Rössen culture

The Rössen culture or Roessen culture (German: Rössener Kultur) is a Central European culture of the middle Neolithic (4,600–4,300 BC).

It is named after the necropolis of Rössen (part of Leuna, in the Saalekreis district, Saxony-Anhalt). The Rössen culture has been identified in 11 of the 16 states of Germany (it is only absent from the Northern part of the North German Plain), but also in the southeast Low Countries, northeast France, northern Switzerland and a small part of Austria.

The Rössen culture is important as it marks the transition from a broad and widely distributed tradition going back to Central Europe's earliest Neolithic LBK towards the more diversified Middle and Late Neolithic situation characterised by the appearance of complexes like Michelsberg and Funnel Beaker Culture.

Rössen culture
Map showing the principle archaeology cultures of Late Neolithic Europe. The Rössen culture occupies an area of North-Central Europe corresponding roughly to modern-day Germany, Austria and the Low Countries.
Geographical rangeCentral Europe: Germany except north, Low Countries, northeast France, north Switzerland and Austria: Northern and Central Hesse, Westphalia, South Lower Saxony, West Thuringia.
PeriodMiddle Neolithic
Dates4,600–4,300 BC
Characteristicsincised pottery: footed bowls, globular cups, flint blades, axes, adzes
longhouse settlements, inhumation graves
Preceded byLinear Pottery Culture
Followed byMichelsberg culture


Landesmuseum Natur und Mensch 040

Rössen vessels are characteristically decorated with double incisions ("goat's foot incision" or German '"Geißfußstich"') with incrustation of white paste. Grooved or stamped incisions are also common. Over time, the extent of the decorated areas appears to decrease so that on later vessels it is mostly restricted to the neck or entirely absent. Typical shapes include tall footed bowls, globular cups, rectangular sheet-made bowls and boat-shaped vessels.

The surfaces of vessels are usually burnished; their colours range from brown via reddish brown and dark brown to grey-black.

Stone tools

The Rössen repertoire of flint tools is broadly similar to that of the Linear Pottery (LBK) tradition (blades with pyramid-shaped cores), but there is a marked change as regards the raw materials used. Dutch Rijkholt flint, which dominated the LBK tradition, is being replaced with veined 'Plattenhornstein' (Abensberg-Arnhofen type) of Bavarian origin. The most typical solid rock tool is a pierced tall cleaver, but unpierced axes and adzes are also common.

Domestic architecture and settlement patterns

Only a few Rössen settlements have been excavated. Prominent examples are the sites of Deiringsen-Ruploh und Schöningen/Esbeck. The predominant structure is a trapezoidal or boat-shaped long house, up to 65 m in length. The ground plans suggest a sloping roofline. Multiple internal partitions are a frequent feature, probably indicating that several smaller (family?) units inhabited a house. Lüning suggests that Rössen settlements, unlike the earlier LBK ones, are true village communities. Some settlements were surrounded by earthwork enclosures. The majority of settlements is located in areas with Chernozem soils; compared to LBK the area of settlement has decreased.

Burial rites

GNM - Hockergrab

The dead were mostly buried in a crouched position, lying on their right side and facing East. Graves were dug to a depth of 40 to 160 cm, occasionally they were covered with stone slabs. The exact shapes and sizes of graves are not well understood.

Even less is known about possible cremation burials whose identification as belonging to Rössen is sometimes disputed. Cremated remains and pyre ashes were collected together and accompanied by unburnt grave goods.

Ceramic grave offerings include pedestalled cups, globular cups, lugged cups, bowls, flasks, amphoras, jugs and basins. Limestone rings, stone axes, flint blades and animal bones also occur.


Mixed agriculture was practiced, and cattle, sheep, goats and pigs were kept.

Origin of British/Irish Neolithic?

It is suggested the late Rössen culture may be ancestral to the Neolithic cultures of Britain and Ireland (a group of cultures previously known as Windmill Hill culture), but there is no great similarity in the form of houses or pottery. According to alternative theories, the British Neolithic culture(s) came from Brittany.[1]

Kurgan hypothesis

In the context of the Kurgan hypothesis, certain intrusive elements are pointed to as some of the earliest evidence for penetration by Kurgan culture-based Indo-European elements, but Mallory indicates this idea has failed to gain any real acceptance. Older, now largely discarded theories attempted to make this a very early Indo-European culture; the presently prevailing view assigns it to indigenous non-Indo-European-speaking people.

