How were deific images painted or sculpted in human form useful to ancient Egyptians and Sumerians?

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larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am reminded of Voltaire's comment that in the beginning, God created man in his own image; and since that time, man has attempted to return the complement. Deific images were painted or sculpted in a form by which the Egyptians and Sumerians could understand the strengths and attributes of theparticular deity. Baal, the Sumerian god of the storm had the attributes of a man and a bull. Astarte, the female goddess of fertility was often shown pregnant. Egyptian Gods also had human as well as animalistic forms. Horus was shown with the head of a hawk; as the hawk has sharp eyes. These early civilizations saw the need for their Gods to have eyes to see; legs to walk, and ears to hear. Since they often imputed human emotions and elements to their Gods, they depicted them in human form. At the same time, they attributed some animal attributes to them, and therefore depicted them with certain animal features.