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Ancient Hearths Test Carbon Dating (Humans In Brazil 56K+ Years Ago)
ABC Science Online ^ | 11-17-2003 | Bob Beale

Posted on 11/17/2003 4:02:54 PM PST by blam

Ancient hearth tests carbon dating

Bob Beale
ABC Science Online
Monday, 17 November 2003

Rock art at Serra da Capivara National Park, home of the Pedra Furada site in Brazil (Embassy of Brazil, London)

People were keeping warm by a fire in a rock shelter at least 56,000 years ago, according to new analysis of what may be the oldest known human record in the Americas.

This is about 40,000 years earlier than generally agreed for when people first arrived in the Americas.

The international team of researchers dated charcoal from a hearth at the controversial Pedra Furada archaeological site in Brazil and reported its findings in the latest issue of the journal Quaternary Science Reviews.

They used a new technique that pushes back the so-called radiocarbon dating barrier, according to Dr Guaciara dos Santos and colleagues who ran tests at the Australian National University.

Scientists have been polarised about the age of the Pedra Furada site because estimates have been in "profound disagreement" with accepted wisdom about who, when, where and how people first arrived in the Americas. These were supposedly the Clovis people who walked from Siberia into North America across an Ice Age land bridge only 12,000 to 14,000 years ago.

"These dates are good and reliable and there's no reason to doubt them," Dr Michael Bird, a member of the team who developed the new dating technique, told ABC Science Online. "The question goes back to the archaeology. If they are hearths, they are very old indeed."

The site at Pedra Furada, in the Serra da Capivara National Park, is a rich archaeological area of sandstone rock shelters. It contains many prehistoric sites, including hundreds of rock artworks, stone tools and human remains.

Earlier tests on charcoal from the deepest layers of the excavations suggested that it was at least 40,000 years old, the traditionally accepted accurate "barrier" limit of radiocarbon dating. But scientists were still puzzled about the authenticity of the hearths as human artefacts and whether younger carbon sources could have contaminated the samples and skewed the results.

The new study says that thermoluminscence testing of the hearthstones showed that they "were heated independently from the stones found outside the hearths in the same layer; thus, refuting the possibility that the stones were heated by natural fires".

It revises the dates on those earlier charcoal tests using Bird's technique to decontaminate it first. The procedure is known as ABOX (acid-base-wet-oxidation) and involves chemically scouring a fine layer off the charcoal surface.

"[This] reliably removes contamination from charcoal and wood enabling credible radiocarbon dating to about 55,000 years before present," the report said.

Bird said the method had been used in the past two years to secure radiocarbon dates older than 40,000 years for archaeological sites in South Africa and Australia, notably the famous Devil's Lair site in Western Australia, which was redated at up to 50,000 years old.

Radiocarbon dates become progressively less reliable on older material and until the ABOX technique was developed, few scientists would accept their accuracy beyond the barrier limit, he said.

"At 50,000 years you have only about 0.1% of the original radiocarbon present, so contamination with younger material is a major issue," Bird said. "This is a much better way of pre-treating the samples to get rid of any contamination. It's becoming the gold standard in archaeology for getting good reliable dates that you can believe, particularly at these old time scales."

Out of seven Pedra Furada charcoal samples scientists took from the hearth structures in the deepest layers, five were beyond the limit of the ABOX technique itself, returning ages greater than 56,000 years, the report said. Analysis of the final two samples gave finite ages of 53,000 and 55,000 years.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ancient; archaeology; brazil; carbon; clovis; dating; dillehay; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; hearth; history; humans; preclovis; tests; vikings
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Notice how all the dates regarding humans just getting older and older.
1 posted on 11/17/2003 4:03:00 PM PST by blam
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To: farmfriend
Ping.
2 posted on 11/17/2003 4:04:12 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
They are dating charcoal, so those petroglyphs are somewhat misleading, or have they been dated too? Charcoal occurs naturally, and could be of any age. I would say that this research is far from conclusive, although there is no theoretical reason why humans couldn't have come to the new world 56,000 years ago. The problem is lack of evidence.

