Archaeologists divide ancient Egypt's
history into three big blocks of time. In each block of time, all
pharaohs behaved in a certain way. These blocks of time were called
kingdoms. Scientists named these blocks the Old Kingdom, the Middle
Kingdom, and the New Kingdom.
the time of the Old Kingdom, pharaohs were buried in pyramids. It
was time consuming to build a pyramid. It was expensive to build a
pyramid. It was hard to hide a pyramid. These were all problems.
the ancient Egyptians made grave goods. They made little clay figures to
do their work for them in their afterlife, and all kinds of little miniature
things that would magically grow to whatever size they needed. Grave
goods were made to be buried with them in their tombs. They did not want
to be robbed of their comfort in their afterlife.
also wanted their grave goods to stay buried with them. But Pharaohs'
grave goods were treasures. Men were hired to guard the pyramid. The
guards lived in a "pyramid city", located at the base of
pyramid. Most guards had families with them. All of these people had to
be fed and sheltered and clothed. That's how the guards were paid. That
added more expense.
out to be a great deal of trouble and expense. Pyramids went out of
During the time of the Middle Kingdom,
pharaohs were buried in hidden tombs all over the place. The
Egyptian tomb builders did a wonderful job hiding the tombs.
Archaeologist know what pharaohs ruled during this time period. The
ancient Egyptians believed if you didn't have your name written down
somewhere, you would disappear from your afterlife. Everybody wanted to
enjoy their afterlife, so Pharaohs' had their name written down and
chiseled everywhere. But, archaeologists still have not found all the
During the time of the New Kingdom,
pharaohs were all buried in hidden tombs in the same geographical area.
Archaeologists call this area the Valley of the Kings. This was a
compromise for the ancient Egyptians. It was during this time period in
history that Egypt became a world power in the ancient world.