In ancient Egypt, dead bodies were carefully preserved because people believed that the soul would return to the body in the afterlife. Personal valuables were placed in tombs along with the mummies of nobility and royalty so they could use the objects in their afterlives. Before about 2700 B.C, nobles and kings were entombed in mastabas - rectangular brick or stone structures with flat roofs and sloping sides. Most tombs were looted, so Egyptians made stronger and larger structures to protect them. A pyramid is a four-sided structure with triangular sides that meet in a point at the top. Eventually pyramids became the standard royal tombs. They were strong, their passages were blocked and their entrances were faced over, making them safer. Even so, most ancient Egyptian pyramids were looted.
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