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Pharoah depicted in Deir El Medina 
Tomb of Inherka; 
CMC PCD 2001-272-082 Government and religion were inseparable in ancient Egypt. The pharaoh was the head of state and the divine representative of the gods on earth. Religion and government brought order to society through the construction of temples, the creation of laws, taxation, the organization of labour, trade with neighbours and the defence of the country's interests. The pharaoh was assisted by a hierarchy of advisors, priests, officials and administrators, who were responsible for the affairs of the state and the welfare of the people.

Drawing: Catherine Fitzpatrick Ancient Egypt could not have achieved such stability and grandeur without the co-operation of all levels of the population. The pharaoh was at the top of the social hierarchy. Next to him, the most powerful officers were the viziers, the executive heads of the bureaucracy. Under them were the high priests, followed by royal overseers (administrators) who ensured that the 42 district governors carried out the pharaoh's orders. At the bottom of the hierarchy were the scribes, artisans, farmers and labourers.


see also: Kingship ; Scribes



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