The Aatap Chalcolithic Culture was a complex society which emerged in the northern rivers of Region A in the local Chalcolithic era.
Aatap cities are generally circular, surrounded by large walls with an exterior ditch of significant dimensions. Aatap housing is dome shaped, having originated as an easily assembled design of reed, millet stalk and animal skins. Current Aatap houses are now generally made of mudbrick, although there are stylistic elements of wood that were originally designed to replicate the original temporary houses. Dolomite and serpentine are both commonly used for important buildings, shipped by river, sea, or even directly over land. Aatap religious architecture strongly favours octagonal shapes, both on the scale of small shrines and in the design of large temples. Many temples have bands in the outer walls of differing colours, particularly designed to compliment one another. Silver is a particularly favoured metal, carved into elegant designs and used as a primary medium of exchange. Pearls are considered to be royal in character due to their beauty and rarity, and are considered a physical reflection of a properly ordered life. Ivory is considered to be morally suspect, though there does exist a surreptitious demand for it. Coral is ubiquitously used in arts and crafts along with ceramic figurines- there are two distinct forms these figurines tend to take- either zoomorphic with enlarged, rounded heads, or anthropomorphic and plank shaped. Bronze is known in Aatap society but tin is such a rare import that there is no real capacity to generate a bronze-producing industry within Aatap. Accordingly, copper remains the primary material for the making of tools. The Aatap have begun to use the Ginki heiroglyphic writing system, which is used primarily by a tiny dedicated scribal class at the present time. Aatap clothing tends to involve quite distinctive wide-brimmed hats, along with colourfully embroidered tunics, robes, and dresses. Aatap embroidery is possibly the most developed of any human society at this present time.
Whilst all societies have codes of behaviour, the Aatap are unusually formalised in their codes of behaviour. This is the concept of taawamumuwat, originating as taawa mum muwe which literally means 'sun and moon'. This relatively formal social code is considered stiff by other neighbouring cultures, as it extends through so many Aatap communities so evenly. It emphasises patience, according to the principles of (roughly translated) prudence, modesty, forethought, fortitude, and grace. The interpretation of these categories of behaviour does differ from city to city and society to society. However, an Aatap king of all people must be seen to behave according to these principles, and it is certainly not unheard of for kings to be forced to abdicate in this society if they are seen to fail basic morality. The recent introduction of tibquiote, the Ginki hieroglyphic script, has had an unforeseen development where this code of behaviour has extended into the first international law; there are certain principles that are considered to now guard all Aatap cities. It is this above the general code of behaviour itself which causes the reputation for inflexibility. The Aatap also have a reputation for being stilted in the area of spirituality as well, as the behaviour of their gods also conforms in most regards to taawamumuwat as well. Their deities come across as rather stern, though not so stern that sacrifice is discouraged. Aatap cities are ruled by kings, who are regarded as the most moral individuals in that society. This is why it is considered only proper for a bad king to be removed, by force if necessary. Depictions of deities do not exist in Aatap society, not due to some concept of blasphemy but more a bewilderment at the idea that this would be necessary. What Aatap codes of behaviour do not prevent entirely is warfare, but this is heavily ritualised (though truly fierce warfare is not unknown).
Maize and sorghum are most often consumed in hardy porridges, which are accompanied by either sauces or stews. Sesame, first cultivated here, is commonly added to various breads. It is also mixed with honey and baked in order to form a sweet delicacy. Honey is also mixed with puffed up maize grains that have been toasted, which is formed into rings of varying sizes. On the coastal cities, ground sesame is commonly mixed with seafood. Quandong is a common rural food, varying from sweet to tart in its flavour. Quandong is often dried for longevity. Coffee is often used as rations for labourers, but the method of actually eating them roasted or raw in so much of the south is considered vile- here coffee is pulped, and has hot water poured onto it. Those who can afford to do so use honey as a sweetener. Cheese and yoghurt are also relatively common rural products, though finer cheeses often make their way into the Aatap cities. Salted fish, guinea fowl and beef make up by far the bulk of protein in the Aatap diet, though appropriate game is cooked and eaten as well; there are a number of dietary laws in Aaatap cities pertaining to what game is and is not permissible to eat.
Given the tendency to remove bad kings, it might be possible to see city-republics emerging among the Aatap. Alternatively, it may well not happen due to the removal of kings acting as an acceptable pressure valve.