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The creation of life from clay is a theme that appears throughout world religions and mythologies. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creation_of_life_from_clay

the question is: why did their imagination pick "clay" rather than other substances?

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  • Mesoamerican myths consider creation out of corn! Commented May 29, 2023 at 10:31

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Because clay is easily shaped by people. Unlike metal, clay is a very straightforward material to mold it into any shape you want. Add some heat and it becomes rigid. It takes much more skill to shape wood or stone and more advanced technology to mold metal.

And it's super, super ancient. We've found clay figurines over 20 thousand years before these myths were recorded. Czech clay figurines were discovered that are possibly over 30,000 years old. Shaping figurines by clay could have given early peoples an ancient and concrete example to reference for the creation of man.

Meanwhile, you do have legends of other beings made of different materials. Gollums, for example, are made out of stone, and the Greeks imagined a whole host of people made out of wood or different metals, including people. So clay was not the only material used in these myths.

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