The Sumerian culture flourished within the Tigris and Euphrates rivers floodplains and along their deltaic systems, which ca. 6000 yr were located ~250–260 km inland from the present Persian Gulf. Here, large floodplains and marshes were crossed by an intricate network of channels where several human settlements developed. In this paper, we describe in detail the paleoenvironmental context where the site of Abu Tbeirah (third millennium BC) developed, near the Sumerian capital of Ur. Our interdisciplinary approach, based on remote sensing and the geomorphological study of the area, as well as on sedimentological, paleontological, and paleobotanical analyses of trenches and boreholes deposits, reveals that the site developed along a sinuous channel in a floodplain and marshy environment, where several crevasse splays occurred. This channel was cut off following a flood event. The abandoned portion of the channel was exploited by residents and used as a small river harbor. Our research contributes to better define how the landscape of the site changed over the course of its history and how humans exploited water resources of the area during occupation of the site, a process that was pivotal for the development of the Sumerian culture.