Archive for March, 2011

Local museums score Roman coin hoard, gold torcs

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Two major ancient treasure troves discovered by metal detector enthusiasts, one in Stirling, Scotland, the other in Somerset, England, have been acquired by local museums thanks to grants from the Art Fund and the National Heritage Memorial Fund.

The Stirling hoard is a group of four gold torcs found by metal detectorist David Booth in 2009. Booth received £462,000 ($740,000) for the find after a ruling by the Scottish Archaeological Finds Allocation Panel determined where the treasure should go and how much of a reward that institution should pay the finder. In October 2010 the panel decided the torcs would go to the National Museum of Scotland, but as per standard practice, the museum had to raise the reward funds. That’s not an easy thing to accomplish in these meager economic times. The funds, museum and government all had to pitch in. The National Heritage Memorial Fund gave £154,000, the Art Fund £100,000, the National Museum of Scotland £123,000 and the Scottish government £85,000.

The second discovery is the Frome Hoard, a huge pot packed full of 52,500 3rd century Roman coins found by a metal detectorist in a Somerset field last summer. The pot and contents weigh 160 kg (350 lbs). It was the largest number of coins ever found in a single pot and the second largest hoard of Roman coins ever found in the UK. It’s headed to the Museum of Somerset, where it will become a centerpiece of its permanent collection. The hoard was valued at £320,250. The museum was able to purchase it thanks to a £294,000 grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, plus £40,250 and another £10,000 in matching funds from the Art Fund. They also got tens of thousands more pounds from public donations. The extra money allows the museum to allocate £100,000 to conservation of the treasure.

The Frome hoard has been in the British Museum since its discovery, so Somerset is bursting with local pride that they get to keep a find of such national importance in the area where it was found. That was by no means a foregone conclusion, and in England, unlike in Scotland, if the museum had been unable to raise the reward money the coins could have been sold to the highest bidder. The coins will go on display this summer after the museum’s renovations are complete.

Colosseum won’t be prostituted after all. Much.

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

I mentioned in passing last fall that the Italian Culture Ministry was soliciting €25 million (about $35 million) from private donors for a much-needed multi-year restoration of the Colosseum. I noted then that I was too distressed at the nightmarish prospect of advertising spooge being slathered all over the original and greatest of all sports arenas to write a full entry about it. There’s some good news on that score now, so it’s time to share.

First a little background. The Colosseum is in horrible condition. It’s blackened by pollution, weakened by millennia of earthquakes and marble thefts, constantly shaken by the subway that runs right next to it. Last May, chunks of ancient plaster fell from the roof of one of the entrances, crashing through the (obviously misnamed) safety netting to the ground. Thankfully it happened at dawn, because if it had been during visiting hours people could have been severely harmed, even killed.

The Culture Ministry announced in July that they would be accepting bids from private sponsors between August 4th and September 15th. Meanwhile, they weren’t saying much about what private funding would mean in terms of advertising and promotional concessions granted to the donors. Culture Minister Sandro Bondi said at the July announcement that the donors would be allowed to “promote their image,” but that any ads would have to be compatible with the decorum of the building.

That wasn’t exactly reassuring, and when by the fall they hadn’t received a single sponsorship offer, I feared the worst. Money talks and the situation was desperate enough that even if the city or state had wanted to keep things circumspect in theory, it seemed likely to me that they would cave like 2000-year-old plaster chunks if the donation hinged on some dystopic hell of Blade Runner-esque billboarding. They had allowed horrendously huge ads to cover the facades of major buildings in Venice, after all, so there was a precedent.

Finally this January shoe mogul Diego Della Valle of Tod’s stepped up (yuk yuk) and offered to fund the $35 million restoration for the honor of the Made in Italy brand. He was hoping to inspire more of his fellow plutocrats to pitch in on this project and others too. At the announcement of the Tod’s funding offer being accepted, Italian Culture Minister Sandro Bondi said there wouldn’t be shoe commercials on the monument itself, but there were no details beyond that.

I don’t know if it was the protests ignited by the crimes against art, history, architecture and beauty in Venice or what, but it seems the Colosseum has dodged the bullet. For now.

