Like the other ancient countries, ancient Egypt also possessed a social hierarchy in which people in the society were divided among various classes depending upon their occupation. The hierarchy pyramid of ancient Egypt represents the social structure of Egyptian society but this structure was not completely rigid throughout the country and possessed few exceptions.
The topmost level in the Egyptian hierarchy was acquired by the King, who was also known as Pharaoh. The Pharaoh was the name given to the rulers of ancient Egyptian dynasties. They used to rule the entire kingdom as per the laws and regulations developed by them. They possessed greatest power in the kingdom and were the chiefs of the temples & their kingdom. These were also responsible for overlooking the law courts and army functions.
The vizier’s were the second highest personnel in the ancient Egypt who were responsible for serving the pharaoh as their most trusted people. King appointed a vizier only from a vizierial family. The viziers were responsible for supervising the entire operations, tasks and working of the country.
Priests and Elite Officers
The priests were considered quite significant in the Egyptian society and the role played by them was considered as quite vital. Egyptians were the people who religiously believed that God lived in the temple and priest is the person who is closest to the God. The major responsibilities of priests included taking care of the needs Gods and Goddesses.
Doctors and Engineers
The next level in the hierarchy pyramid of ancient egypt is of Doctors and Engineers. These are responsible for treating patients and building structures respectively. Their class was put above in the ancient Egyptian hierarchy as they were considered important in the society because of the role that they played in the social life. Their class was also known as White Kilt Class because of their official dress code. Engineers were responsible for planning the development and construction of pyramids, temples and various other monuments.
Scribes & Merchants
Scribes played important roles in the Egyptian social hierarchy as apart from priest they were the only people who knew how to read and write. They were responsible for keeping records and playing supervisory roles at various places in the society.
The merchants in the ancient Egyptian society were involved in trading and were the ones due to whom the economy of the country strived. Merchants used to exchange goods through the barter systems instead of using money directly.
The farmers comprised the largest segment of people among the Egyptian population. They were responsible for arranging the food items for the whole society and hence they involved themselves in fishing, farming, managing cattle etc.
The lowermost class in the Egyptian society was of slaves. This class was the most suffering class in the society as they were required to work for their masters and were given no rights of their own. These were either the people who committed some crime, people struck under the debts or who got captured in the war.