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Contact Dr Gheorghe, the coordinator, at alexis_project@yahoo.com for further information about the Alexis Project:

Email: alexis_project@yahoo.com

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Cerat - Gârla Mare / Gîrla Mare and Verbicioara pottery from the Neolithic

Cerat is a very important site, which has not been "discovered" by experts. It has artefacts from the early neolithic, possibly earlier, right through to the times of Roman occupation of the area. Obviously the area was found to be suitable for habitation by a succession of settlers, and had resources such as good soil and growing conditions and drinking water which made the area a very desirable one for settlement.



cerat map
The field named Cerat is placed on the hills on the north side of the village of Upper Racari (Răcarii de Sus), near the village, about 3 km to the east from Filiaşi.

Photo and original map: Adrian Gheorghe


cerat map
Cerat is a stone age village not far from the Malva Castrum, a Roman castle or fort. It is interesting that the area was found to be salubrious by such different cultures, at such different times.

Photo and artwork: Adrian Gheorghe 2006







Răcari Time Line

There is already a huge amount of data on this site concerning Răcari Village, Matca River, the Wooden Church, etc.

After a huge search in the area of Răcarii de Sus, Răcarii de Jos, Bralostita villages, also on the hills behind Răcari villages, Dr Gheorghe has a new theory concerning the area.

All of the villages have their own history, starting with the ancient ages. Not all villages have ancient sites around them, because there are many more people living in the region than in times long past. However, many of them may have ancient sites around them.

For Răcari Village, the Time Line can be proposed as:

Newspaper Report
Starting with the Stone and Bronze Age, there is a site, in the western part of the present day Village of Răcarii de Sus, called Cerat. This ancient Stone Age / Bronze Age site is placed on top of a hill, with a field on top of it, near a small river, the Matca, as all ancient villages have. Thus, we can place this Cerat site as number 01 on our time line.

From this 01 location, during Roman times, a huge castrum was built, not very far from the Răcari villages, on the same left bank of the Jiu River, on a place we can name 02 Matca Wooden site, where was found a few holes, like underground houses, as well as a huge wooden dam, called "Topila" for water for home use by the people there from the Middle Ages or later.

There must be, in the deep forest, an ancient village, around the Matca site, a place where people lived in underground houses (see the beautiful story of the Sultana woman), and also there must be a small ancient wooden church.

From the 02 Matca site, the people would have gone to the 03 Zidaru Spring site, where was built the ancient wooden church, perhaps the first or possibly the second, built by the Sultana women, as the story says. Today, this wooden church has been moved to Bralostita Village, over the Jiu River and still can be seen in the 03B location.

Going down to the small river, at the end of the Middle Ages, another church was built, the 04 Ghost Church, and later, the new church in Răcarii de Jos Village, 05. Here was the first modern village, Răcarii de Jos.

But some people from Răcarii de Jos migrated, in the 19th - 20th Centuries to the present day village of Răcarii de Sus, where a new church was built, 06.

So, this time line is like a circle, starting with the area of Răcarii de Sus, with the associated site of Cerat, then up north to the Matca wooden site, then to the east, to the Zidaru spring, then going to the south, where we find the present day village of Răcarii de Jos, and then going back to the west, to the present day village of Răcarii de Sus.

Photo and artwork: Adrian Gheorghe 9th December 2008







Further Explorations at the Bronze Age site at Cerat

Cerat Cerat

In the area of the village Cerat, near Giurgita village, there are many sites, including those from the Bronze Age and from Roman times.

