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Bob, I really like that you mentioned the stones like lapis lazuli being equated with the leaders’ wealth. It definitely makes sense that they would have more power if they did have more money to bring in materials like the semi-precious stones in (at least what seems like) such large quantities to use in their buildings and accessories. Maybe some of the rulers used that to their advantage and tried to outdo later rulers by making their buildings more visually appealing than the last to show that they hold more power than the previous kings did.