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Egyptian pyramids

The Egyptian pyramids are ancient pyramid-shaped masonry structures located in Egypt.

There are 138 pyramids discovered in Egypt as of 2008. Most were built as tombs for the country's Pharaohs and their consorts during the Old and Middle Kingdom periods.

The earliest known Egyptian pyramids are found at Saqqara, northwest of Memphis. The earliest among these is the Pyramid of Djoser (constructed 2630 BCE–2611 BCE) which was built during the third dynasty. This pyramid and its surrounding complex were designed by the architect Imhotep, and are generally considered to be the world's oldest monumental structures constructed of dressed masonry.

The most famous Egyptian pyramids are those found at Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo. Several of the Giza pyramids are counted among the largest structures ever built.

The Pyramid of Khufu at Giza is the largest Egyptian pyramid. It is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still in existence.

Historical development

By the time of the early dynastic period of Egyptian history, those with sufficient means were buried in bench-like structures known as mastabas.

The second historically documented Egyptian pyramid is attributed to the architect Imhotep, who planned what Egyptologists believe to be a tomb for the pharaoh Djoser. Imhotep is credited with being the first to conceive the notion of stacking mastabas on top of each other — creating an edifice composed of a number of "steps" that decreased in size towards its apex. The result was the Step Pyramid of Djoser— which was designed to serve as a gigantic stairway by which the soul of the deceased pharaoh could ascend to the heavens. Such was the importance of Imhotep's achievement that he was deified by later Egyptians.

The most prolific pyramid-building phase coincided with the greatest degree of absolutist pharaonic rule. It was during this time that the most famous pyramids, those near Giza, were built. Over time, as authority became less centralized, the ability and willingness to harness the resources required for construction on a massive scale decreased, and later pyramids were smaller, less well-built and often hastily constructed.

Long after the end of Egypt's own pyramid-building period, a burst of pyramid-building occurred in what is present-day Sudan, after much of Egypt came under the rule of the Kings of Napata. While Napatan rule was brief and ceased in 661 BC, the Egyptian influence made an indelible impression, and during the later Sudanese Kingdom of Meroe (approximately in the period between 300 BC–300 AD) this flowered into a full-blown pyramid-building revival, which saw more than two hundred indigenous, but Egyptian-inspired royal pyramid-tombs constructed in the vicinity of the kingdom's capital cities.

Pyramid symbolism

The shape of Egyptian pyramids is thought to represent the primordial mound from which the Egyptians believed the earth was created. The shape of a pyramid is thought to be representative of the descending rays of the sun, and most pyramids were faced with polished, highly reflective white limestone, in order to give them a brilliant appearance when viewed from a distance. Pyramids were often also named in ways that referred to solar luminescence. For example, the formal name of the Bent Pyramid at DahshurThe Southern Shining Pyramid, and that of Senwosret at el-Lahun was Senwosret is Shining.

While it is generally agreed that pyramids were burial monuments, there is continued disagreement on the particular theological principles that might have given rise to them. One theory is that they were designed as a type of "resurrection machine."

The Egyptians believed the dark area of the night sky around which the stars appear to revolve was the physical gateway into the heavens. One of the narrow shafts that extends from the main burial chamber through the entire body of the Great Pyramid points directly towards the center of this part of the sky. This suggests the pyramid may have been designed to serve as a means to magically launch the deceased pharaoh's soul directly into the abode of the gods.

All Egyptian pyramids were built on the west bank of the Nile, which as the site of the setting sun was associated with the realm of the dead in Egyptian mythology.

Number and location of pyramids

In 1842 Karl Richard Lepsius produced the first modern list of pyramids, in which he counted 67. A great many more have since been discovered. As of November 2008, 118 Egyptian pyramids have been identified.

The location of Pyramid 29, which Lepsius called the "Headless Pyramid", was lost for a second time when the structure was buried by desert sands subsequent to Lepsius' survey. It was only found again during an archaeological dig conducted in 2008.

Many pyramids are in a poor state of preservation or buried by desert sands. If visible at all they may appear as little more than mounds of rubble. As a consequence archaeologists are continuing to identify and study previously unknown pyramid structures.

The most recent pyramid to be discovered is that of Queen Sesheshet, mother of 6th Dynasty Pharaoh Teti, located at Saqqara. The discovery was announced by surname and part of a person's name indicating the family to which the person belongs. The use of family names is widespread in cultures around the world. Each culture has its own rules as to how these names are applied and used.