Chronologically and geographically adjacent cultures

Rössen followed LBK. In its western distribution, the Hinkelstein, Großgartach and Planig-Friedberg complexes intervene between LBK and Rössen.

Rössen is partially contemporaneous with the Southeast Bavarian Middle Neolithic ('Südostbayerisches Mittelneolithikum' or SOB, formally also known as Oberlauterbach Group). In the North, Rössen precedes the early Funnel beaker culture of Baalberge; in the South it is followed by the so-called post-Rössen groups (Wauwil, Bischoffingen-Leiselheim/Strasbourg, Bischheim, Goldberg, Aichbühl, Gatersleben) and Lengyel (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Austria), and the Münchshöfen Culture (Bavaria).



  • J. P. Mallory, "Rössen Culture", Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997.
  • Joachim Preuß: Das Neolithikum in Mitteleuropa. Kulturen-Wirtschaft-Umwelt vom 6. bis 3. Jahrtausend v.u.Z., Übersichten zum Stand der Forschung. 3 Bde. Beier und Beran, Wilkau-Haßlau, Weißbach 1996, 1998, 1999. ISBN 3-930036-10-X


  • W. Meier-Arendt: Zur Frage der Genese der Rössener Kultur. In: Germania. 52/1, 1974, 1-15. ISSN 0016-8874
  • H.-J. Beier (Hrsg.): Der Rössener Horizont in Mitteleuropa. Wilkau-Haßlau 1994.
  • J. Erhardt: Rössener Kultur. In: H.-J. Beier, R. Einicke (Hrsg.): Das Neolithikum im Mittelelbe-Saale-Gebiet. Wilkau-Haßlau 1996, 76-77.

Pottery and chronology

  • H. Behrens: Die Rössener, Gaterslebener und Jordansmühler Gruppe im Mitteldeutschen Raum. Fundamenta A 3, Teil Va (Köln 1972.), 270 ff.
  • J. Lichardus: Rössen – Gatersleben – Baalberge. Ein Beitrag zur Chronologie des mitteldeutschen Neolithikums und zur Entstehung der Trichterbecherkulturen. Saarbrücker Beitr. Altkde. 17 (Bonn 1976).
  • K. Mauser-Goller: Die Rössener Kultur in ihrem südwestlichen Verbreitungsgebiet. Fundamenta A 3, Teil Va (Köln 1972), 231-268.
  • F. Niquet: Die Rössener Kultur in Mitteldeutschland. Jahresschr. Mitteldt. Vorgesch. 26, 1937.
  • H. Spatz/S. Alföldy-Thomas: Die „Große Grube“ der Rössener Kultur in Heidelberg-Neuenheim. Materialhefte Vor- und Frühgesch. Baden-Württemberg 11 (Stuttgart 1988).
  • Otto Thielemann: "Eine Rössener Prachtvase von Burgdorf, Kreis Goslar", Die Kunde, Jg.9,10/1941


  • J. Lüning: Steinzeitliche Bauern in Deutschland - die Landwirtschaft im Neolithikum. Universitätsforschungen zur prähistorischen Archäologie 58 (Bonn 2000).
  • U. Piening: Pflanzenreste Die Pflanzenreste aus Gruben der Linearbandkeramik und der Rössener Kultur von Ditzingen, Kr. Ludwigsburg. In: Fundber. Baden-Württemberg 22/1, 1998, 125-160.


  • M. Dohrn: Neolithische Siedlungen der Rössener Kultur in der Niederrheinischen Bucht. München 1983.
  • A. Jürgens: Die Rössener Siedlung von Aldenhoven, Kr. Düren. In: Rhein. Ausgrab. 19, 1979, 385-505.
  • R. Kuper: Der Rössener Siedlungsplatz Inden I. Dissertations-Druck, Köln 1979.
  • J. Lüning: Siedlung und Siedlungslandschaft in bandkeramischer und Rössener Zeit. In: Offa. 39, 1982, 9-33.
  • H. Luley: Die Rekonstruktion eines Hauses der Rössener Kultur im archäologischen Freilichtmuseum Oerlinghausen. In: Arch. Mitt. Nordwestdeutschl. Beiheft 4. Oldenburg 1990, 31-44.
  • H. Luley: Urgeschichtlicher Hausbau in Mitteleuropa. Grundlagenforschung, Umweltbedingungen und bautechnische Rekonstruktion. Universitätsforsch. prähist. Arch. 7. Bonn 1992.
  • K. Günther: Die jungsteinzeitliche Siedlung Deiringsen/Ruploh in der Soester Börde. Münster 1976.


