The goal is to implement a bronze age version of blockchain in ancient Egypt to introduce a layer of security for the royal tombs.
Tomb raiding was rampant, and at times even the legitimate successor would loot his own predecessor's tomb. Family looting aside, there were punishments for thieves who were caught looting. However, historical records seem to suggest there was ample opportunity for even non-royals to work the system:
After some days, the district officers of Thebes heard that we had been robbing in the west and they arrested me and imprisoned me in the office of the mayor of Thebes. I took the twenty deben of gold that represented my share and I gave them to Khaemope, the district scribe of the landing quay of Thebes. He released me and I rejoined my colleagues and they compensated me with a share again. And so I got into the habit of robbing the tombs. -- Amenpanufer (11th century BC self acclaimed tomb raider)
While building tombs underground so they didn't stick out like sore thumbs did help, archaeological evidence suggests that physical security mostly just amounted to obstacles and heavy objects. This means that the stereotypical "booby-traps" were not historically accurate. Playing devil's advocate, even if they were used, the dilemma would be largely unchanged. The builders/workers would still know how to defeat them. As many great Egyptian tombs had entire towns of workers who lived nearby, this creates many potential points of failure into the "trust" system.
Our 21st century implementation of blockchain is a digital distributed ledger that has redundancy across many servers, making it hard to retroactively alter the data. I concede, given only bronze age technology, we lose important elements of blockchain such as electricity. Nonetheless, in principle, I'd like to explore further if it could be done. Given that the Egyptians had the potential for cryptography by virtue of the written word, and let's not forget they had the skill, organization, and knowledge to create massive and challenging projects like the pyramids. While blockchain in antiquity might seem outlandish, I personally believe we should not underestimate ancient Egyptians' competency. Assuming they have the resolve and expertise, the question becomes, is it possible in the first place?
Instead of a digital ledger where all transactions are recorded, perhaps a physical one could have a very similar effect. Of course it would be slower, since we are writing entries by hand. Still, perhaps a distributed array of giant monoliths could improve the security situation for royal tombs.
What should be recorded on these distributed monoliths to best deter the workers from leaking the design secrets and contents of the tomb, as well as deterring corruption and taking bribes as Amenpanufer alludes to?
- Budget: unlimited, pharaoh spares no expense
- Technology: bronze-age
- Fallibility: this is my biggest assumption, but for the sake of the concept, just humor me: the scribes inscribing the monolith blockchain entries are infallible. Perhaps they are monitored 24/7 or surrounded by crocodiles or are otherwise unwilling to bend the rules in anyway. (if you can think of an implementation that doesn't require such an elaborate assumption, please share)
- Type of Blockchain: I'm not requiring a strict cryptocurrency blockchain implementation. Other forms of blockchain are also favorable for transparency and traceability characteristics. In the comments I submitted that, in theory, this kind of implementation could hedge against corruption/bribes. In your answer, just briefly explain what type of blockchain you would like to assume. It can be as simple as that.
I had some extra time on my hands. Here is some concept art: