Religion played an important part in Egyptian life. The Egyptians believed in many gods and goddesses. Gods looked after every aspect of life. Every ton and city had its own god, too. Temples were dedicated a particular god or a dead pharaoh. Pyramids are the oldest stone structure in the world. They were built as tombs, to keep the body of the dead king safe for eternity and perhaps to ease his passage to the heavens. The Great Sphinx is a mysterious rock sculpture with a human head on the body of a loin. This was built near the pyramids, outside modern Cairo, but the exact reason is unknown. Historians believe it is older than the pyramids themselves.