In exchange for its sponsorship, Tod’s will be allowed to publicise the restoration nationally and internationally, to use the phrase “Sole sponsor of the conservation of the Colosseum” together with its brand names, and to publish the conservation process on its website. The project involves not only the consolidation of the AD72-80 amphitheatre’s stonework, but new lighting, a security system, and the development of visitor services.

So Tod’s will get to pimp the restoration in its promotional materials, but the Colosseum itself will not be hitting the ho stroll. Now let’s just keep our fingers crossed that the work gets done on time and on budget (yes, I laughed typing that) because the road to hell is paved with cost overruns.

Roman altars first evidence of Mithraism in Scotland

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

The two Roman altar stones found last year under a cricket pavilion in Musselburgh, Scotland were so brittle that archaeologists were only able to turn them over this month. When they did so, they found that they were dedicated to Mithras, the bull-slaying deity of the eponymous mystery religion, and to Sol, the sun god of the late empire who features prominently in Mithraic iconography. These are the first Mithraic artifacts ever found in Scotland, and the farthest north.

Dedication to Mithras (altar stone lying on its backThe first stone has side panels depicting a lyre – a stringed musical instrument – and a griffon, a mythical beast which had a lion’s body and an eagle’s head and wings, along with pictures of a jug and bowl, objects which would have been used for pouring offerings on the altar.

The front face bears a carved inscription dedicating the altar to the god Mithras.

The four seasons on Sol altar stoneThe front face of the second stone shows female heads which represent the four seasons – spring, summer, autumn and winter. All are wearing headdresses – spring flowers, summer foliage, autumn grapes and a shawl for winter.

Sol with crown of raysThe centre of the stone contains a carving of the face of a god, probably Sol, wearing a solar crown. The eyes, mouth and solar rays are all pierced and the hollowed rear shaft would probably have held a lantern or candle letting the light shine through.

An inscription on a panel beneath the four seasons is currently partially obscured but likely bears the name of the dedicator who is believed to be a Roman centurion, and the god to whom the altar is dedicated. Traces of red and white paint are still visible beneath the inscription panel suggesting that it was originally brightly painted at least in part.

The altars were toppled in antiquity and were thus found face down with several large cracks and breaks in the stone. AOC Archaeology Group, the team contracted to survey the site for archaeological remains before construction, boxed them up to keep them from breaking into pieces and put them in storage. Archaeologists could therefore only examine the back and sides of the altar stones. At that time they mistakenly thought one of them was dedicated to Jupiter. When they finally turned them over, the archaeologists were overjoyed to find the far more rare and archaeologically significant Mithraic iconography.

Fresco of Mithras slaying the bull, 2nd c. AD, Marino, ItalyMithraism had a large following among the Roman legions between the 1st and 4th centuries AD. Reliefs and grottos dedicated to his worship (Mithraeums) followed the path of the army, from Italy to the Danube to Germany to Palestine to England to North Africa. Five Mithraeums have been found in Britain, three of them along Hadrian’s wall. By the reign of Aurelian (270 – 275 AD), Sol Invictus had become a major figure in the Roman pantheon, and he and Mithras would be theologically merged together, along with the Greek sun god Helios.

These altars date to the late 2nd century, well into the Roman occupation of Scotland which began in 80 AD. Since, as a mystery religion, Mithraism didn’t leave behind piles of scriptures and letters and parables written and shared by its adherents, the bulk of what we know about it comes from carved stone like these altars. This discovery is of major importance, therefore, to our understanding of Roman military culture in Scotland as well as to our understanding of Mithraism as a whole.

Stolen skull of 14th century German pirate recovered

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Hamburg Museum director Lisa Kosok with the alleged skull of pirate Klaus StoertebekerOn January 9th, 2010, thieves stole the alleged skull of medieval pirate Klaus Störtebeker from a display cabinet in the Hamburg Museum. The skull, still sporting the spike it was impaled on as a deterrent to any other would-be pirates, was one of the museum’s prized possessions. They offered a reward for information leading to its recovery and the Hamburg police investigated the theft for a year without success, reportedly following up on 67 leads.

Finally they hit the jackpot with the 68th. A middleman who is not a focus of the investigation handed over the skull-n-spike to the police earlier this week. The details are being kept nebulous intentionally because the investigation is still ongoing. On Thursday the police delivered it to delighted museum officials.

