Politics: Learning from Mullah Omar? - R. Bernbeck

        Chapter Optional

      2. POST-COLONIAL RUINS: - Chiara De Cesari 12/2015

        Article Optional

      3. European archaeology abroad: global settings, comparative perspectives - Sjoerd van der Linde c2012

        Book Optional

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