I don't believe that the South American Indians have diverged from their Mongolian ancestors sufficiently to account for 50,000+ years of seperation, but that's pure speculation on my part.

3 posted on 11/17/2003 4:13:21 PM PST by Batrachian
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To: Batrachian
It's been an on-going debate for some time

Brazilian Findings Spark Archaeological Debate

4 posted on 11/17/2003 4:20:17 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
Notice how all the dates regarding humans just getting older and older.

Ha ha ha.
5 posted on 11/17/2003 4:22:15 PM PST by aruanan
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To: blam
"These dates are good and reliable and there's no reason to doubt them," Dr Michael Bird, a member of the team who developed the new dating technique, told ABC Science Online.

Not only is the carbon dating getting older and older but the evolutionists are getting bolder and bolder and further and further from the only accurate dating, the Bible.

I believe that God's account of creation is the only truth that is acceptable, and He said the way it is, only once, and His creation statements are final.

Save your breath and your flames of denial because they would just be wasted on this believer.

6 posted on 11/17/2003 4:24:33 PM PST by VOYAGER
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To: blam
I may yet get my wish, before I croak, to see the out of Africa crowd impailed before their door posts.
7 posted on 11/17/2003 4:27:56 PM PST by Little Bill (The Bard of Avon Rules, The Duke of Cambridge was a Mincing Quean.)
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To: blam
what may be the oldest known human record in the Americas.

It's a record if it is written or drafted. It should also be recorded at the local recorder's office, although that office may be long gone. Otherwise it is a fact or possibly information, and it is probably data, too. The date is about the same as the date of earliest Australia, so what is going on here?

8 posted on 11/17/2003 4:29:05 PM PST by RightWhale (Close your tag lines)
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To: Batrachian
I don't believe that the South American Indians have diverged from their Mongolian ancestors sufficiently to account for 50,000+ years of seperation, but that's pure speculation on my part.

Though there were people there that long ago, nothing says they had to be the genetic ancestors of the current inhabitants

9 posted on 11/17/2003 4:29:14 PM PST by ElkGroveDan (Fighting for Freedom and Having Fun)
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To: VOYAGER
I can't tell if you guys are serious sometimes
10 posted on 11/17/2003 4:29:37 PM PST by fiscally_right
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To: Little Bill
What's wrong with the out of Africa theory? I don't get it
11 posted on 11/17/2003 4:31:09 PM PST by fiscally_right
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To: blam
"There is a feeling that it's a blow against U.S. imperialism."

Well, if you're fighting "U.S. imperialism" (a communist codeword, BTW), then you can come up with all sorts of crackpot findings to support your noble fight against the Yankees. If there's one thing I hate, it's the politicization of science.

12 posted on 11/17/2003 4:35:44 PM PST by Batrachian
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To: blam
My family has been in the Northern New England/Upstate New York/Southern Canada area for at LEAST 10,000 years. We arrived there from somewhere else, but it certainly wasn't an overnight thing.

People have been in the Americas for far longer than previously thought has always been my opinion...
13 posted on 11/17/2003 4:36:51 PM PST by Chad Fairbanks (Visit http://www.intelmemo.com)
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To: RightWhale
"The date is about the same as the date of earliest Australia, so what is going on here?"

Early waves of humans going everywhere.

I posted an article about a week ago about the 1.8 million year old human skeletons found in the country of Georgia, they aren't suppose to be there....and then we still have the 200K yo Calico site in California too.

14 posted on 11/17/2003 4:40:24 PM PST by blam
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To: ElkGroveDan
I'm not sure I follow you. Are you saying that the American Indians are not necessarily descended from Asians, or that the more modern Indians are not descended from the first inhabitants of the New World, possibly from 50,000 years ago?

BTW, did you read the statement by the scientist about how her findings are a blow to "U.S. imperialism"? Kind of makes you wonder about her scientific detachment, not to mention integrity.

15 posted on 11/17/2003 4:40:42 PM PST by Batrachian
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To: Chad Fairbanks
"My family has been in the Northern New England/Upstate New York/Southern Canada area for at LEAST 10,000 years."

