chapter  4
People and Land
WithNicholas S. Hopkins
Pages 16

This chapter discusses the evolution of the population of the village, and also the gradual shift in the mix of skills present. This population largely draws its sustenance from the land, and yet issues of land tenure and access to land channel human activity in agriculture. The major element in the forces of production at the village level is the land, which is the object of labor, but governed by the rules for access to land. Musha, in common with rural Egypt in general, contains a growing population and a stable land base. Onwership of land is commonly taken as the best indicator of class status, and there is indeed considerable concentration of land ownership in the hands of the few. One of the principal goals of the cadastral survey was to provide a basis for taxation. For these purposes, an old system was adopted whereby all the land in a given section was taxed at the same rate.