In 1922, a British archaeologist named
Howard Carter found a ancient tomb in Egypt. A tomb is another name
for a grave.
In ancient Egypt, many tombs were built
like houses, with dried clay brick and stone. Anybody could build a tomb for themselves and their
Long before they died, the ancient
Egyptians began making items to place inside their tomb. These items were called
People loved making grave goods. It was
a family activity. They made grave goods their whole life. They made dolls and baskets and jewelry and
little statues of workers and all kinds of things.
Then, as a family outing, they would visit their
tomb, and place the grave goods they had made locked safely inside.
The next time they visited their tomb,
they would bring more grave goods. By the time they died, their tomb was full of wonderful memories
of their life in Egypt, along with miniature sized things they might
need in the afterlife. That was the ancient Egyptian way.
Pharaohs, of course,
were special. They also had tombs, really big ones. They also had
grave goods, really beautiful ones, made of gold and silver by the
finest craftsmen in the land. As well, people from all over Egypt brought gifts to include in the pharaoh's tomb.
Artists painted the walls. Pharaohs tombs were splendid
By the time a pharaoh died, his (or
her) tomb had been under construction for decades, and it was loaded
with treasure. Every time a new pharaoh came to power, work started
immediately on building their tomb.
As modern archaeologists opened the
tombs of the ancient pharaohs, they found that many of them had been
robbed and their treasures removed. In ancient Egypt, the worse
crime of all was grave robbing. Grave
robbers faced horrible deaths if they were caught. Still, the
thought of all that treasure overrode their fear of being caught.
Tombs were plundered for centuries.