Discuss the ways in which the natural environment influenced religious beliefs in Sumer.
The ancient Sumerian civilization was established in the Fertile Crescent—which is present-day Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt and Israel—and, as the name suggests, had a vibrant agricultural way of life. Because of this, the Sumerian religion that developed in the area integrated anthropomorphic deities into their belief system. For instance, when the season brought an abundance of water and sunshine, the ancient Sumerians worshiped deities they believed were responsible for bringing them crops. When a storm or drought occurred, they believed that malevolent deities or demons were the cause of their problems. Therefore, the weather and natural surroundings in the region greatly influenced how the Sumerians developed their religious beliefs. However, it's not just terrestrial phenomena like weather that influenced their belief systems. Cosmic phenomena—such as the visible night sky and eclipses—also contributed to their religious beliefs.
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