ANCIENT EGYPTIAN FACTS

Egyptian Social Classes

Mural of Egyptian peasants harvesting papyrus
Mural of Egyptian peasants

Introduction - Egyptian Social Classes Facts

The ancient Egyptians developed a civilization that ruled the ancient world for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptian culture was amazing and often complex and part of that culture was their social classes. On this page is a list of interesting facts about the social classes of this ancient civilization; this information includes what the various social classes were, how different classes had specific jobs and responsibilities, and how it was possible to move up through the social classes. This information is written for both kids and adults.

Ancient Egyptian Social Class Facts

Ancient Egypt Social Classes

Pharaohs

The Pharaohs were the ancient Egyptian rulers. Pharaohs were considered gods and were at the very top of the social pyramid. Their job was to protect the people while keeping the gods happy. Pharaohs were the ultimate leader of both government and religion.

Government Officials

Right underneath the Pharaoh in the hierarchy of ancient Egyptian social classes were government officials. These people often had direct contact with the Pharaoh advising him and assisting him in running the ancient civilization. Their position usually brought them great wealth and respect from others in the society. These people included the ruler's vizier, who was his main adviser, chief treasurer, and military commanders.

Priests

Religion was an important part of ancient Egyptian culture and therefore priest played a very important role in Egyptian Society. Depending on the period in Egyptian history the social status and power of priest could exceed that of government officials; in fact often priest were also government officials and advisors (viziers) of the Pharaoh. There were even times when the power of high priest could even rival that of the Pharaoh.

Scribes

Scribes were writers of hieroglyphs. They had various jobs in ancient Egypt including keeping records, recording events, and writing contracts. They often, through very hard work, moved up the social ladder from the peasant level.

Artisans

Artisans were skilled laborers and included sculptors, carpenters, painters, jewelers, and pottery makers. There special talents elevated their social status just above the lowest level of peasants.

Peasants

At the bottom of the social classes of ancient Egypt were the peasants. These were unskilled laborers which included construction workers and farmers. These workers although not high in social status were crucial to ancient Egypt's success; they supplied the food for the kingdom and built the great pyramids and temples that this ancient civilization is best known for.