Around 3000 B.C. hieroglyphics were invented in Egypt. This script made it possible for the country to be governed centrally by one king, the Pharaoh. The invention of the script enabled the nation to break away from the primitive farmers’ society it had been till then. The Egyptian civilization flourished, which was also due to the thousands of court officials taking care of the administration.
It was necessary to keep written records in order to collect taxes, to distribute the grain harvest and to measure the arable land. Egyptian scribes were literate government officials, who saw to it that big projects could be executed. Without them, the construction of water works would have been impossible, let alone the construction of the monumental pyramids, the sepulchral monuments for the Pharaohs, who were revered as gods.
Hence, statues of scribes are symbols befitting the Pharaonic civilization. The scribe, in this case primarily an administrator, is depicted with a partly unrolled papyrus scroll in his lap, which he is holding down with his left hand. His right hand seems to be wielding a pen.