  • R. Dehn: Ein Gräberfeld der Rössener Kultur von Jechtingen, Gde. Sasbach, Kr. Emmendingen. in: Archäologische Nachr. Baden 34, 1985, 3-6.
  • J. Lichardus: Rössen-Gatersleben-Baalberge. Saarbrücker Beitr. Altkde 17. Bonn 1976.
  • F. Niquet: Das Gräberfeld von Rössen, Kreis Merseburg. Veröff. Landesanstalt Volkheitskde. 9. Halle/S. 1938.

Post-Rössen groups

  • Die Kugelbechergruppen in der südlichen Oberrheinebene. Sonderheft. Cahiers Assoc. Promotion Rech. Arch. Alsace 6, 1990.
  • Jens Lüning: Die Entwicklung der Keramik beim Übergang vom Mittel- zum Jungneolithikum im Süddeutschen Raum. Bericht der RGK 50.1969, 3-95.
  • M. Zápotocká, Zum Stand der Forschung über die relative Chronologie des frühen Äneolithikums in Böhmen. In: J. Biel/H. Schlichtherle/M. Strobel/A. Zeeb (Hrsg.), Die Michelsberger Kultur und ihre Randgebiete - Probleme der Entstehung, Chronologie und des Siedlungswesens. Kolloquium Hemmenhofen, 21–23 February 1997. Materialh. Ur- u. Frühgesch. Baden-Württemberg 43. Stuttgart 1998, 291-302.
  • A. Zeeb: Poströssen – Epirössen – Kugelbechergruppen. Zur Begriffsverwirrung im frühen Jungneolithikum (Die Schulterbandgruppen – Versuch einer Neubenennung). In: H.-J. Beier (Hrsg.), Der Rössener Horizont in Mitteleuropa. Wilkau-Haßlau 1994, 7-10.


  1. ^ Culture de Windmill-Hill
Baalberge group

The Baalberge Group (German: Baalberger Kultur, also Baalberge-Kultur) was a late neolithic culture whose remains are found in central Germany. It is named after its first findspot: on the Schneiderberg at Baalberge, Salzlandkreis, Saxony-Anhalt. It appears to be the oldest grouping of the Funnelbeaker culture.

In Germany it is the most common of the Funnelbeaker cultures. Because of issues with the archaeological use of the term culture it is now often referred to as the Baalberge Ceramic style (Baalberger Keramikstil). It is part of Funnelbeaker phase TRB-MES II and III in the Middle Elbe/Saale region.

Chasséen culture

Chasséen culture is the name given to the archaeological culture of prehistoric France of the late Neolithic (stone age), which dates to roughly between 4500 BC and 3500 BC. The name "Chasséen" derives from the type site near Chassey-le-Camp (Saône-et-Loire).

Chasséen culture spread throughout the plains and plateaux of France, including the Seine basin and the upper Loire valleys, and extended to the present-day départments of Haute-Saône, Vaucluse, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Pas-de-Calais and Eure-et-Loir. Excavations at Bercy (in Paris) have revealed a Chasséen village (4000 BC - 3800BC) on the right bank of the Seine; artifacts include wood canoes, pottery, bows and arrows, wood and stone tools.

Chasséens were sedentary farmers (rye, panic grass, millet, apples, pears, prunes) and herders (sheep, goats, oxen, pigs). They lived in huts organized into small villages (100-400 people). Their pottery was little decorated. They had no metal technology (which appeared later), but mastered the use of flint.

By roughly 3500 BC, the Chasséen culture in France gave way to the late Neolithic transitional Seine-Oise-Marne culture (3100BC - 2000 BC) in Northern France and to a series of archaeological cultures in Southern France.