In many cultures (notably Euro-American, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African) the family name is normally the last part of a person's name. In other cultures, the family name comes first. The latter is often called the Eastern order because Europeans are most familiar with the examples from East Asia, specifically China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam. Since family names are normally given last in European societies, the term last name is commonly used for family name.

Family names are most often used to refer to a stranger or in a formal setting, and are often used with a title or honorific such as Mr, Mrs, Ms, Miss, Dr, and so on. Generally the given name, first name, forename, or personal name is the one used by friends, family, and other intimates to address an individual. It may also be used by someone who is in some way senior to the person being addressed. This practice also differs between cultures, see T-V distinction.

In this article, family name and surname both mean the patrilineal (literally, father-line) surname, handed down from or inherited from the father's line or patriline, unless explicitly stated otherwise. Thus, the term "maternal surname" means the patrilineal surname which one's mother inherited from either or both of her parents. In contrast, the "matrilineal surname" or "mother-line surname", handed down from or inherited from the mother's line, is treated in its own section of a totally separate article, to avoid complicating this large Family name article—see Matrilineality's Matrilineal surname section.

Research on individual names

Onomastics is the study of proper names including family names. A one-name study is a collection of vital and other biographical data about all persons worldwide sharing a particular surname. The Guild of One-Name Studies is a major UK-based organization in this field.


The oldest use of family names or surnames is unclear. Surnames have arisen in cultures with large, concentrated populations where single, personal names for individuals became insufficient to identify them clearly. Many cultures use additional descriptive terms in identifying individuals. These terms may indicate personal attributes, location of origin, occupation, parentage, patronage, adoption, or clan affiliation. These descriptors often developed into fixed clan identifications which in turn became family names as we know them today.

In China, according to legend, family names started with Emperor Fu Xi in 2852 BCE His administration standardised the naming system in order to facilitate census-taking, and the use of census information. For scientific documentation that matrilineal surnames existed in China before the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BCE) and that "by the time of the Shang Dynasty they (Chinese surnames) had become patrilineal", see Matrilineality's China section.

In Japan, family names were uncommon except among the aristocracy until the 19th century.

In Ancient Greece, during some periods, it became common to use one's place of origin as a part of a person's official identification. At other times, clan names and patronymics ("son of") were also common. For example, Alexander the Great was known by the clan name Heracles and was, therefore, Heracleides (as a supposed descendant of Heracles) and by the dynastic name Karanos/Caranus, which referred to the founder of the dynasty to which he belonged. In none of these cases, though, were these names considered formal parts of the person's name, nor were they explicitly inherited in the manner which is common in many cultures today.

In the Roman Empire, the bestowal and use of clan and family names waxed and waned with changes in the various subcultures of the realm. (SeeRoman naming conventions.) At the outset, they were not strictly inherited in the way that family names are inherited in many cultures today. Eventually, though, family names began to be used in a manner similar to most modern European societies. With the gradual influence of Greek/Christian culture throughout the Empire, the use of formal family names declined. By the time of the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century, family names were uncommon in the Eastern Roman (i.e. Byzantine) Empire. In Western Europe where Germanic culture dominated the aristocracy, family names were almost non-existent. They would not significantly reappear again in Eastern Roman society until the 10th century, apparently influenced by the familial affiliations of the Armenian military aristocracy. The practice of using family names spread through the Eastern Roman Empire and gradually into Western Europe although it was not until the modern era that family names came to be explicitly inherited in the way that they are today.

In the case of England, the most accepted theory of the origin of family names is to attribute their introduction to the Normans and the Domes

From Yahoo Answers

Question:If the last name ends with "mucci" What is the last name origin? Cause I know a couple people who's last name ends with a "mucci" Thanks

Answers:I'm almost 100% sure it's Italian origin. Okay, in fact, it is derived from an Italian origin. Proves so here: http://www.4crests.com/mucci-coat-of-arms.html

Question:Does anyone know of a site that can figure out the origin of a last name? I'm specifically trying to find what country the last name "Hamerly" originated from. Thanks.

