The government center was the administrative center of the town, village, city, kingdom, or empire. It was often the palace of the strongman or king. It was here that justice was dispersed, records kept, taxes collected and stored, diplomacy conducted, and plans made. The development of the government center spurred technology such as architecture through the commission of public works and writing for the keeping of records. The expansion of kingdoms led to a hierarchy of elites, often a nobility, that were needed as middle managers when the expanse of lands exceeded the ruler's ability to control directly. The provinces of the Persian Empire, for example, were ruled like independent stores by satraps who owed tribute and allegiance to the king in Susa.