One of them was discovered by the specialist from Oltenia Museum, Exp. Arch. Dr Dorel Bondoc, and seems to be a small hill full of artefacts dating from the stone age, in the middle of a field, at the exit from Cerat village to Lipovu village, on the main road, on the right of it, around the fourth high power electrical power line, about 200 metres down from the road towards the small river nearby.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 1st December 2012




Cerat Cerat Cerat

There are many tons of artefacts there, unprotected, on private land where ploughing of the fields goes on unabated.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 1st December 2012









Bronze Age site at Cerat

Cerat Cerat

Adrian Gheorge and Dorel Bondoc made a search along the line of villages Cioroiu Nou - Urzicuta - Birca, and found a field near Cerat village which has a number of Bronze Age artefacts.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 2nd January 2012




Cerat Cerat

The main site is at the GPS point 44.04680° N 23.39468° E, and also contains a few artefacts from ancient Roman times.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 2nd January 2012




Cerat

This is a very interesting area, which deserves greater research. It is a huge site, with very many artefacts spread over the surface.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 2nd January 2012









Cerat
Adrian was again at the Cerat site, in the western part of Racarii de Sus village, near the Matca River, where there is an ancient site of the Verbicioara pottery culture.

It was winter, a warm sunny day, with a lot of snow and ice on the ground, making searching difficult.

In ancient times, Cerat was simply a village, with about three or four "houses" made of wattle and daub, that is, made with tree branches and clay, in the middle of the stone age. They eventually moved to the north, to the Matca River area, hidden from their enemies by the hills and thick forest.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 6th February 2011




Cerat


After all the years of search in the Cerat area, the only thing found so far is isolated fragments of pottery and a few stone tools, although 300 kilograms of artefacts were given by the Alexis Project to the Oltenia Museum.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 6th February 2011




Cerat
Even though Adrian has made every effort to publicise what is here, no specialists are interested in a campaign of exploration, so the site is a dead one, as are so many in Romania.

After all these years, Adrian knows all the local people, so when an important artefact is found, they contact him.

One of the most important things is therefore to publicise the finds on the internet, with data about each site found, even though the sites are otherwise dead and unexplored, as a gift to future researchers.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 6th February 2011




Alexis does this alone, with no specialists or money, this is the reality. No one cares about the treasures here, we must do everything ourselves.

The well known specialist from the Oltenia Museum, Arch. Dr. Florin Ridiche said that the artefacts from Cerat/Racarii de Sus are from the Verbiciore culture, phase III, from the years 2200 - 1900 BC, which is important information.

Cerat


Adrian was tired from all this exertion, but so was his car!

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 6th February 2011









Cerat Cerat
A cold and wet day, but the Alexis Team went to the Cerat site, near the village of Răcarii de Sus, not far from Filiaşi, at the end of February 2010, at the end of winter, and found the first signs of spring.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 28th February 2010




Cerat Cerat


Cerat Cerat


Cerat
Many artefacts were found. After the rain and the snow, this is a good time to look for objects such as this.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 28th February 2010









Cerat Cerat
It was a foggy and cold day, but the Alexis Team went to the Cerat site, near the village of Răcarii de Sus, not far from Filiaşi.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 7th December 2008




Cerat


Cerat Cerat
The Team found ten kilograms of artefacts there, pieces of pottery from the Neolithic, the Bronze age, as well as the Daco-Romans time, a time line of over 2000 years. All the finds will be donated to the Oltenia Museum for specialists to study.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 7th December 2008




cerat road
This is a road through the Cerat area.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe


cerat field
The Cerat site has many artefacts of pottery from the Verbicioara culture, which is closely related to the Gârla Mare culture.

The Verbicioara culture is found mostly to the west of the Olt River, and the Gârla Mare culture in a narrow strip of land along the Danube River.

The site has a surface extent of about 100m x 100m, and it is situated under many private agricultural properties.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe


Constantin Para Constantin Para's Recreations of the Garla Mare Pottery



Potter


Constantin Para, a gifted potter and restorer of ancient pottery. His knowledge of the pots of the Gârla Mare (Garla Mare, Girla Mare) and other neolithic pottery was encyclopaedic.

He has identified the pottery from the Cerat site as being of the Verbicioara culture type, from about 3 700 years ago.

Mr Para was a master craftsman, a Romanian living treasure who deserves international recognition for his artistry, craftsmanship and erudition.