Dackenheim is an Ortsgemeinde – a municipality belonging to a Verbandsgemeinde, a kind of collective municipality – in the Bad Dürkheim district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.


Eschnerberg, also Eschner Berg, Schellenberg, (especially used in the Austrian village of Feldkirch) is 698 m high (Klocker close to Hinterschellenberg) mountain of seven peaks in the Rhine Valley, on the borderline of Liechtenstein and the Austrian State Voralberg, close to Feldkirch.

French art

French art consists of the visual and plastic arts (including French architecture, woodwork, textiles, and ceramics) originating from the geographical area of France. Modern France was the main centre for the European art of the Upper Paleolithic, then left many megalithic monuments, and in the Iron Age many of the most impressive finds of early Celtic art. The Gallo-Roman period left a distinctive provincial style of sculpture, and the region around the modern Franco-German border led the empire in the mass production of finely decorated Ancient Roman pottery, which was exported to Italy and elsewhere on a large scale. With Merovingian art the story of French styles as a distinct and influential element in the wider development of the art of Christian Europe begins.

France can fairly be said to have been a leader in the development of Romanesque art and Gothic art, before the Renaissance led to Italy becoming the main source of stylistic developments until France matched Italy's influence during the Rococo and Neoclassicism periods and then regained the leading role in the Arts from the 19th to the mid-20th century.


The Glauberg is a Celtic oppidum in Hesse, Germany consisting of a fortified settlement and several burial mounds, "a princely seat of the late Hallstatt and early La Tène periods." Archaeological discoveries in the 1990s place the site among the most important early Celtic centres in Europe. It provides unprecedented evidence on Celtic burial, sculpture and monumental architecture.


Gudensberg is a small town in northern Hesse, Germany. Since the municipal reform in 1974, the nearby villages of Deute, Dissen, Dorla, Gleichen, Maden and Obervorschütz have become parts of the municipality.

History of the Ruhr

The actual boundaries of the Ruhr vary slightly depending on the source, but a good working definition is to define the Lippe and Ruhr as its northern and southern boundaries respectively, the Rhine as its western boundary, and the town of Hamm as the eastern limit.

In the Middle Ages, local power was vested primarily in the counts (Grafen) of Berg, Mark and Cleves. The left bank of the Rhine was held by the Archbishop of Cologne. The Hellweg was an important trade route crossing the region from Duisburg to Dortmund and beyond as far as the rivers Weser and Elbe. The most important towns of the region were concentrated along the Hellweg.

As a result of the Congress of Vienna the entire area came under the control of Prussia (the state had already gained possessions there). This event was almost concomitant with developments which would eventually make the region one of the most important industrial areas in the world.

In 1946 the state of North Rhine-Westphalia came into being, centred on the Ruhr. Nowadays, its hitherto important coal and steel industries have drastically declined and the region is in a state of re-adjustment.


The Hunsrück (German pronunciation: [ˈhʊnsʁʏk]) is a low mountain range in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is bounded by the river valleys of the Moselle (north), the Nahe (south), and the Rhine (east). The Hunsrück is continued by the Taunus mountains on the eastern side of the Rhine. In the north behind the Moselle it is continued by the Eifel. To the south of the Nahe is the Palatinate region.

Many of the hills are no higher than 400 metres (1,300 ft) above sea level. There are several chains of much higher peaks within the Hunsrück, all bearing names of their own: the (Black Forest) Hochwald, the Idar Forest, the Soonwald, and the Bingen Forest. The highest mountain is the Erbeskopf (816 m; 2,677 ft).

Notable towns located within the Hunsrück include Simmern, Kirchberg, and Idar-Oberstein, Kastellaun, and Morbach. Frankfurt-Hahn Airport is also located within the region.

The climate in the Hunsrück is characterised by rainy weather, and mist rising in the morning. Slate is still mined in the mountains. Since 2010, the region has become one of Germany's major onshore wind power regions, with major wind farms located near Ellern and Kirchberg. Nature-based tourism has increased in recent years and in 2015, a new national park was inaugurated. Culturally, the region is best known for its Hunsrückisch dialect and through depictions in the Heimat film series. The region experienced significant emigration in the mid-19th century, particularly to Brazil.

