World History




a massive memorial with a square base and four triangular sides; built as royal tombs in ancient Egypt.


a mythical creature with the head of a human and the body of a lion. The largest and most famous sphinx is the Great Sphinx of Giza, situated next to the Great Pyramids of Giza on the west bank of the Nile River.

Great Pyramids at Giza

Ancient Egyptians were preoccupied with religion and the afterlife. The status of priests in Egyptian society was just below that of pharaohs. For a person to enter the next life, the body had to be preserved through mummification and religious rituals performed by priests. Skilled embalmers prepared the body by removing the vital organs, then drying and wrapping the body in strips of linen. Eventually, ordinary Egyptians were mummified, and archaeologists have even discovered an ancient Egyptian cemetery filled with mummified cats. All Egyptians, including pharaohs, had an incentive for doing good during their lives; the Egyptian religion held that good works were necessary to enter the afterlife.

Great Sphinx of Giza

The most famous burial tombs of ancient Egypt are the great pyramids at Giza near Cairo. These and other tombs were built to house the bodies of pharaohs for the afterlife. The pyramids are the oldest and the only remaining examples of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Without iron tools or wheeled vehicles, workers cut, moved, and lifted millions of limestone blocks weighing an average of 2.5 tons each. Archaeologists believe the workers who built the pyramids were not slaves, but valued members of society who lived in a nearby community with their families. Standing guard over the pyramids at Giza is the Sphinx, a great rock sculpture with the head of a pharaoh and the body of a lion. The age of pyramid building in Egypt lasted from about 2700 BC to 1000 BC.

Instructions for the Quiz

Answer the questions.