Tragically, he died in a car accident on 12th February 2008 at Drobeta Turnu-Severin, Romania.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe


Constantin Para Constantin Para





In Memoriam Constantin Para.

Photo: newspaper, via Adrian Gheorghe, 25th August 2008


GPS determination


Alina uses the GPS equipment to determine a data point in the southern part of the Cerat site.

There had been a lot of snow during this winter, most of which had melted at this time, leaving some of the field flooded.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 3rd February 2008


GPS determination


Adrian making a determination of latitude and longitude at the Cerat site. This new equipment will be a big help in accurately determining the location of various parts of the sites under investigation.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 3rd February 2008


verbicioara culture


Even now, after five years of intensive searching on the Cerat site, there can still be found important and valuable ancient artefacts such as this one, pottery from the Verbicioara culture, found on "Soare" land, at the Cerat site.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 3rd February 2008


GPS map


Back at home, Adrian works on recording the discoveries made by Alina and himself on a Cerat GPS map.

Knowing the exact locations of discoveries and recording them is a very important part of the Alexis Project.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 3rd February 2008


GPS map


This represents a huge step forward in the Alexis Project. It is the first GPS map of the Cerat site, and is an important scientific milepost. There are very few sites in Oltenia county which have a GPS map. In future, all sites recorded by the Alexis Project will be recorded in this way. It will not be easy, and it will entail much hard work, but it is very important for the history of the Romanian people.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 3rd February 2008


GPS data





GPS data for the Cerat site.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 3rd February 2008




Text below from: http://www.eliznik.org.uk/EastEurope/History/balkans-map/late-bronze.htm

Verbicioara

Origins - Periam, influences from west

Area - Banat, Oltenia spreading into NW Bulgaria to Stara Planina and NE Serbia

Pottery - incised and encrusted geometric decoration, meanders & sun symbols

Settlements - on high terraces, zolniki type

Economy - pastoralism



Gârla Mare-Cârna-Dubovac

Area - middle & lower Danube from Budapest to Jiu river, Banat & SW Oltenia

Pottery - globular urns etc, incised spirals, female figurines

Burials - cremation, large urnfields without barrows

Links - lasted until ~13th century BC population movements to the Aegean



cerat pottery


Pottery from Cerat restored by Mr Para.


cerat pottery


Pottery from Cerat restored by Mr Para.


cerat pottery


Pottery from Cerat restored by Mr Para.


cerat pottery


Pottery from Cerat restored by Mr Para.


girla mare
Part of a small cup found at Ostrovu Mare, richly ornamented, a very nice piece.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe


Ostrovu Mare pottery


The same fragment of a cup - perhaps a coffee cup! ;-) as above, restored by Mr Para.






Men from the village of Upper Racari know that there was an ancient village there, many stone pieces were found there, but for them this has no importance. None of them know the age of the ancient village and the importance of the site.

To the south east, at about 2-3 km distance is the biggest Roman castle in Oltenia, named Malva.

There has been no study done on the site and no specialists know about it.

cerat pottery



We (the Alexis Project members) know about it from a very knowledgeable man from Upper Racari, also an Alexis Project member, aged 70, named Enache Gheorghe, known as 'Chiriac', the same man who first found the fossiliferous site of Meteu/Bradesti.




We made a few digs in the area of the site, but have no important results from them.

cerat field
Over the course of two years we made a lot of trips there and picked up every piece, washed it with water and preserved it. We obtained a total weight of about 200 kg of artefacts.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




cerat pottery
Two pieces of pottery from Cerat. The one on the left is very old, from the time before the Romans arrived in Dacia. The one on the right is made on a pottery wheel, a technique brought to Dacia by the Romans. Thus the culture of Cerat derives from both the neolithic and, later, from the culture and technology brought by the Romans.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 2006




cerat pottery
Flint knives found at Cerat, possibly from the Neolithic.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 2006




cerat pottery
Neolithic pottery pieces from Cerat, showing pressed and cut decoration, a more richly ornate tradition.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 2006




cerat pottery
Two Cerat pieces from the bases of pottery pieces. The piece on the left has been made on a wheel, and the one on the right has been hand made, from an earlier time.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 2006




cerat pottery
Pottery and flint pieces found at Cerat in 2006, from the early neolithic, hand built pieces.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 2006




cerat potterycerat pottery
Here are two pieces of pottery, taken from the neolithical site from Cerat, near Răcarii de Sus, near Filiaşi.

