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Egyptian Society (hierarchy) 1. Egyptian society had a social hierarchy, with the pharaoh at the very top.

2. The vizier was the second most powerful official.He was the pharaoh’s most trusted advisor. 3. Nobles in Egyptian society were related to the pharaoh, priests, scribes, doctors, lawyers, or important military personnel. 4. Only scribes and priests were taught how to read and write. 5. Skilled craftsmen 6. At the bottom of the pyramid was the unskilled workers, the slaves, laborers and peasants.

Samuel Stella

Friday, 5 April 2013 12:46:34 PM Australian Eastern Daylight Time


The pharaoh The pharaoh, the Egyptian king, was at the top of Egyptian society. He was the embodiment of power and authority and the son of the god Ra. The pharaoh exercised divine right. He was the head of Ancient Egyptian Society.The pharaoh was a God. His official names were 'Horus, Lord of the Two Ladies, Golden Horus, King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Son of Ra'. He was crowned in an elaborate ceremony. His rule was confirmed at the Heb Sed festival, celebrated after 30 years of rule. Of the various regalia (insignia or symbolic items of clothing) the pharaoh was required to wear, he had the two crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt and a blue war crown. He also held the crook and flail, symbols of his power and authority. The pharaoh was responsible for the daily running of Egypt from justice to religion to tax collecting to defence. He was chief justice, chief administrator and commander of the military forces. He was defender of Egypt in earthly and heavenly spheres. He upheld maat, justice and peace. By enforcing maat, he ensured the fertility of the Nile and the prosperity of Egypt. He also led Egyptian military forces into battle. He is often depicted on wall paintings and reliefs riding his chariot in battle and firing huge arrows into crowds of enemy soldiers. The pharaoh was also the high priest of every god worshipped in Egypt. It was his personal duty to perform all the daily rituals in all the temples. With so many duties, it was little wonder that the king delegated most of these tasks to a body of capable officials.

Samuel Stella

Friday, 5 April 2013 12:46:34 PM Australian Eastern Daylight Time


Vizier and high officials While the pharaoh was the ceremonial chief of all institutions in ancient Egypt, the vizier was like a modern prime minister. The vizier oversaw the day to day running of the state. The vizier was the head of a group of high officials who administered all the institutions in Egypt. He was very powerful. He performed a range of duties which included supervising the treasury, administering justice, receiving dispatches from the provinces and diplomatic letters from foreign neighbours. He supervised the collection of taxes and the census and ensured that the practical work of every department of the bureaucracy was being carried out correctly. Scribes, priests and minor officials Every Egyptian mother and father wanted their son to have an education so that he might one day become a scribe, a minor official or even vizier.Refer Image2 Scribes were people who could read, write, calculate, and keep records. There were scribes in the bureaucracy, temples, private estates and the judicial system. In the bureaucracy, scribes calculated taxes from grain harvested. The scribes measured and inspected fields before the harvest. After the harvest, they inspected the fields a second time, measured the grain and calculated the amount of tax owed by the farmers. Other scribes wrote dispatches to provincials, the viziers and foreign neighbours on behalf of the pharaoh. They drew up

Samuel Stella

Friday, 5 April 2013 12:46:34 PM Australian Eastern Daylight Time


contracts and recorded decisions made in the courts. They also supervised payments. Egypt did not have a cash economy. Instead they functioned on a barter system. Scribes would issue rations of beer, bread, grain, linen, and meat to people in royal and private estates. In the construction of temples, scribes were in charge of recording facts and figures. They managed the labour force, the materials needed and the rations required. They issued tools. In temples, they were responsible for making lists of all the temple property and offerings. There was no division between the sacred and the secular world in ancient Egypt. There were some fulltime professional priests. Most priests were 'part-time'. Ordinary Egyptians would dedicate parts of their day to carrying out priestly duties. There were priests in all temples to every god in Egypt. Their duties involved carrying out the daily rituals and preparing offerings to appease the gods and ensure that the temple was running smoothly. Priestly duties were often similar to scribal duties, organising the workforce and inspecting work. Priests kept accounts of the offerings coming into the temple and the items that belonged to the temple. The priestly class was made up of many different Egyptian people. High priests, such as lector priests, read out rituals and prayers and could be noblemen. Lay or part-time priests who carried offerings to the temple, could be peasants.

Samuel Stella

Friday, 5 April 2013 12:46:34 PM Australian Eastern Daylight Time


Skilled craftsmen and tradesmen Egypt had a huge demand for fine artists, artisans, craftsmen and tradesmen. These people made the tools, statues, sculptures and buildings that made Egypt's beautiful and distinctive artistic culture. A tradesman or craftsman would teach his son his trade. There were generations of skilled craftsmen and tradesmen. Egyptian crafts included masonry, sculpting, metal working, jewelry making and carpentry. There were also professional artists and painters. Craftsmen and tradesmen could find employment in any part of Egyptian society, from working on a pharaoh's tomb to helping construct a temple, to working on private estates. Farmers and laborers By far the greatest numbers of Egyptians were engaged in agricultural work. The work was physically demanding. Crops were planted and had to be harvested within months. Egyptians grew wheat, barley, emmer (wheat used for fodder), fruits and vines for wine production. There was little rest for the Egyptian farmer. Farmers had to prepare the fields after the floods subsided and plant a new crop. Several months

Samuel Stella

Friday, 5 April 2013 12:46:34 PM Australian Eastern Daylight Time


later they had to harvest their various crops only to be scrutinized and taxed by the royal scribes. Although the peasant farmers were not slaves, they did not have easy lives. Refer animation and Image3

Samuel Stella

Friday, 5 April 2013 12:46:34 PM Australian Eastern Daylight Time

Ancient Egypt  

ancient egypt