- from Pyramids
Long before the pyramids, Egyptians were buried in the desert in shallow pits. Hot sand preserved their bodies.
Around 3000 B.C., kings and high officials started building big, flat-topped tombs. These were called mastabas (MAS-tuh-buhz). Each had a burial chamber and rooms full of goods in it.
The first pyramid was the Step Pyramid, built out of stone around 2700 B.C. Like later pyramids, it had two purposes. It was a royal tomb. It was also a temple for worshipping the spirit of the dead king.
By 1600 B.C., robbers had raided many of the pyramids. They stole gold and precious items. So, later pharaohs looked for a safer place to spend eternity. They thought hidden tombs cut in solid rock would be better. Many of them are buried in the bleak Valley of the Kings.
Ancient Egyptians believed eternal life happened in a paradise called the Field of Reeds. But the dead had to pass through a scary place full of monsters and demons to get there. To keep them safe, priests collected spells. One collection was called the Book of the Dead. A copy was put in each tomb. But no one copy contains all 200 spells.