Linear Pottery culture

The Linear Pottery culture is a major archaeological horizon of the European Neolithic, flourishing c. 5500–4500 BC. It is abbreviated as LBK (from German: Linearbandkeramik), and is also known as the Linear Band Ware, Linear Ware, Linear Ceramics or Incised Ware culture, and falls within the Danubian I culture of V. Gordon Childe.

The densest evidence for the culture is on the middle Danube, the upper and middle Elbe, and the upper and middle Rhine. It represents a major event in the initial spread of agriculture in Europe. The pottery after which it was named consists of simple cups, bowls, vases, and jugs, without handles, but in a later phase with lugs or pierced lugs, bases, and necks.Important sites include Nitra in Slovakia; Bylany in the Czech Republic; Langweiler and Zwenkau in Germany; Brunn am Gebirge in Austria; Elsloo, Sittard, Köln-Lindenthal, Aldenhoven, Flomborn, and Rixheim on the Rhine; Lautereck and Hienheim on the upper Danube; and Rössen and Sonderhausen on the middle Elbe.

Two variants of the early Linear Pottery culture are recognized:

The Early or Western Linear Pottery Culture developed on the middle Danube, including western Hungary, and was carried down the Rhine, Elbe, Oder, and Vistula.

The Eastern Linear Pottery Culture flourished in eastern Hungary.Middle and late phases are also defined. In the middle phase, the Early Linear Pottery culture intruded upon the Bug-Dniester culture and began to manufacture musical note pottery. In the late phase, the Stroked Pottery culture moved down the Vistula and Elbe.

A number of cultures ultimately replaced the Linear Pottery culture over its range, but without a one-to-one correspondence between its variants and the replacing cultures. The culture map, instead, is complex. Some of the successor cultures are the Hinkelstein, Großgartach, Rössen, Lengyel, Cucuteni-Trypillian, and Boian-Maritza cultures.


Lohnweiler is an Ortsgemeinde – a municipality belonging to a Verbandsgemeinde, a kind of collective municipality – in the Kusel district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It belongs to the Verbandsgemeinde Lauterecken-Wolfstein.

Michelsberg culture

The Michelsberg culture (German: Michelsberger Kultur (MK)) is an important Neolithic culture in Central Europe. Its dates are ca 4400-3500 BC. Its conventional name is derived from that of an important excavated site on Michelsberg (short for Michaelsberg) hill near Untergrombach, between Karlsruhe and Heidelberg (Baden-Württemberg).

The Michelsberg culture is dated in the late 5th and the first half of the 4th millennium BC. Thus, it belongs to the Central European Late Neolithic. Its distribution covered much of West Central Europe, along both sides of the Rhine. A detailed chronology, based on pottery, was produced in the 1960s by the German archaeologist Jens Lüning.


Nackenheim is an Ortsgemeinde – a municipality belonging to a Verbandsgemeinde, a kind of collective municipality – and a winegrowing centre in the Mainz-Bingen district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

Niedertiefenbach (megalithic tomb)

The Niedertiefenbach tomb (German: Steinkistengrab von Niedertiefenbach) is a megalithic tomb located near Beselich-Niedertiefebach in Hesse, Germany. It belongs to the Wartberg culture of the Central European Later Neolithic. It is of special importance in Central European prehistory because of the sequence of collective burial layers contained within it.

Prehistory of France

Prehistoric France is the period in the human occupation (including early hominins) of the geographical area covered by present-day France which extended through prehistory and ended in the Iron Age with the Celtic "La Tène culture".

Stone tools indicate that early humans were present in France at least 1.57 million years ago.


Rossen is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Daniel Rossen (born 1982), American singer-songwriter

Jeff Rossen (born 1976), American television journalist

Robert Rossen (1908–1966), American screenwriter, film director, and producer

Stroke-ornamented ware culture

The Stroke-ornamented ware (culture) or (German) Stichbandkeramik (abbr. STK or STbK), Stroked Pottery culture, Danubian Ib culture of V. Gordon Childe, or Middle Danubian culture is the successor of the Linear Pottery culture, a major archaeological horizon of the European Neolithic in Central Europe.

The STK flourishes during approximately 4600-4400 BC.