You must be from the Red Paint People, nice to meet you.

16 posted on 11/17/2003 4:45:47 PM PST by blam
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To: Batrachian
"Are you saying that the American Indians are not necessarily descended from Asians, or that the more modern Indians are not descended from the first inhabitants of the New World, possibly from 50,000 years ago? "

All skeletons found anywhere in the Americas that are older than 6,000 years old, are not Native Americans/American Indians as we know them today. Prior to 6,000 years ago there were other people here. There has been a slow drift/change in the language. If you'll notice the term Paleo-Americans and Paleo-Indians make a break at about 6,000 years ago.

17 posted on 11/17/2003 4:51:13 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
I'm guessing that we wiped them out, actually. We tended to be a bit agressive at times... ;0)
18 posted on 11/17/2003 4:51:27 PM PST by Chad Fairbanks (Visit http://www.intelmemo.com)
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To: Chad Fairbanks
My family has been in the Northern New England/Upstate New York/Southern Canada

We are related. Distantly, of course, since I am more Pigrim than anything else.

19 posted on 11/17/2003 4:52:33 PM PST by RightWhale (Close your tag lines)
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To: fiscally_right
I all started with the statement, with me anyway, "That just because you find it there, it doesn't mean that it originated there."

When you look at the distribution of remnant cultures, Bushmen for example, at present and then look at their historical distribution it seemes that they have been pushed to their present locations by people entering Africa not leaving, the same could be said of other remnants in other parts of the world.

I have always found it curious that things evolved in Africa and then left, it seems to me that the evidence points to things entering in waves.

20 posted on 11/17/2003 4:53:26 PM PST by Little Bill (The Bard of Avon Rules, The Duke of Cambridge was a Mincing Quean.)
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To: RightWhale
Ahhh... ok... Pilgrim, eh? Are they still around? ;0)
21 posted on 11/17/2003 4:54:34 PM PST by Chad Fairbanks (Visit http://www.intelmemo.com)
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To: Batrachian
I'm not sure I follow you. Are you saying that the American Indians are not necessarily descended from Asians, or that the more modern Indians are not descended from the first inhabitants of the New World, possibly from 50,000 years ago?

There's increasing evidence for multiple waves of humans coming into North America, with evidence of a wave having come over from Europe (perhaps along the arctic ice coast), with the European settlers being subsequently wiped out by the later wave of Asiatics coming across the Bering Strait

22 posted on 11/17/2003 4:54:51 PM PST by SauronOfMordor (Java/C++/Unix/Web Developer === (Finally employed again! Whoopie))
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To: Chad Fairbanks
Nah, my guess is that you all just moved south, European DNA Found In 7-8,000 Year Old Skeleton In Florida (Windover)
23 posted on 11/17/2003 4:55:39 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
Nope. Not me. The only movement south we made was to attack the Tribes in Georgia and FLorida, in order to put pressure on another tribe...
24 posted on 11/17/2003 4:57:00 PM PST by Chad Fairbanks (Visit http://www.intelmemo.com)
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To: blam
56+ but did they have Carnivale!
25 posted on 11/17/2003 4:57:21 PM PST by tet68 ( Patrick Henry ......."Who fears the wrath of cowards?")
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To: SauronOfMordor
Now, can you explain what you mean by the term "European Settlers"?
26 posted on 11/17/2003 4:59:52 PM PST by Chad Fairbanks (Visit http://www.intelmemo.com)
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To: Chad Fairbanks
Pilgrim, eh? Are they still around?

Yeah, but they don't wear those hats anymore because modern cars just don't have the headroom.

27 posted on 11/17/2003 5:00:21 PM PST by RightWhale (Close your tag lines)
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To: Batrachian
I'm not sure I follow you. Are you saying that the American Indians are not necessarily descended from Asians, or that the more modern Indians are not descended from the first inhabitants of the New World, possibly from 50,000 years ago?

The latter. The people who built the fire could have been from somewhere other than Asia. Or they could have been from Asia and then died out or fled elsewhere, thus not leaving and descendants there.

