Mesopotamia and Egyptian River Valleys

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The religious convictions of the Mesopotamian and Egyptian River Valleys were some of the first documented. Although the gods of these two very different civilizations were different, they were results of the natural environment and share internal values connected to the desires and beliefs in the lives of the people. The different desires from these gods influenced their daily practices and beliefs. The Mesopotamian religion was the first documented religion. Sumerian gods embodied the forces of nature: Anu the sky, Enlil the air, Enki the water and Utu the sun and Nanna the moon. During the time of the Semitic people’s domination, prior Sumerian deities were associated with those of the Semitic peoples. Controlled religion was particularly noticeable in archaeological records; cities built temples showing fidelity to the divinity of those who protected the community. Performed rituals by the priests reflect the Babylonian Creation Myth; humankind existed only to serve the gods. Unlike the hierarchy of the priests, common people were believed to have less access to temple buildings but still managed a fair amount of devotion in their daily lives. Common peoples on Mesopotamia placed statues around their dwellings in the hopes that miniature replicas could seek the deity’s favor. There was a widespread belief of magic, using special words and rituals to maneuver the forces of the natural world. Great festivals usually brought together the common and elite peoples of Mesopotamia, otherwise no close relationships formed. Gatherings such as the twelve-day New Year’s festival held each spring in Babylon, the most important city. It was a celebration of the new grains beginning to sprout in the fields. The Egyptian River Valley, otherwise known as the “gift of the Nile”, was a harmonious and flourishing civilization. As a result, the Egyptian gods were a reflection of positive religion and a prominence on positive afterlife. Egyptians considered the king...
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