Next weekend, March 26-27, the museum will celebrate his return with a party. Admission will be free and Störtebeker experts will be available for guided tours. After the party the skull will be moved back to its original location now protected with a new alarm system and security guards. The cultural ministry gave the museum an additional €100,000 (about $140,000) to beef up their security measures, which were sorely needed since the display case that held the skull when it was stolen was protected only by a simple lock.

Although museum director Lisa Kosok considers the skull “Hamburg’s Mona Lisa,” it actually has never been fully authenticated as the skull of Klaus Störtebeker. It was found in 1878 on an island in the Elbe River during construction, the same island where Störtebeker and 30 of his crew were beheaded in 1400. The skull has been radiocarbon dated to the late 14th, early 15th century, so it certainly could be his.

Störtebeker (not his real name; it’s a nom de guerre meaning “empty the mug with one gulp,” apparently a reference to his legendary hollow-legged ability to swallow a four-liter pitcher of beer in one gulp) was a privateer initially hired to fight Danish ships and run supplies to Sweden. He and his comrades were known as the Victual Brothers. After the war, they decided to stay in business, only for themselves this time. Finally the Hanseatic League struck back, sending a fleet to capture Störtebeker and his cronies.

Centuries later he would be seen as something of a popular Robin Hood-like hero figure for his fight against the big-money Hanseatic League.

Happy 150th birthday, Italy!

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

March 17th is not just an important day for the Irish, you know. Today marks the 150th anniversary of Italian unification. On March 17, 1861, the first Italian Parliament proclaimed Victor Emmanuel II, King of Piedmont, Savoy, and Sardinia, the King of the unified state of Italy.

The Risorgimento (resurgence), the movement towards a unified Italy, was a long, messy process that began politically in 1815 at the Congress of Vienna where Italy was carved up by the European powers. This disregard for self-determination only encouraged the growing nationalist sentiment, and revolutionary societies like the Carbonari and La Giovine Italia (the Young Italy) spread like wildfire all over the peninsula. The revolutionary fervor of 1848 which saw dramatic governmental upheavals in almost every country in Europe resulted in constitutional monarchies in many Italian states and even in a brief shining resurrection of the Roman Republic under national heroes Giuseppe Garibaldi (soldier) and Giuseppe Mazzini (politician).

They were all short-lived, just like the rest of the 1848 revolutions, but they left a taste for freedom and unification in people’s mouths, and the kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont, most particularly its endlessly-scheming prime minister Count Camillo of Cavour, was keen to kick the Austrians out of northern Italy, kick the Bourbons out of southern Italy, claim the central states from various tin horn dukes and make themselves a brand new country.

Thanks to the political machinations of Cavour, Garibaldi’s outstanding military ability and his famous army of red-shirted volunteers, ten years later Victor Emmanuel II found himself King of Italy.

(Fun fact about Victor Emmanuel II: he was a Knight of the Garter, an English order of chivalry dedicated to England’s patron saint, St. George of dragon-slaying fame. The Duchess of Sutherland said about Victor Emmanuel II that he was the only Knight of the Garter she had ever seen who “looked as if he would have had the best of it with the dragon.”)

The new Italian Parliament declared Rome the capital, as per its ancient privilege, but they had to do it from Turin because Rome was actually still part of the Papal States (reduced to the region of Lazio) at that point, and the Pope had no intention of coughing up even this sad remnant of his temporal power as long as French troops were there to protect him.

It wasn’t until August of 1870, a month after the start of the Franco-Prussian War, that Emperor Napoleon III withdrew his final garrison from Rome, leaving the Papal States virtually undefended. Victor Emmanuel didn’t want to storm in, though. He wanted to negotiate a nice, orderly, respectful hand-over. Pope Pius IX, who had been beloved for his liberal reformist ways when first elected to the throne of Peter in the heady revolutionary days of 1846, bitterly refused and instead insisted that he and his wee cadre of papal troops would never let Italian soldiers set foot in the Eternal City.

