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The People's Religion

We know the people of Ai were religious, although we don't know a lot about the cult they practiced. Some finds suggest that the "Dumuzi" cult was involved. Dumuzi was the god of vegetation, according to Sumerian texts. When the hot summer came and the vegetation died, the death of Dumuzi was mourned. No doubt the religion of Ai involved other and varied elements.

Next to an especially thick part of the inner fortification wall, the people of Ai built a temple where they burned incense and offered sacrifices. Remains of poultry and cattle sacrifice victims were found in the temple, along with knife handles and pottery used in the cult.

It is safe to assume that people of Ai did not worship the God of the Bible---the God of Israel. Was God pleased by the smell of their incense and the smoke of their sacrifices?

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