The King, who ranked at the top of the social hierarchy, served as both the political and religious leader. They were seen as a connection between the people and the gods. The king also carries out important hindu rituals.
We best pay our taxes.
Nobles and officials were ranked as the next most powerful group in the social hierarchy. They were often relatives of the King. The nobles and officials carried out administrative work across the empire and provided support for the farmers.
Why do we always have to work?
The next social group were the artisans and professionals. These included fishermen, merchants, architects and skilled craftsmen. However, this was only a small group in society.
Ranked next were the peasants, who were the largest group in the Khmer Empire. Most peasants were rice farmers who used the grains as a form of payment (taxes). They could also be ordered by the King to serve in the millitary or help builds.
At the bottom of the heirarchy ranked the slaves. There weree different types of slaves in the Khmer Empire. Some were war prisoners, others were forced into slavery to pay debts and others worked and lived in temples. Theses slaves had no rights and if they tried to escape, they would be punished.