What makes a civilization? Rites and rituals certainly don't. "Before we eat a meal, we form a circle and everyone first touches their ass, and barks like a dog".
Or "we always start the meal with the right hand". Whatever. None of this stupidity imply a civilization at all.
What makes a civilization unique is the combination of info-sphere, socio-sphere, bio-sphere, and techno-sphere. If you are producing energy using cow dung, writing on stone tablets, have a farm based life you have one type of civilization. It does not matter if you are called Roman, Babylonian, or Chinese. You are the part of the same civilization.
If you are producing energy from renewable resources, communicate through high-speed networks, live in connected cities, do your computing on silicon based chips you are (or will be) a different type of civilization.
These categories are what is important in terms of social structure and power distribution in the society. They are the true foundation upon which a civilization is built.
All the rest are simply details.
Let's look at the forest shall we?
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