Bummed but resigned, the King sent his crack Piedmontese Bersaglieri troops (known for their excellent marksmanship and awesome hats) to claim Rome. They took their time, taking 11 days to go from the border of Lazio to the ancient Aurelian wall that still protected Rome. On September 20th, 1870, they halfheartedly fired cannon at the Porta Pia for three hours then breached the gate and took Rome. The Pope locked himself in the Vatican, refusing to accept the Italian offer to grant him sovereignty over Vatican City on the grounds that any such treaty would be acknowledging the Italian state. There he remained, isolated and bitter, until his death in 1878 while all around him a new country was happening.

Anyway, Italy is celebrating its anniversary in grand style today, with tri-color flags and parades and parties, despite the tense, fractious political environment in the country at the moment. President Obama made a lovely statement, as did Democratic Congressional Leader Nancy Pelosi.

115-year-old X-ray machine sparks back to life

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Van Kleef's daughter's hand X-rayed on January 31, 1896In 1896, just a few weeks after German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen published his discovery of X-rays, H.J. Hoffmans, a high school principal, and Lambertus Theodorus van Kleef, director of a local hospital, put together an X-ray machine of their own from parts they found in Hoffmans’ high school in Maastricht, the Netherlands. They tested it on van Kleef’s daughter’s hand and it worked like a charm, a dangerously huge levels of radiation-releasing charm.

The machine ended up in storage at the Maastricht University Medical Center where it was promptly forgotten until it was dug up last year to use as a visual aid in a documentary on the history of medicine in the area. Curiosity piqued, MUMC medical physicist Gerrit Kemerink decided to run the old machine through its paces and see what it could do.

“To my knowledge, nobody had ever done systematic measurements on this equipment, since by the time one had the tools, these systems had been replaced by more sophisticated ones,” said Dr Kemerink.

Kemerink’s team thought it best to use a cadaver hand to experiment on this time around rather than somebody’s lovely daughter since the radiation emitted by this very early machine was likely to be dangerously high. (People didn’t realize radiation could be harmful until a year after Röntgen’s discovery.) The researchers used the original equipment — an iron cylinder wrapped in wire and a glass bulb called a Crookes tube with electrodes at each end — powered by a modern car battery.

Cadaver hand X-rayed with 1896 machine (left) and modern (right)They used both a modern hospital radiation detector and the glass photographic plate Hoffman and van Kleef originally used, and found that using the modern detector the machine took a fairly clear picture but there was some blurring from the wide scatter of the X-rays and the cadaver hand got hit with a dose of radiation dose 10 times higher than it would have received from a modern system. Using the far less sensitive period photographic plate, the team found that the machine gave the skin a dose of radiation 1,500 times higher than it would receive from a modern machine.

The researchers were of course protected by a lead shield whenever the machine is on, but the experiments didn’t produce enough radiation to harm them. It sure did look and sound fantastic, though.

“Our experience with this machine, which had a buzzing interruptor, crackling lightning within a spark gap, and a greenish light flashing in a tube, which spread the smell of ozone and which revealed internal structures in the human body was, even today, little less than magical,” they wrote.

It’s very 1931 Frankenstein, only in color. You can see and hear it in action in this video from Wired:

World’s largest Megalodon jaw for sale

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

I try, as a matter of blogger policy, to find a good picture with every story because I’m always disappointed when I read about something that sounds awesome but there’s no picture of it. Today, however, the picture came first.

Largest Megalodon jaw fossil

I KNOW, RIGHT?! That immense coolness is the largest Megalodon jaw ever assembled. It’s 11 feet wide and 9 feet tall, and it’s for sale.

It was put together by the late Vito Bertucci, a jeweler and amateur scuba diver who became known as “Megalodon Man” for his dedication to hunting fossils of the giant prehistoric shark that dominated the oceans between 2.5 million and 1.5 million years ago. He spent years collecting fossils of Megalodon teeth, studying their proportions and assembling complete toothy Megalodon jaws for venerable institutions like the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Baltimore Aquarium.

This one is the biggest one he ever made. It took him over 16 years diving the mid-Atlantic coastal plains to collect enough of the largest teeth — they’re much rarer than the smaller ones — to compose this marvel.

Detail of Megalodon teethPositioned with scrupulous scientific accuracy in a pair of jaws modeled in resin and scaled up from a Great White jaw set, the teeth are accurately arrayed in four rows; each row at a different angle for maximum efficiency in rending the flesh of the great fish’s victims. The jaws contain four teeth that each measure over 7 inches along the diagonal, although this is not immediately obvious because part of the roots are embedded in the jaw.

