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Egyptian society was, quite fittingly, shaped just ike a pyramid!

 

At the top was the Pharaoh and his family, with other nobles, landowners, head scribes and chief priests on the next level below.

 

The middle classes in Egyptian society were made up of merchants, skilled craftsmen and less important government officials.

 

The huge majority of the society was made up of the lowest class - servants, labourers and farmers. Egyptian society did use slavery in some cases when people were captured in battle. As the civilization went on the slaves were given some rudimentary rights.

Egyptian Society

Upper Class

Lower Class

Middle Class

Male children of the aristocracy were educated by scribes whilst girls received no formal schooling.

 

The rich would live in multi-storey town houses while the very rich would also have country villas with many, many rooms.

 

Banqueting was a common feature of upper class life. Wine, cakes, figs and roasted meat were common fare.

Craftsmen's sons would normally follow their father into the trade. Common trades were carpenters, masons, boat-builders, smiths and leather workers.

 

In the same way that we have counties Egypt was divided into 42 "nomes". The lower-ranking government officials of the middle classes were responsible for running these.

 

The very finest craftsmen were employed on projects such as royal tombs. They were able to work with valuable minerals and jewels.

It was the usual arrangement that farmers would pay a portion of their crop to the Pharaoh as tax. They were also required to work on public building projects (like the pyramids) in the flood months when farming was not possible.

 

The average Egyptian lived in single storey houses with flat roofs that were used for cooking, storage and even sleeping when the weather grew too hot.

 

The sorts of crops that the farmers would grow would be barley and wheat as well as rearing animals much as we do today.

I think I would rather have been a rich Pharaoh than a lowly slave.

Egyptian Society Pyramid