Most pieces are decorated with angles and lines, but not spirals or circles. These are the first pieces found in this area which use spirals or circles as part of the decoration.

This places them more in the Gârla Mare culture rather than the Verbicioara culture, which is where most of the Cerat pieces apparently belong.


After some years of research in the area, Dr Gheorghe says that starting from the western border of the site, at Enache's house, and going to the east border of the site, to Răcarii de Sus village, you can find:

a) At first simple pottery, very ancient, without any ornaments, then,

b) In the middle of the site, going to the east - good pottery and quartz, richly ornamented, and bones.

c) Near the east border of the site you can even find Roman pottery and more sophisticated neolithical artefacts.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe



stamped pottery Stamped pottery

This was found at Cerat with a strange design which may be modelled on the sun, or a flower. No other similar piece has been found in two years of searches at Cerat.

About 1% of the artefacts in the Cerat area is Roman or Dacian pottery. This fact, besides this piece of Roman pottery confirms that this place was always a community, starting with Neolithical people, than the Dacians, then the Romans and so on. This is an important concept concerning the Romanian people and their history.

To me it looks as though a stamp has been made up of clay, fired, then used to imprint the wet clay surface.

But it is not obvious why this was done in this instance.

It is also unusual because the impressions seem to be randomly distributed, without a pattern to their use.

If it was the maker's mark, such as a friend of mine uses when making pottery, you would expect only one such impression on each pot. - Don


Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




tools
Stone tools from Cerat

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




The pieces include:



The images of those pieces are more important than the text, because only a specialist can know the entire truth about this village; the specialist from Oltenia's Museum said that the site has an age of about 3 500 BP.

tools
Pottery designs from Cerat

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




tools
Ground stone tools from Cerat. Note in particular the axe at the middle right and the spear head in the bottom left. Both are ground to make them look like the more expensive bronze versions.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




Today the status of the site is an empty field because all pieces were preserved by us and there is little possibility of finding other important pieces from now on without digging.

Only from the study of those pieces can we learn more about the village. We discovered about 3-4 ancient places of houses there and two fireplaces/ovens.



spinning weights
These are spindle weights, known as fusaïoles. The fusaïole was used as a weight with the spindle rod made usually of wood, and made it possible to maintain the regularity of rotation. It also prevented wool or whatever yarn was being spun from falling from the spindle during the spinning.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe


ceratceratcerat
Ornamented edges from pottery fragments.

Photos: Adrian Gheorghe




cerat potterycerat potterycerat pottery
Lips, walls and bases of large pottery vessels

Photos: Adrian Gheorghe


cerat pottery
Pieces of unidentified pottery sculptures

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe


cerat pottery
Parts of large cups

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe


cerat tools
Other tools

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe


cerat strainers
These pottery fragments are of strainers. It is unknown what they were used for.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe


cerat bead
A ceramic bead from Cerat.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe


rolling mill stones
Rolling mill stones for grain

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe


fireplace ovenburned clayburned wood

Ceramic pieces for a fireplace oven, burnt clay from a fireplace, and burnt wood from a fireplace.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe


thrown potterythrown pottery
Thrown pottery from Cerat, left, and from the nearby Roman site of Malva Castle, right.