Answers:Hammerly Name Meaning and History Americanized spelling of German Hammerle. Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4 http://www.ancestry.com/facts/Hammerly-family-history.ashx Hammerle Name Meaning and History German (H mmerle): diminutive of Hammer. Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4 http://www.ancestry.com/facts/Hammerle-family-history.ashx Hammer Name Meaning and History 1.German, English, and Jewish (Ashkenazic): from Middle High German hamer, Yiddish hamer, a metonymic occupational name for a maker or user of hammers, for example in a forge, or nickname for a forceful person. 2.English and German: topographic name for someone who lived in an area of flat, low-lying alluvial land beside a stream, Old English hamm, Old High German ham (see Hamm) + the English and German agent suffix -er. 3.Norwegian: variant of Hamar. http://www.ancestry.com/facts/Hammer-family-history.ashx Hamm Name Meaning and History 1.English: topographic name from Old English hamm, denoting a patch of flat, low-lying alluvial land beside a stream (often a promontory or water meadow in a river bend), or a habitational name from any of numerous places named with this word, for example in Gloucestershire, Greater London, Kent, Somerset, and Wiltshire. 2.German: topographic name for someone who lived on land in a river bend, Old High German ham (see 1 above). 3.German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): habitational name from Hamm, a city in Westphalia.Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4 http://www.ancestry.com/facts/Hamm-family-history.ashx Hamar Name Meaning and History Norwegian: habitational name from several farmsteads named Hamar, from Old Norse hamarr hammer , denoting a hammer-shaped cliff or crag. Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4 http://www.ancestry.com/facts/Hamar-family-history.ashx Surname: Hammer Recorded as Hamer, Hammer, Hamor, and Hammor, this is a pre-medieval English surname. It has two possible origins. The first is locational from the village of Hamer, near Rochdale, in the county of Lancashire. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th century word "hamor" meaning a rock or crag. Most name holders in the north of the country are from this origin. The second source is early German, Flemish or Dutch, being a metonymic occupational name for a maker of hammers, or perhaps a user of a hammer, and deriving from the word "hamar" meaning stone. This is clearly an example of a transferred meaning, as hammers have generally been made of metals since at least Roman times. Early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving rolls and registers include: John le Hammer in the pipe rolls of the county of Sussex in the year 1332, whilst John de Heymer is recorded in "Baines History of Lancashire" in 1461. Katerina Hamer married Thomas Anderson, at St. Andrew's Enfield, in the county of Middlesex, on July 22nd 1560, and Ralph, the son of Ralph Hamer, was christened at St. Nicholas Acons, in the city of London, on February 16th 1589. Edward and James Hamer, who were Irish famine emigrants, sailed from Liverpool to New York aboard the ship "Windsor-Castle" on June 9th 1847. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling. http://www.surnamedb.com/surname.aspx?name=Hammer You can look on the LDS site, there were German, Swiss and English immigrants with your spelling on the 1880 US Census. http://www.familysearch.org/eng/Search/frameset_search.asp

Question:im trying to find out the origin of my last name toker. i have found tokarus,tokar and toker on my grandfathers papers(idk why there different last names).his father mom married into the toker family. before his mother remarried she was with a man whos last name was matusovic.

Answers:TOKER Surname Origin: English The name Toker is rooted in the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It was originally a name for someone who worked as a fuller, whose job it was to scour and thicken raw cloth by beating it and trampling it in water having derived from the Old English word tucian, which originally meant to torment and later gained the meaning to tuck or to full. Occasionally, he Toker was a nickname surname given to a courageous person. The variation of the name Toker include Tucker, Tooker, Toker, Tokker and others. First found in Devon where they held a family seat from very ancient times. http://www.houseofnames.com/fc.asp?sId=&s=Toker Tokar Name Meaning and History Jewish (eastern Ashkenazic) and Ukrainian: occupational name from Ukrainian tokar turner . Compare Polish Tokarz. Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4 http://www.ancestry.com/facts/Tokar-family-history.ashx On the LDS regular site there are records for the surname in the following countries: England, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Ukraine, Cuba and the US. http://www.familysearch.org/eng/search/frameset_search.asp On the LDS Pilot site, there are records for the TOKAR surname in databases for the following countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, Czechoslovakia, England, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Poland, Russia, Romania, Scotland and the US. http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsearch/start.html#surname=Tokar&p=recordResults&searchType=close For the TOKARUS spelling there was only one record on the LDS regular site: U.S. Social Security Death Index 1. Andrew TOKARUS - U.S. Social Security Death Index Birth: 17 Nov 1887 State Where Number was Issued: New York Death: May 1970 http://www.familysearch.org/eng/search/frameset_search.asp On the LDS Pilot site, I found some US records plus one New Passenger Arrival Lists [Ellis Island], 1892-1924 for: Given Name: Andrej Surname: Tokarus Last Place of Residence: Wizhorodka, Russia Date of Arrival: 21 Dec 1907 Age at Arrival: 20y Ethnicity: Russian Port of Departure: Trieste Port of Arrival: New York Gender: Male Marital Status: M US Citizen: Ship of Travel: Alice Collection: New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924 http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsearch/start.html#surname=tokarus&p=recordResults&searchType=close For the Matusovic surname, I found only US records on the LDS regular website. http://www.familysearch.org/eng/search/frameset_search.asp On the LDS Pilot site, I found some US records plus some New York Passenger Arrival Lists [Ellis Island], 1892-1924 for: Gyorgy Matusovic, Russia; Imre Matusovic, Hungary; Andrej Matusovic, Hungary; Matias Matusovic, Hungary; Andras Matusovic, Hungary http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsearch/start.html#surname=matusovic&p=recordResults&searchType=close I m not sure if Toker and Tokar are variants of each other as one is English and one is Polish but Tokar may be a shortened version of Takarus.

