First Dynasty Kings were not buried in pyramids yet. They were buried in tombs, but they weren't pyramids. Sometimes
the tombs were underground. Bricks covered their graves. Many of them were buried in Abydos. It is near the Western Desert.
Ancient Egyptians called it the Land of the Dead. Sometimes boats were buried near the graves so that the dead Kings could
use them in their afterlife (even though we know that's not true). When King Aha was buried, some of his servants poisoned
themselves so they could serve him in the afterlife.
Then there was the Old Kingdom. It was from about
2650 - 2150 B.C. King Zoser was the ruler. A man named Imhotep was his first minister. He knew how to make buildings and he
was really smart. He was probably the one who thought of how to make the Step Pyramid. That was the first stone
building and everybody else copied that pyramid too and sometimes they made changes as they got smarter.
The Step Pyramid
was the tomb for Zoser's family and for Zoser too. It is 200 feet tall. It was made of limestone which is a soft rock. There
is a maze and secret chambers inside it. It was packed with all kinds of supplies the King thought he'd need for his
After the Step Pyramid, other kinds of Pyramids got built. There are three really important pyramids
at a place called Giza. It is by the west bank of the Nile River, which is in Africa. These pyramids were made
for three different pharoahs. They were Cheops, Chephren, and Mycerinus. Also there was a temple attached to each
pyramid. That is where the dead king was worshiped. They were made between 2660 and 2560 B.C.
King Cheops lived in
Egypt. He wanted a stone tent for his burial chamber. The stone tent is really a very large stone pyramid. Thousands
of his slaves and servants helped him build the stone tent. It 481 feet high. It is as tall as 800 stairs. It takes
up 13 acres of land. That is so large it can fill 8 football fields. He wanted it to be as big as a mountain. He wanted
his people to remember his power too. Because it is made out of stone, the great pyramid still stands. It is called
one of the ancient 7 wonders of the world. That's why people come from around the world to see it.
used sleds or stuff like ramps to move big stones that weighed as much as 4 cows. They actually somehow put it together. And
they used the final stone for the top. It took them 20 years to make it. Because of all the techonology we have now,
it would take less than a year to build a great pyramid.
The Egyptians made tombs that had flat roofs for dead important
people. They were called nobles. These tombs are called mastabas. Sometimes they were made of mud brick or of limestone.
temple for sun worship was found near Giza. There was an altar in the middle of it. Also there was a religious
and sacred symbol of the sun in the middle. It is called an obelisk
Maybe the most famous sculpture in Egypt is the Great Sphinx at Giza. It is huge. It has a lion's body and the head
of a man. It is as tall as a 7 story building. Egyptians also made all kinds of different
sculptures. They did wall
carvings of things from their regular life. Sometimes the wall carvings inside the tombs looked a lot like paintings.
great artists whose names are unknown are the ones who figured out the shape of the pyramids in the first place. Burial chambers
had lots of treasures and colors inside; gems, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, diamonds. There was lots of other cool stuff too.
there was the Middle Kingdom. It was from 2040 - 1640 B.C. The oldest temple was found in a city called Thebes. It was
like a capital city. It was the tomb for King Menuhotep II. There was a lot of sculptures made too. There were
some of huge statues of kings made out of granite and other hard rocks. They made little scupltures of people to put in the
tombs. The Middle Kingdom ended because they kept getting invaded by people from other countries.
The New Kingdom
went from 1550 - 1070 B.C. The Egyptian kings were fierce warriors. They kept defeating the states around them. They
made Egypt a rich and powerful empire. They had tons of gold, but they couldn't stop the pyramids from getting robbed of their
treasures. So they stopped building pyramids. Instead they made their tombs in big rock cliffs in the city of Thebes.
art got better. It looked more real than art from the other dynasties. Probably the artists were smarter and just got better.
The paintings in Thebes were so great, the New Kingdom is called the Golden Age of Egyptian painting.
III had a son. His name was Amenhotep IV, but he changed it to Akhenaten. It means "servant of the Aten." He did
something that was strange in his time. He decided to not worship many gods. He worshiped only one god. The god he worshiped
was the sun disk, Aten. But after he died the Egyptians all worshiped a lot of gods again. One of the gods they
worshiped was named Osiris. He is the god of the dead.
After, a young boy became king. His name was Tutankhaten, but
he changed it to Tutankhamun. That means, "living image of Amun". Amun was a god he worshiped. He was king for
nine years. Then he suddenly died. His wife's name was Ankhesenamun. Her mother was Nefertiti. People thought the women were