Photos: Adrian Gheorghe


unidentified objects from cerat
Unidentified objects from Cerat. These could be lips and handles or lugs from large pots.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe


cerat bones
Bones found on the site include bones from deer and pigs. This indicates a forested environment at the time of the occupation of the site

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe


cerat fishing trident
This iron fishing trident was found in a nearby lake, Lake Geormani, near Craiova, about 25 km from Filiaşi, used in winter.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe


PROIECTUL ALEXIS


Satul neolitic Cerat - nota preliminara -

Generalitati

Satul neolitic Cerat a fost descoperit, in toamna 2003, de catre doctor Gheorghe Adrian si economist Anca Cornelia, prin exploatarea sursei orale Enache Gheorghe din satul Răcarii de Sus, orasul Filiaşi, judetul Dolj.

Situl este localizat in zona de vest a satului Răcarii de Sus, oras Filiaşi, judetul Dolj, la nord de Drumul European Bucuresti-Timisoara, amplasat pe un platou colinar, cu dimensiuni estimate aproximativ 150 X 150 metri, zona parcelata cu exploatari agricole private.

Caracteristici

Piesele gasite in sit se afla la suprafata solului sau la mica adancime in aceasta si sunt in mare parte fragmentate mecanic si deplasate prin tractiune, ca urmare a lucrarilor agricole periodice din zona.

Au fost recoltate,pana acum, de pe suprafata sitului, peste 150 kilograme piese, din diferite culturi, sugerand un amplasament de continuitate, cu o durata mare de existenta.

Traditia locala cunoaste existenta satului neolitic din apropiere si exista afirmatii despre descoperiri incidentale de vetre de foc si piese reprezentative de ceramica.

Pana in prezent, au fost localizate patru zone de concentrare maxima a pieselor in sit, denumite conventional case, astfel:

-casa Enache, aflata la extremitatea de nord a sitului, pe parcela sateanului Enache Gheorghe;

-casa Soare/Enache, aflata in vecinatatea viei din partea de sud a sitului, la jonctiunea mai multor parcele agricole;

-casa Terase, aflata la extremitatea de sud-est a sitului Cerat, pe terase, la granita cu partea de vest a satului Răcarii de Sus;

-una-doua case intermediare, intre aceste locatii.

Descrierea pieselor

Piesele recoltate din situl Cerat au fost sortate preliminar, astfel:

  1. Unelte din silex( 2% ), reprezentate de multiple fragmente lama-cutit, precum si bulgare de silex, rudimentar cioplit;

  2. Unelte de piatra slefuita (fragmente de topor, cu si fara orificiu de prindere a cozii, de mici dimensiuni);

  3. Sfere de piatra cu diametru mic folosit le macinat, precum si blaturi de piatra, folosite ca suport;

  4. Multiple fragmente de caramida ( 15% );

  5. Fragmente de ceramica bruta, grosolana, fara ornamente( 30% )

  6. Multiple fragmente de oase de origine animala;

  7. Fragmente reprezentative din vase de ceramica bruta (toarte, guri si funduri de vas)- 8%;

  8. Fragmente de ceramica ornata in relief, prin impungere-2%;

  9. Fragmente de ceramica neolitica ornata cu incizii, sub forma de linii paralele, triunghiuri si puncte-2%;

  10. Fragmente de ceramica fina, elaborata fara ornamente, ca atare, sau toarte si guri\funduri de vas;

  11. Alte fragmente de piese nedeterminate;

  12. Fragmente de alte utilitati (strecuratoare, opait, tanagra, etc.);

  13. Nu s-au gasit arme (varfuri de sageata), piese metalice si nici ceramica pictata.

Datare

Piesele au fost vizionate de arheolog Dorel Bondoc, Muzeul de Istorie a Olteniei, care a apreciat ca in sit s-a dezvoltat o asezare neolitica,peste care s-au suprapus elemente dacice si posibil romane (distanta pana la castrul roman Malva, din Răcarii de Jos, Comuna Bradesti fiind de aproximativ trei kilometri)

Perspective

Exploatarea sitului se va face prin culegere de la suprafata a pieselor, dupa fiecare lucrare agricola importanta, iar piesele curatate si sortate se vor expune, preliminar,intr-o expozitie cu caracter temporar la Muzeul de Istorie a Olteniei, in tomna 2004.