Megalodon’s skeletal structure was made of cartilage which very rarely fossilizes, so it wasn’t like Bertucci could just find a jawbone, collect an appropriate number and size of teeth then slot them in where they fit. Complete sets of teeth have been found, but none of this dramatic scale. He had to do a lot of research and examination of the teeth to figure out how they would have fit together. It took him a year and a half to piece it together once he had collected all the fossils.

It would be his last masterpiece. He died in October 2004, while diving for fossils in the Ogeechee river south of Savannah, Georgia. His brother, Joey Bertucci, is selling the jaw. The estimated sale price is $700,000.

Confirmed: Y. pestis bacteria caused the Black Death

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Yersinia pestis in the lymph of a plague patientMost microbiologists, epidemiologists and historians agree that the Black Death, the plague that devastated Europe between 1347 and 1353 killing at least a third of the population, was caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis. Endemic to rodent fleas in China, Y. pestis is thought to have made its way to Europe over the Silk Road and/or sea trade routes.

There are, however, people who disagree that the Black Death was actually bubonic and pneumonic plague caused by Y. pestis. The primary alternate theory was that it wasn’t a bacterial disease spread by parasites on vermin, but rather an infectious Ebola-like viral hemorrhagic fever that was spread from person to person. The evidence for this was primarily historical — the effectiveness of quarantine, for instance, in stopping the spread of disease.

Now a new study (pdf) from an international team of researchers appears to have conclusively demonstrated that Y. pestis was indeed the cause of the Black Death and all subsequent outbreaks of the plague in Europe. Researchers tested the DNA in tooth pulp recovered from the plague victims buried in plague pits in Hereford, England, Saint-Laurent-de-la-Cabrerisse, France, Bergen op Zoom, the Netherlands, Augsburg, Germany, and Parma, Italy, among others.

They were able to identify the DNA and protein signatures for Y. pestis, and while they were at it, they also discovered two previously unknown clades of the bacterium, both of them ancestors of the Orientalis (the one that devastated India and China in the late 19th century) and Medievalis (the Black Death one) biovars. This suggests that the plague didn’t just come to Europe once over one route. There were at least two distinct pathways Y. pestis took to get to Europe.

Several historical epidemic waves of plague have been attributed to Yersinia pestis, the etiologic agent of modern plague. The most famous of these was the second pandemic which was active in Europe from AD 1347 until 1750, and began with the ‘Black Death’. The most informative method to establish the etiological nature of these ancient infections should be the analysis of ancient DNA, but the results of this method have been controversial. Here, by combining ancient DNA analyses and protein-specific detection, we demonstrate unambiguously that Y. pestis caused the Black Death. Furthermore, we show that at least two variants of Y. pestis spread over Europe during the second pandemic. The analysis of up to 20 diagnostic markers reveals that the two variants evolved near the time that phylogenetic branches 1 and 2 separated and may no longer exist. Our results thus resolve a long-standing debate about the etiology of the Black Death and provide key information about the evolution of the plague bacillus and the spread of the disease during the Middle Ages.

If you’d like to read more about the arguments for and against Y. pestis causation, I highly recommend this excellent series of articles by epidemiologist and Aetiology blogger Tara Smith. They’re from three years ago so they don’t address the recent study, of course, but they’re eminently readable and thoroughly address the issues on all sides.

WWII Red Cross volunteer gets letter from 1944

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Letter to R.T. Fletcher

On February 16, 2001, Gary McMaster, curator of the Camp Roberts Historical Museum on what is now a training base for the Califor­nia Army National Guard, received a letter postmarked August 9, 1944. The hand-written envelope was addressed to Miss R.T. Fletcher, at the base’s Red Cross hospital. Since the hospital had been torn down decades earlier, the mail carrier figured the historical museum would be a reasonable substitute.

Naturally McMaster was intrigued by this piece of World War II history dropped in his mailbox as if it had been sent days ago. He decided to try to find the addressee, but out of concern for their privacy, without reading the letter. USPS had no information. It could have come from the dead letter depot in Atlanta, but according to Joseph Brecken­ridge, a postal service spokesman in Atlanta, it’s more likely someone just found the letter in an attic somewhere and decided to pop it in the mail. The return address was obscured by a tear in the envelope, but the postmark marked its departure point as Montgomery, Alabama.

