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The man in this relief (below left) is Maya , the "Overseer of the Royal Treasurer" under three Egyptian pharaohs, including King Tutankhamen. Maya's job was to make sure that taxes were collected and to supervise the preparation of the king's tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

We can tell that Maya is important because he wears a fancy pleated kilt and apron. He must have done a good job because the two gold necklaces that he wears were probably a gift from the pharaoh.


Because the pharaoh could not perform ceremonies at all the temples throughout Egypt, he appointed high priests to carry out the sacred rituals at each temple. Priests often passed down their positions from father to son. They enjoyed great power and wealth in Egyptian society.

This picture of a priest is a detail (above right) from "The Book of the Dead." Priests were often represented bald, as we see here, because they had to shave their heads to ensure cleanliness.


© Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University,
Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester and Dallas Museum of Art
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