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Comparison of the size of three tombs

First Dynasty (about 3000 BC)

Already in the First Dynasty the difference in scale between the royal tomb and the tomb of a high official is very marked. The contrast becomes even more dramatic in the Fourth Dynasty, a period generally considered the peak of royal power in Egyptian history.

Fourth Dynasty

Comparison: the volume of the Meydum pyramid (635 733 m3), the mastaba of Nefermaat (about 81 600 m3) and the shaft volume of an anonymous person buried at Badari (tomb 3262 - about 0.82 m3). The statistic would be even more dramatic considering the material, and its implications for the labour and time required for the monuments. The Meydum pyramid is built in stone, the mastaba of Nefermaat in brick and the Badari tomb is just a hole in the ground.


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