By Dr Joyce Tyldesley
Last updated 2011-02-17
The arrival of the 18th-Dynasty Theban kings at the start of the New Kingdom heralded the end of royal pyramid building in Egypt. Henceforth, most pharaohs would be buried in secrecy in the Valley of the Kings.
Now individuals felt free to include the pyramid form in their own tombs. Small-scale pyramids are found from Saqqara to Nubia, but the best known examples are those built by the workmen and officials of Deir el-Medina, the village of the royal workforce employed in the Valley of the Kings. Outside the village wall the hill-side displayed ranks of mud-brick pyramids, some of which still stand, combined with decorated rock-cut burial chambers. The pyramids frequently included a niche designed to house a stela (a kind of tombstone) or statue.
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