Presentation by Channel 4 Documentaries
The first royal tombs, called mastabas, were built at Abydos during the first and second dynasties. They were marked with a stele inscribed with the kings’ names. The burial chambers were cut into the rock, lined with sun-baked bricks and faced with wooden boards that have long since disappeared. Beside the chambers were rooms containing jars, small objects, and offerings of food and drink. The tombs were surrounded by a large number of graves of women and dwarves. These people may have been servants of the kings who were sacrificed to serve them in their afterlife.
Pyramids were built as royal burials until 1640 B.C. The most famous is the Great Pyramid at Giza. To prevent robbery, the kings, queens and nobles of the New Kingdom built their tombs in a remote valley west of the Theban capital known as the Valley of the Kings. The tombs of Egypt are one of the greatest tourist attractions in the world. They are indeed a world treasure!