The cost & scale of Kingship, even before the pyramid building began:

Establishing the Ideology of Egyptian Kings in the early dynasties required “massive amounts of labor appropriated from across the country. It is most staggeringly apparent in the First Dynasty mastabas of Saqqara, such as number 3504. At 49.5 m by 20 m in area, it is the largest structure of its time, with 68 internal storerooms containing around 2500 ceramic vessels (once full of thousands of liters of wine, beer, and other offerings), along with 1500 stone vessels in a wide array of materials (Emery 1954). Gold had been used extensively in the decoration of the burial chamber and the remains of other more perishable items of burial equipment were abundant even after extensive plundering. Outside of the tomb, a low bench wrapped around the exterior served as a platform for 300 pairs of real bull horns inserted into mud-shaped bucrania, while trenches around the mastaba’s perimeter held the bodies of 62 men, women, and children.”

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