He decided to tell the Montgomery Advertiser about the letter, hoping against hope that the sender, the recipient or relatives who could perhaps recognize the letter might still live in the area and would see the article. The newspaper ran the story and it caused a little sensation. The AP picked it up, and soon McMaster was getting inquiries about the letter from press around the world.

One of the stories was seen by R. T. Fletcher’s daughter. She recognized her mother’s maiden name and the handwriting on the envelope as that of her uncle, her mother’s brother, who was a soldier stationed at Maxwell Field in Mont­gomery in August of 1944. She faxed McMaster copies of other letters he had written her mother during the war, and the handwriting did indeed match. Although sadly her uncle had passed away years ago, Miss Fletcher is 90 years old and still going strong.

There was also another, even more awesome, clue that this was the right person. Miss Fletcher had told her daughter stories about the time she performed on stage with comedian Red Skelton at Camp Roberts.

McMaster said Camp Rob­erts was one of the largest ar­tillery training centers in World War II.

“We had people from all over the country at Camp Roberts,” he said, including Robert Mitchum, William Holden and Red Skelton.

Fletcher had told her fami­ly that while she served at Camp Roberts, she was in a play that featured Skelton, a popular comedian. McMas­ter was able to find a pro­gram from that show at the museum.

Lo and behold, her name was on the program as a bit player in this Red Skelton scrapbook.”

Turns out that Fletcher was a Red Cross volunteer, and she was coordinating en­tertainment for the soldiers and patients at the hospital at Camp Roberts. Many of them were recuperating from combat injuries, McMaster said.

McMaster had just recently mounted an exhibit at the museum about Red Skelton’s time on the base, which is why he had the scrapbook handy.

With the Skelton evidence and the handwriting match, Gary McMaster was satisfied that he had found the addressee. The letter is currently winding its way to Miss Fletcher’s daughter via registered mail. She will then deliver it to her mother in person, 66 years after it was first sent.

Smithsonian conserves Jefferson Bible

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

Jefferson Bible title page, binding removedIn 1820, when Thomas Jefferson was 77, he scared himself up a Bible. He didn’t write one. He created one by literally cutting and pasting passages from six books of the New Testament in four languages, English, French, Greek and Latin. It wasn’t something he intended to publish or even publicize. Jefferson conceived it as a personal philosophical exploration of deism and Jesus’ ethical system. He called it “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth” and he intentionally omitted any references to the divinity of Christ, miracles or any supernatural intervention.

Jefferson Bible coverHe used a razor to clip out passages, then glued them in four columns (one for each language) to both sides of a piece of paper. The final tally is twelve different kinds of paper and seven different inks over 86 pages which were then professionally bound in gold-tooled Morocco leather with a hand-sewn binding. Jefferson kept it his whole life, never gave it away or sold it, and despite his many debts, his heirs kept it in the family for decades.

The Smithsonian’s librarian finally purchased the Bible from Jefferson’s great-granddaughter Carolina Randolph in 1895. Nine years later the Government Printing Office made lithographic reproductions of the Bible for distribution to new members of Congress. It was a one-time run, though, and no further copies were made.

Jefferson Bible pagesNow, almost 200 years after Jefferson first created his Bible scrapbook, it’s in dire need of restoration. The pages are stiff and inflexible from the glue and clippings, with 90% of them damaged in some way. The binding remains tight, which isn’t a good thing when the pages are so brittle.

Conservators have removed the pages from the binding. Once they’re cleaned and stabilized, the pages will be returned to the original binding so that the book can go on display at a proper 90 degree viewing angle. The Smithsonian estimates the restoration will cost $225,000 and are raising money to cover the costs from public and private sources. If you’d like to donate to help preserve the Jefferson Bible, please click here.

The National Museum of American History blog will be posting a series of entries on the conservation, starting with this one. Once the Bible is fully restored, it will be digitally scanned and uploaded for public viewing. There will also be a companion website with more information about the Bible, the conservation process, and Jefferson’s annotations and edits.





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