Nick, the Egyptian civilization remains a mystery.

Satti, Arguably, every reading of civilization is distorted in some way or another, but certainly if you have reservations about how the west reads and interprets history you should give your own reading and interpretation, although I would point out that western civilization has its origins in the same West Asian cluster that gave rise to contemporary Middle Eastern civilizations, so we aren’t as distinct, for example, as either one of us is distinct from the Chinese, Indian, or Latin American traditions. These traditions have their origins in distinct pristine civilizations.

In addition to the pyramid builders of Egypt and Mexico (also reaching down into Mesoarmerica), one might also cite the mound builders of the Mississippi Valley and the pyramid builders of what is today Sudan, as well as other places around the world. I don’t think we should be at all surprised by this. For reasons familiar to all engineers, a pyramid is a structure whose sides are the angle of repose and so will remain as it was built for very long periods of time. If you want to erect a monument that will last, you build a pyramid.

Anyone is free to write history according to their own principles, including the “owners” of history, whoever they may be. I consider it a great boon that western historians have spread out across the world and written the histories of peoples that had not written their own histories, because in this way a great deal of humanity’s past has been preserved that would otherwise have been lost. That does not prevent these peoples (if they are not extinct) from writing their own histories, nor does it prevent extinct peoples from having their histories written by other historical traditions. There is room enough in the world for many historical discourses to reside side-by-side.