Question:I have searched and search for a neighbor, and cannot find any records of the country it comes from. Any ideas or suggestions, even educated guesses?

Answers:I found 2 different groups of immigrants with that surname using that exact spelling...there were another 100 using a close variant. Three were Magyars (Hungarians), but six were from Poland. In Polish records I've found the same people using a number of variant spellings (very common because of the literacy rate being so low). 4 were from ydowo Pozna and also used the spelling Czepko or Ciepko/Ciepka. The others were from Szamotu y. There were two other Chepkos who were Polish and came to the US, but they lived in France for several years and that's the "last residence" listed. Their hometowns aren't listed on the manifests. Amongst the Magyar lines, I can find the records for a mother and child with the hometown listed, but I can't decypher the writing for the town. I can tell you they listed that they were moving to Sharon Pennsylvania and that the husband (Miso Chepko) had come ahead of the rest of the family and was already living in Sharon. I haven't found his immigration records to compare. There's also a 35 year old man named Paul Chepko, last living in Budapest but declaring himself a German citizen, who came over in 1902. His contact information in the US didn't film well and is pretty much illegible. But one thing is clear, he was probably a German-Pole who had been living in Hungary (based on all the margin notes, etc). You're probably looking at two families (one in each country) where the names developed independently of each other. But in both cases, the immigration was in roughly the last 100 years, which isn't much digging to do. Find her grandparents' death certificates and you should have the answer to your question. ETA: I also found a WWI draft registration for Chepko, Wladimir 18 Sep 1893 Selets Russia. He was living in New Castle DE. Selets is in what we now call Belarus. I also found our immigrant, Paul Chepko, was living in Westmoreland PA in 1917, his DOB was 20 May 1878.

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Egyptian protests :Forces of Liberation should Remain United The revolution that is underway in the Middle East has already far-reaching implications for the region. In Tunis, Ben Ali is gone. In Amman, the government has been sacked while in Yemen, Palestine and Syria, fresh promises of reform are being pledged. The current eye of the storm that is Egypt, Hosni Mubarak is barely hanging on. It remains to be seen how long he is going to last given the benchmark set in Tunis, the city where it all began. Israel has expressed shock at the United States as well as her European allies for their apparent readiness to dump an unwavering 'strategic friend' of three decades. It is ironic that Israel, an ethnic entity that has boasted to be the only true democracy in the region is jittery about the forces of liberation that want to make the Middle East a safe neighbourhood of more democratic and transparent governments. At the same time, it is very easy to see why Israel is nervous about it. Israel has been a single beneficiary of despotic regimes of the region ruling in spite of their people. So, to see Mubarak go like this is cause for concern. The writing is on the wall: The same forces that now have been mobilising across the region for domestic regime change, have the potential of unleashing themselves for the end of occupation in Palestine on another day. New, popular and accountable governments in the Middle East will not tolerate the continued humiliation of the people of Occupied ...

Carrie Underwood - Last Name :Music video by Carrie Underwood performing Last Name. (C) 2008 19 Recordings Limited