Fictitious Cultures

Creating a fictitious, Earth culture, for a novel, is much like creating a setting for fantasy and/or science fiction. While the setting is Earth, with some variations, it also includes creating an alternative history and aspects of anthropology. Research and planning are important in developing a full, rich culture.

Caste System. Cultural Anthropology. Deviance. Overview of Anthropology. Socialization. Subculture. What is Sociology?

It helps to review real life cultures to get an idea of realism. Aborigines. Arab. Aztec. Bushman. Celts. Cossacks. Dogon. Hindu. Hunter-Gatherer. Indigenous Peoples of the Americas. Inupiat. Maya. Mongols. Mbuti. Nomadic. Romani.

Religion is an important aspect of some cultures. While creating an in depth religion is not necessary, it is important to have the basics.

Name of culture
Is the culture ethnic based? Is there a different genetic connection between the members of the culture? (Such as Lycanthropy or vampirism.) If not, what connects them?
Did the culture originate from a specific location? Where? Why? If not, how did it come about?
Does the culture prefer a specific area? (Weretigers would presumably like climates that tigers like.)
Describe the cultures basics.
Name of religion(s.)
Is the governing group different from the religion? If so, what is its name?
Describe the religion(s.) If there is not a religion, why?
Leaders. Religious? Governing?
Conflicts Between Religions, if there is more then one:
Physical Appearance, including descriptions of: (if there is more then one group/species, please describe each)
Magical and/or Psionic Qualities, if any:

Anthropology News: Website with various information spanning from Ethnic Differences to Occupy WallStreet.
Nova/Ancient Worlds: This website looks interested. It was recommended on Legandfire. It has articles, episodes and other resource material.
ScienceDaily: This site has information on the various fields of anthropology ranging from biological to archaeology. Ancient civilizations, fossils, Darwin, etc.

I also suggest doing Google searches on "bizarre," "controversial" and other types of archaeological finds. Its very interesting to find that there are scientific anomalies, often called conspiracy theories, that don't involve tin foil hats and alien mind probes. Be careful, though, where you find the information and check for more reliable-sounding sources.

The following links are mysteries. Plausible or not, is up to the reader.
Antikeythera Mechanism. Baghdad Batteries. Baigong Pipes. Cryptozoology. Sphinx. Voynich Manuscript.

I would like to thank Bird, from Legendfire, for providing some additional links on the subject.