If you want to read about something interesting on all of this do a search on Kennewick Man, a skeleton with caucasian features dating -9 or -10k that was found in Washington. The Clinton folks engaged in a huge effort to destroy the site because of the non-PC implications of having caucasians in the new world BEFORE or concurrent with the first ancestors of today's Indians.

28 posted on 11/17/2003 5:01:34 PM PST by ElkGroveDan (Fighting for Freedom and Having Fun)
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To: RightWhale
And I take it the buckles are gone, too, right? I could see those being problematic at the airport...
29 posted on 11/17/2003 5:02:04 PM PST by Chad Fairbanks (Visit http://www.intelmemo.com)
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To: ElkGroveDan

Spirit Cave man, 9,400 Years old (older than Kennewick Man) was found in a cave in Nevada. He is the oldest mummy ever found in the Americas.

30 posted on 11/17/2003 5:07:08 PM PST by blam
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To: ElkGroveDan
Or, maybe we are all wrong and my people, Haudenosaunee, for example, were descendents of "Europeans" that migrated here... However, once they migrated here and intermingled with others that may have already been here, they stopped being "European" and became "Americans", with a totally different culture etc...

Not too far-fetched, actually...
31 posted on 11/17/2003 5:07:33 PM PST by Chad Fairbanks (Visit http://www.intelmemo.com)
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To: Chad Fairbanks
Right. I haven't told you the story about why one of them went to live with the Indians and what all transpired. It's kind of a long story and not particularly interesting except to descendants. But he married a nice lady and eventually returned when things had cooled down.
32 posted on 11/17/2003 5:08:19 PM PST by RightWhale (Close your tag lines)
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To: RightWhale
Ahhh... got in a bit of trouble, and hit the road, did he?
33 posted on 11/17/2003 5:10:09 PM PST by Chad Fairbanks (Visit http://www.intelmemo.com)
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To: ElkGroveDan

Luzia, 11,500 years old was found in Brazil. She is believed to be Australian.

34 posted on 11/17/2003 5:10:20 PM PST by blam
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To: Chad Fairbanks
Well, you know, Pilgrims could be a little rowdy now and then. He apparently thought it would be an ideal time to explore the Northland.
35 posted on 11/17/2003 5:16:32 PM PST by RightWhale (Close your tag lines)
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To: RightWhale
Ended up among the Abenaki?
36 posted on 11/17/2003 5:17:49 PM PST by Chad Fairbanks (Visit http://www.intelmemo.com)
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To: Chad Fairbanks
He wasn't too clear on exactly where he ended up. Or I'm not too clear. The family didn't talk about him much. Up towards James Bay, anyway.
37 posted on 11/17/2003 5:20:56 PM PST by RightWhale (Close your tag lines)
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To: RightWhale
Ahhh... Ok, most likely Cree, then...
38 posted on 11/17/2003 5:21:54 PM PST by Chad Fairbanks (Visit http://www.intelmemo.com)
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To: ElkGroveDan
Not another Piltdown Man, I hope? I don't trust these bizarre findings that are out of left field like this one. How is it that only one skeleton was found? If you invoke Occam's Razor, the most likely explanation is that this skeleton is an ordinary European from recent times and that the dating is wrong. The simplest explanations are usually the correct ones.

There's always something new and wierd that can't be explained by established theories, but it takes more than one skeleton or one hearth site to prove the point.

39 posted on 11/17/2003 5:24:43 PM PST by Batrachian
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To: blam
Notice how all the dates regarding humans just getting older and older.

Oh I do. Maybe the guys of "Forbidden Archeology" have the right idea. I am going to have to re-read that book this winter.

