Ancient Egyptian Social Strata at Work
Such a stratified setup was even more pronounced in the status of individuals in ancient Egyptian society. The great majority of the population then were the farmers who turned over most of their produce to the state or a noble landowner. On a given day, the farmers could be called from the fields to render service on construction projects.
Above the farmers in social standing were the craftsmen and artists who were also directly controlled by the state. Shops and establishments were attached to the temples. And like the ordinary workers, the artisans directly collected their wages from the nome state treasury.
The upper strata in ancient Egyptian society consisted of state officials and scribes. They were distinctive in a daily encounter during those times for the white kilt that they wore to symbolize their rank and stature.
The daily life of ancient Egyptians was also propelled by contributions of those below the noble class—the engineers, temple priests, and physicians who trained especially in their particular expertise. There were slaves in ancient Egypt but there is much debate on the significance of their societal role.
In the construction of the pyramids, for instance, it has been strongly alleged that these structures were built for the most part by Egyptian workers and not by slaves. This theory was based on archaeological findings of Egyptian communities specifically built around the pyramids at the time that the structures were being erected.