Toate piesele reprezinta colectie privata.

The Alexis Project


The Neolithic Village of Cerat

-Preliminary note-

Introduction

The Neolithic village of Cerat was discovered in the autumn of 2003 by Dr Adrian Gheorghe, a medical doctor, and economist Cornelia Anca. They have used as an oral source Enache Gheorghe from Răcarii de Sus village.

The site is located in the west part of the village Răcarii de sus, town Filiaşi, county Dolj, on the northern side of the European road Bucuresti-Timisoara. It is situated on a hilly plateau of approximately 150m x 150m, which is a zone divided up for private agriculture.

Characteristics

The pieces found on the site were lying on the surface of the ground or at a little depth and are, for the most part, mechanically fragmented and moved by ploughing, because of periodical agricultural work in that zone.

150 kg of pieces have been collected so far from the surface of the site, from different cultures, which suggests the existence of a continuous occupation over a long time.

The local tradition is aware of the existence of the Neolithic Village in the neighborhood and there are some statements about incidental discoveries of some fire places and pottery objects.

Four important places of maximum concentration of the pieces on the site have been located to this point. These places are conventionally called 'houses'. Therefore we have:

Enache House, located at the northern extremity of the site, on the land of the peasant Enache Gheorghe;

Soare/Enache House, located next to the vineyard at the southern part of the site, at the junction of many agricultural sites;

Terraces House, located at the south-east extremity of the Cerat site, on terraces, at the border with the west of village Răcarii de Sus;

One or two intermediary houses, between these locations.

Description of the pieces

The pieces picked on the site of Cerat were preliminarily sorted as follows:
  1. Silica Tools (2%), represented by many fragments such as blades and knives, also pieces of silica rudimentarily altered.

  2. Polished Stone Tools, such as fragments of an axe (small size), with or without the hole for the handle;

  3. Stone Spheres with a small diameter used for grinding, and pieces of stone used as a stand;

  4. Many fragments of brick (15%);

  5. Fragments of ceramics, plain, rough, without ornaments (30%);

  6. Many fragments of bones of animal origin;

  7. Representative fragments of rough ceramic pots (handles, tops and bottoms of some pots) (8%);

  8. Fragments of decorated ceramics in relief by "stitching", (2%);

  9. Fragments of decorated ceramics by impressions, such as heart shapes, triangles and dots (2%);

  10. Fragments of fine ceramics, without ornaments: handles, tops and bottoms of some pots;

  11. Other unidentifiable fragments;

  12. Fragments of other tools: strainer, candle;

  13. No traces of weapons (arrows), nor metallic pieces, nor painted ceramics were found.

Dating

The pieces were studied by the archaeologist Dorel Bondoc, from the History Museum of Oltenia, who determined that on that site a Neolithic location was developed with some Dacic and possible Roman influences, because the distance from the site to the closest Roman site, Malva, from Răcarii de Jos, Bradesti village, is approximately 3 km.

Prospects

The exploitation (search) of the site will be done by collecting the pieces from the surface after every important agricultural maintenance, and the pieces (cleaned and sorted) will be displayed, preliminarily, in a temporary exhibition at the History Museum of Oltenia, in the autumn of 2004.

All pieces are held in private collections.





Recent additions, changes and updates to the Alexis site

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This site is to publicise the history and culture of Romania, and displays information from the Alexis Project Association

Alexis Project Filiasi/Romania
RC J/263/230/2007 CIF 21464151
Email: alexis_project@yahoo.com

in a partnership and contract with the Oltenia Museum:
Oltenia Museum Craiova/Romania
CF 4417192
Email: muzeulolteniei@yahoo.com

Because Oltenia Museum has the ability to verify the scientific importance of this information and because the specialists of Oltenia Museum have made contributions to this site, the copyrights to it are part of Oltenia Museum property.



If you have any photographs or information which would be useful for this site please contact Don Hitchcock


This page last modified Tuesday, 05th February, 2013 10:39am


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Email: don@donsmaps.com


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