40 posted on 11/17/2003 5:28:35 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (No matter how subtle the wizard, a knife between the shoulder blades will seriously cramp his style)
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To: Chad Fairbanks
Tell me about it...
41 posted on 11/17/2003 5:30:24 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (No matter how subtle the wizard, a knife between the shoulder blades will seriously cramp his style)
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To: Chad Fairbanks
Maybe. Whoever they were, they were nothing but friendly. When they returned to New York, still kind of the Frontier, the RightWhale ancestors had a lot of children and named the girls for Christian virtues. Patience, Charity, Hope, that kind of thing, and the boys got Bible names. Their hats were more utilitarian by then.
42 posted on 11/17/2003 5:30:53 PM PST by RightWhale (Close your tag lines)
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To: blam
If only carbon dating was reliable ... then this could be interesting. Then atheists, er evolutionists, would have a leg to stand on. Instead it's the same ole thing - crowing about nothing and no evidence to support it.
43 posted on 11/17/2003 5:31:16 PM PST by nmh
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear
Heh heh heh
44 posted on 11/17/2003 5:33:26 PM PST by Chad Fairbanks (Visit http://www.intelmemo.com)
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To: VOYAGER
May I "ditto" you? Hope so.

I've never seen "theories" become "facts" as fast in evolution - all without sound evidence! In evolutionary wishful thinking, these "facts" have a nasty habit of reverting back to "theories" . Evolution is a godless fantasy world whose sole intent is deny God created all in a literal six day period.

45 posted on 11/17/2003 5:34:55 PM PST by nmh
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To: Chad Fairbanks
I suppose that is one reason I can't understand why some people get so upset over the very idea that there were people in the Americas before us and that we pushed them out. Although undoubtedly a few of them joined our ancestral line as well.

It isn't as if it was something to be ashamed of, it happened a very long time ago and it isn't as if it were unique either. You don't see a lot of Cannanites running around these days.

Are we starting to actually believe that New Age crap?

We were the tough, the brave, the bold and, yes, the very ruthless. I, personally take offense at the idea that my ancestors were fluffy, little de-clawed kittens!

46 posted on 11/17/2003 6:07:51 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (No matter how subtle the wizard, a knife between the shoulder blades will seriously cramp his style)
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To: Ichneumon
Here's something for your article...
47 posted on 11/17/2003 6:15:51 PM PST by jennyp (http://crevo.bestmessageboard.com)
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To: blam; *Gods, Graves, Glyphs; Alas Babylon!; Andyman; annyokie; bd476; BiffWondercat; ...
Gods, Graves, Glyphs
List for articles regarding early civilizations , life of all forms, - dinosaurs - etc.

Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from this ping list.

48 posted on 11/17/2003 9:34:53 PM PST by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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To: aruanan
sure is a good thing the rats weren't around to mess with homeschooling!
49 posted on 11/17/2003 10:38:34 PM PST by buccaneer (no rats on my ship !)
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear
I suppose that is one reason I can't understand why some people get so upset over the very idea that there were people in the Americas before us and that we pushed them out.

If there's one old shibboleth that applies to this subject, it's "same as it ever was".

I just can't buy all this pushin' out, subduin' and exterminatin' in the fullness of its application: if the modern history of man is any indication of what transpired pre-historically, it's more likely--to me anyway...applying unscientific chin scratchin' and ruminatin'--that various indiginous populations were absorbed rather than wiped out.

Take, for example, the Kelts, Romans, Saxons, Jutes Angles, Danes and Normans in the Isles. While it is apparent that, generally speaking, the complexion of the inhabitants gets darker the farther west you go, there is probably little in the way of racial purity left after only 2000 years.

Here in the US, particularly in the urban areas, the population of mixed-race people growing exponentially. This after only a couple-hundred years. What about in a thousand, with the increased mobility and all?

Need we mention Iceland?

I suspect that the reason American Indians do not resemble their alleged Asian ancestors is because of racial mixing with Kelt, or whomever else was here before them. A lot of the depictions of Northeast Indians look downright anglo--as opposed to the faces of more western tribes.

My stupid, unlearned surmise...

There's always whacking going on between people, but the females, especially, are not so cavalierly wasted. So, anyway, I also think that, in the main, most of us can claim indiginous status. Mebbe my Irish ancestors came in waves serarated by, like ten-thousand years. I'm the product of at least a dozen or more identifiably different cultural--if not racial--ancestors. Now I'm just American....a totally new sub-species?

50 posted on 11/17/2003 11:25:21 PM PST by dasboot (Celebrate UNITY!)
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