ANCIENT EGYPT'S PYRAMIDS The first tombs in Egypt were a simple matter of wrapping a body and covering it in rocks. After that they found the body better preserved in a mastaba. A mastaba's sunbaked mud walls were decorated and gave protection against nature.

Pyramids were built as tombs for pharaohs. They had temples that connected long passageways to the pyramid. The temple is where people came to worship and praise the pharaohs that they considered gods. The funeral was held in the temple then the body was carried into the tomb. Inside the pyramid there were many chambers and passages containing statues of pure gold. There were also a lot of writing and drawings telling the accomplishments of the pharaoh.

In order to build a pyramid huge solid blocks of limestone weighing on average five thousand pounds (2.5 tons) each were cut from quarries using only copper chisels. The blocks were then loaded on huge sleds and dragged to waiting boats on the Nile River. Once the boats crossed, the blocks were taken to the site which already had a few under-ground chambers dug out. The blocks were then dragged into place for the first level of the pyramid. Ramps were built to drag more blocks up to the next level of the pyramid. The massive tomb was then encased in limestone and painted with red, turquoise, and other beautiful colors. M Many scholars think the pyramid's shape was an important religious statement for the Egyptians, perhaps symbolizing the slanting rays of the sun. Some speculate the sloping sides were intended to help the soul of the king climb to the sky and join the gods. I Imhotep is credited for the invention of the pyramid around 2630 BC Imhotep started in Saqqara what was originally supposed to be a mastaba. However, when he was finished he had built one mastaba on top of another until it consisted of six steps some two hundred feet high. All this was encased in smooth white limestone that must have reflected the sun's rays

The great pyramid was located in Giza that is located in modern day Cairo. The

Great pyramid is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It is believed that it took over twenty years to build. The huge monument that was built for King Khufu around the year 2560 BC When it was built the great pyramid was one hundred forty-five meters (481 feet) high. Over the years it lost about ten meters off the top. It was the tallest structure on earth for more than forty-three centuries. Each of the Great pyramid's corners point right at a cardinal directions (North, South, East, and West). The extremely large pyramid consists of approximately two million blocks of solid stone. At the time of construction it also had casing stones made of smooth white limestone. All of the interior stones fit so well not even a playing card will fit between them. Some people think that slaves built the Great pyramid but this is not true. The Great pyramid was built by one hundred thousand people who worked for three months each year. This is the time of the Nile's annual flood that made it impossible to farm and most people were unemployed. King Khufu provided good food and clothing for his workers and was kindly remembered in folk tales for many years.

The Valley of the Kings contains the tombs of many later pharaohs. These rulers were aware that robbers had taken the treasures from most earlier pyramids. So they decided to have their tombs built in isolated cliffs near Thebes. Sixty-two tombs have been found there so far. However, despite their effort these kings' tombs were also robbed.

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