How can you with a straight face say that a community of 10,000 that existed with stability for more than 2K years is not a civilization? That’s utter malarkey. They were the first peoples to mine and smelt ore, they produced megaliths that we still don’t understand how they were accomplished, their art was complex, etc., etc. They were also actively and affirmatively non-hierarchical.
They disappeared because they were overtaken by northern tribes that were hierarchical, patriarchal, and warlike. There may also have been some natural disasters at the time which made them more susceptible. Look up The Kurgan Hypothesis for more. This was already enumerated and cited in the OP.
However, they did possess highly developed artistic and spiritual sensibilities, as well as baffling and inexplicably advanced capabilities of megalithic construction. A remarkable example is a series of round megalithic temples built out of stones ~50 tons in weight and ~10 feet high, located 9 miles northeast of Urfa (330 miles east of Catal Hoyuk) at Gobekli Tepe.
While the Kurgan hypothesis has been academically controversial and has come under many challenges by scientists including Colin Renfrew, Grey & Atkinson, Mario Alinei and many others, we believe that it remains the most convincing explanation for the early spread of militarism and hierarchical dominance of society.
Was pre-patriarchal Egypt not a civilization? Herodotus is not the only support for the notion that pre 4th c BC women had high status, and in many instances, higher status than men. The anthropology and archeology widely support that. I just didn’t want to bog down the story with any more extensive citations. Social hierarchy does not equal civilization, it equals patriarchy; that’s what patriarchy truly is- social stratification.
Patriarchy Demands Constant Ranking and Stratification Of All Kinds
Not just between men and women
“You may think that patriarchy means a society that gives men power and primacy over women and although that’s not wrong; it’s not the whole story. On a deeper level, patriarchy is a type of dominance hierarchy that involves the stratification of everyone in the society.”
“Professor Cyrus Gordon wrote in 1953 of life in ancient Egypt. He tells us that, “In family life, women had a peculiarly important position for inheritance passed through the mother rather than through the father….”
Dr. Murray suggests that “Women’s condition was high, due perhaps to their economic independence.” S.W. Barton writes that in Egyptian papyri, “many women appear as parties in civil litigations and independent business transactions even with their own husbands and fathers.” One of the earliest archeologists of the pyramids, Sir William Flinders Petrie, wrote in 1925 that “In Egypt, all property went in the female line, the woman was the mistress of the house, and in early tales she is represented as having entire control of herself and the place.”
Discussing the position of women in ancient Egypt, theologian and archeologist Roland de Vaux wrote in 1965 that “In Egypt the wife was often the head of the family, with all the rights such a position entailed.” Obedience was urged upon husbands in the maxims of Ptah-Hotep.
As I already said, royal sister-brother marriage most likely originated in Egypt so that men could have access to the female hereditary line.