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The Nile and an isolated location significantly aided the formation of one of the world's greatest civilisations. Egypt was founded in around 3200 BC by King Namer. This dynasty continued to rule for three more millennia. The Thirtieth, and last, Dynasty fell to Persians in 343 BC. The Persians designed and built the Suez Canal, connecting the Red Sea to the Mediterranean. 
The Persians were defeated in 332 BC by the Greeks who held onto Egypt until Antony and Cleopatra fell to Augustus Caesar in 31 BC. The Romans were finally defeated by the Byzantines in 395 AD and ruled until 641 AD when the Persians finally managed to recapture the land. The religion of Islam and the Arabic language was brought over by Muslim Arabs in the 7th century.

Egypt began to prosper and grew significantly in size and importance over the next few millennia. With the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869, the country became an important world transportation hub. The country saw its wealth and status rise dramatically. Unfortunately, this new-found wealth was short lived because in 1882, due to large debt, Egypt was seized by Britain.  Egypt continued under British rule until 1953, when on June 18th, the country became a republic. 

Egypt
The architect Gamal Abdel Nasser became the country's President in 1954. He nationalised the Suez Canal, which resulted in the 1956 Suez Crisis and Nasser becoming an Arabic hero. During the period between 1958 and 1961, Nasser attempted to unite Egypt and Syria under the new name of United Arab Republic. The majority of Egyptians did not agree with the collaboration and when Nasser died in 1967, the country's name was soon changed back to Egypt'.

 

 

 Anwar Sadat became the new President and in 1972, he changed the country's loyalty from Syria to the United States. Egypt and Syria attacked Israel in 1973 in the October War, which resulted in a political victory. The Soviet Union and the United States got involved and a truce was called between Israel and Egypt. Sadat gained peace with Israel in return for Sinai in 1979. This move led to expulsion from the Arab League, but was later restored in 1989. A fundamentalist murdered Sadat in 1981; his successor was Hosni Mubarak. Today, Egypt is a popular holiday destination for people from across the world. Many people travel there to learn about Egypt's long and detailed history and to experience some of the magic of the ancient Egyptians.
Egypt
Nobody really knows why they were built. Or why the specific shape was chosen. We don't even know for sure how they were built!
But there are plenty of theories. The pyramids may have been a king's way of impressing the gods, his way of assuring himself a position as close to the divine world of the eternal world cycle. Also, the pyramid was at first though to give ultimate protection for the content of the tomb against grave robbers.
The shape is generally believed to reflect the 4 corners, or directions of the world: Where the sun rises (east), its highest point (south), where it sets (west) and the point where the sun reaches its lowest point (the opposite of south; north). The summit of the pyramid is the unity of the 4 corners.
As for the construction, it is really only the pyramids that are built from huge blocks, that have been entangled in mystery. Many pyramids are built from mud-brick or unimpressively small stones.

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Some theories explain the moving of the huge blocks to the assistance of extra-terrestrial powers. But the most popular theories are more sober, explaining that ramps were built to allow large crews of workers to pull the stones from the ground up to their final position.
The true pyramid era lasted much shorter than most people believe. It started with the step pyramid of Zoser at Saqqara (which by definition isn't really a pyramid) around 2650 BCE and it ends around 1800 BCE. Pyramids built after this were mere reproductions and very small in comparison.
Snefru's 3 pyramids represent the best introduction to the challenges that faced the first pyramid builders. His Bent Pyramid is believed to have received its shape after the builders discovered that the walls rose too steep.
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The largest pyramids rise higher than 140 metres above ground, but most are (or were, as many have fallen in) around 50 metres high. They all have inner corridors, and had outside temple complexes.
While the pyramid was built as the tomb of the king, it would soon develop into the centre of tombs of the rich. Large and small tombs were built as close to the pyramid as the owner or his family could afford.
Today there are 3 pyramid areas every visitor to Egypt should visit. It is of course Giza (which should be visited last of the 3, as it is the youngest but most impressive) and Saqqara. The third is Dahshur, which is best visited after you have spent a few hours around the complex of Zoser at Saqqara
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