Tombs for Egyptian Pharaohs have changed through the history of Egypt. Early kings were buried in simple mastaba tombs: bench-like mudbrick structures with a simple burial chamber and storage chambers.
The mastaba tomb slowly morphed into a larger, more impressive monuments: the pyramids. At first, stepped pyramids (Djoser and Semerkhet), which looked like a series of mastabas stacked one upon another. Then, the first attempts at a true pyramid shape produced the pyramid at Maidum, and the two Dashur pyramids, the Red and the Bent (built by Snofru). The fourth dynasty saw the rise of the true pyramid with the Great Pyramid and its brethren on the Giza Plateau built by Khufu, khafre, and Menkaure.
The following dynasties continued to build the pyramid and other tombs, until the late 18th dynasty, when the first rock-cut tombs appeared in Thebes. These were simple courtyards and chambers carved into the rock face. Following these, pharaohs began to dig long tunnels into the stone to a hidden burial chamber.
All of these efforts -- from the largest pyramid to the deepest tomb -- were designed to protect the pharaoh's burial and provide a place for his mummy, statues, and funerary goods on his trip to the next life.
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