Centered on Silesia in Poland, eastern Germany and the northern Czech Republic, it overlaps with the Lengyel horizon to the south, and the Rössen culture to the west.

Swifterbant culture

The Swifterbant culture was a Subneolithic archaeological culture in the Netherlands, dated between 5300 BC and 3400 BC. Like the Ertebølle culture, the settlements were concentrated near water, in this case creeks, riverdunes and bogs along post-glacial banks of rivers like the Overijsselse Vecht.

In the 1960s and 1970s, artifacts classified as "Swifterbant culture" were found in the (now dry) Noordoostpolder in the Netherlands, near the village of Swifterbant and the former island of Urk. Other well-known sites were uncovered in Zuid Holland (Bergschenhoek) and the Betuwe (Hardinxveld-Giessendam).

The oldest finds related to this culture, dated to circa 5600 BC, cannot be distinguished from the Ertebølle culture, normally associated with Northern Germany and Southern Scandinavia. The culture is ancestral to the Western group of the agricultural Funnelbeaker culture (4000–2700 BC), which extended through Northern Netherlands and Northern Germany to the Elbe.The earliest dated sites are season settlements. A transition from hunter-gatherer culture to cattle farming, primarily cows and pigs, occurred around 4800–4500 BC. Pottery has been attested from this period. In the region indications to the existence of pottery are present from before the arrival of the Linear Pottery culture in the neighbourhood.

The material culture reflects a local evolution from Mesolithic communities, with a pottery in a Nordic (Ertebølle) style and trade relationships with southern late Rössen culture communities, as testified by the presence of true Breitkeile pottery sherds.The Rössen culture, being an offshoot of Linear Pottery, is older than the finds in Swifterbant, and contemporary to older stages of this culture as found in Hoge Vaart (Almere) and Hardinxveld. Contact between Swifterbant and Rössen expressed itself by some hybrid early Swifterbant pots in Anvers (Doel) and hybrid Rössen pottery Hamburg-Boberg. In general, Swifterbant pottery does not show the same variety as Rössen pottery and Swifterbant pottery with Rössen influences are rare. Possibly the idea of cooking could be derived from agricultural neighbours. However, the technical style for making pottery are too different to consider such external influences.Wetland settlement, unlike previous opinions, was a deliberate choice by prehistoric communities, as this offered attractive ecological conditions and a high natural productivity or agricultural potential.

The economy covered a broad spectrum of resources to gather food, ruled by a strategy to diversify rather than increasing volume. As such, the wetlands offered, next to hunting and fishing, optimized conditions for cattle and small scale cultivation of different crops, each having conditions for growing of their own. The agrarian transformation of the prehistoric community was an exclusively indigenous process, that ultimately realized itself only at the end of the Neolithic. This view has been supported by the discovery of an agricultural field in Swifterbant dated 4300–4000 BC.Animal sacrifices found in the bogs of Drenthe are attributed to Swifterbant and suggest a religious role for both wild and domesticated bovines.


Zuffenhausen is one of three northernmost urban districts of the city of Stuttgart, capital of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. The district is primarily an incorporation of the formerly independent townships Zuffenhausen, Zazenhausen, Neuwirtshaus, and Rot, the latter is a historic town that gained importance in 1945 as a refugee camp for German refugees. As of 2009 around 35,000 people lived in Zuffenhausen's area of 1,200 ha (12 km2), making it the third largest of Stuttgart's outer urban districts. Zuffenhausen is also one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in Stuttgart with evidence of permanent settlements that can be traced back 7,500 years.

The etymological roots of "Zuffenhausen" are assumed to be found in the name of a seventh century Alemanni settler "Uffo" or "Offo". The oldest known official denotation as a property of Bebenhausen Abbey by Pope Innocent III dates to May 18, 1204. Zuffenhausen was proclaimed a city in 1907, yet soon financially badly affected by the Great Depression, Zuffenhausen and later Zazenhausen, agreed to the incorporation into Stuttgart city on 1 April 1931.

Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen station on the Franconia Railway is served by lines S4, S5, S6 and S60 of the Stuttgart S-Bahn. The headquarters of Porsche and the Porsche Museum are located in Zuffenhausen. Stuttgart Neuwirtshaus (Porscheplatz) station is nearby and served by lines S6 and S60.



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