The Qalar Culture was a culture of the Early Bronze Age, with cities located in the Apricot Belt.
Qalar Early Bronze AgeEdit
Belenzer, Gasem, Didi, Qalar, Erw, Tuqlar, Dotoquz, Arda, Sulguqa. Culturally Belenzer, Gasem and Didi are distinct from the rest but share many elements.
Qalar houses are almost always wooden with additional elements of mud-brick or hard stone; large mudbrick structures are predominantly associated with institutional, public buildings and are usually brightly painted with various tree-extracted pigments. The construction of seafaring boats and ships is quite developed here, with the ability to produce seaworthy and aesthetically pleasing vessels an important element of material prestige. Ship and sea related motifs are incredibly common in Qalar culture art, especially pottery. Agriculture is utilised but less commonly due to the abundance of fishing, and imports from deeper inland are common(an exception to this is Belenzer). Jadeite is an incredibly prestigious material and is frequently traded with other cultures as an item of high value. Coastal housing is often artificially raised in order to improve visibility, in some cases leading to structures known as gulezi which are both watchtower and house. Communal buildings are frequently rounded to provide for a more egalitarian setting. Jadeite and obsidian are frequent elements in jewellery, with other exotic items like carnelian, amethyst, rubies, and sapphires all being highly prestigious. Writing is not yet utilised here, but contact with the literate Tavaranic culture is likely to change this, particularly with the islanders. Bronze is made from imported copper and tin, and is used for tin and copper. Obsidian, however, is considered a prize material for weapon use.
Qalar society is generally egalitarian in lacking any established social castes. Each city is instead generally formed of several clans in alliance, each associated around a particular temple. These clans are the main form of social competition, usually friendly but occasionally spilling into internecine conflict. Each city therefore contains several semi-autonomous entities, though the cities are becoming more important in notions of identity over time. Kings/generals are only ever appointed in the event of a real emergency, usually a military one. Military expeditions usually consist of raiding particularly bellicose neighbours, or intransigent partners- whilst incredibly rare, the threat of military force has been used on overseas trading partners who threatened to mistreat them. Only a very few communities have experienced a Qalar coastal raid, but the size of their ships allows for these attacks to be quite devastating. Mercantilism is considered, on the whole, a much more prestigious activity than warfare. This is how the majority of Qalar-influenced individuals gain social prestige, particularly in dealing with the Tavaranic sphere. However, this is subject to the times; in times in which rural neighbours and 'hillmen' become a menace rather than a nuisance, warfare often gains in social importance. The worship of sea deities is paramount here, as are the winds and sun. Rituals can be both clan-specific and shared among all the clans of a particular city as an affirmation of their alliance. Many sea creatures are also personified and venerated, in particular dolphins.
A naturally occuring form of sweet tree sap on the 'Great Isle' is considered a great delicacy. This joins more traditional fare in the form of fish, barley, dates, fava beans and the rosy potato. Apples are rarer and are considered more luxurious, but not to the degree they are in the cultures that must import them from the Qalar cities. Pistachios are frequently used in desserts, and pastries are a part of cuisine due to the widespread use of lard and goose eggs in cuisine. Various exotic forms of yam and potato are imported from elsewhere, along with a great deal of wild plant species native to all sorts of frequently visited coasts. Pig, beef, and goose are frequently eaten.
'Islander' society is notably different in that Belenzer in particular is inland, much more agriculturally oriented, and the clan elders there have become something much more like a hereditary aristocracy.