The Egyptians used the concept of Maat, personified as a goddess, to refer to the cosmic order which came into being when creation banished chaos. The word covers notions such as order, justice and truth, and means the opposite of chaos, evil and lies. It was considered to be the most important principle of the world.
“It was the (pharaoh’s) duty to maintain this order - based on his knowledge of Maat, he issued laws. Further, he had to placate the gods with offerings so that they would not leave Egypt and abandon it to chaos.
“Both the gods and men ‘lived on Maat’, and one of the most important gifts from the king to the gods was a statuette of the goddess. As the king’s deputy, the vizier, too, was a Priest of Maat.
“Although the goddess represents one of the most important principles of the Egyptian state, very few temples dedicated to her have been found.
“Maat is depicted as a woman with a feather on her head. The feather alone can also represent the goddess.”