Ancient Egypt most certainly meets the criteria for a civilisation as it contains much of the elements that make up our own modern society. These include a social hierarchy, government, religion, military force, monuments, trading system, wealth and power, reliable food and water sources and its own written language. Egypt had a complex system much like our own and therefore I would argue a true civilisation with the following points.
Ancient Egypt was a Complex Society:
Ancient Egypt was made up of a social hierarchy. Pharaoh was the head of this system and farmers and slaves were at the bottom. Pharaoh’s were believed to be a God on earth and was the richest and most powerful. He was responsible for making laws and keeping order, ensuring that Egypt was not attacked or invaded by enemies and for keeping the Gods happy, so that the Nile flooded and there was a good harvest.
Farmers and slaves were the poorest and at the bottom of this social hierarchy. They lived hard lives serving the wealthy and powerful people of Egypt. This includes the Vizier, Pharaoh's chief advisor and sometimes High Priest, Nobles who ruled the regions of Egypt, Priests responsible for keeping the Gods happy, Scribes who were the only people who could read and write and were responsible for keeping records and Soldiers responsible for the defence of the country.
Craftsmen, farmers and slaves ensured the development of the country. Craftsmen were skilled workers such as pottery makers, leatherworkers, sculptors, painters, weavers, jewellery makers, shoemakers and taylors. Groups of craftsmen often worked together in workshops.
Although several million people lived in ancient Egypt, they owned nothing. Pharaoh owned everything and was in charge of everything. Essentially the people were only looking after his land and property. This united the nation under Pharaoh and as a result the Egyptians prospered for hundreds of years, their cities not even requiring defensive walls and their people secure.
Egypt was Highly Organised:
Ancient Egypt was a highly organised civilisation evidenced by its laws and government. Its system of government worked successfully for hundreds of years.
To help him do a good job the pharaoh had many helpers.. Some helpers were members of the royal family. Others were people who had worked their way up the government ladder. Each pharaoh had an organized army, a police force, and a huge number of ministers and government officials to assist him.
In ancient Egypt the only other title that really mattered besides the title of Pharaoh was the Vizier. The Vizier was Pharaoh's right hand man. The very top officials reported to the Vizier and he then reported to the Pharaoh every day on what was happening all over Egypt. The Vizier was also the judge of the high court.
Ancient Egypt Developed into a Great Nation:
The Egyptian military was a powerhouse of the ancient world and one of the great military forces of history. It helped to develop the country into a great super power with trade routes as far Palestine and the Byblos coast.
The world’s first depictions of siege warfare can be found on reliefs depicting sieges and wheeled siege ladders. By 3150 BC the king of Upper Egypt had had defeated the other two kings and taken control over all of Egypt, uniting the kingdom under one Pharaoh.
As a matter of interest, this may have been accomplished by a Pharaoh named Narmar, the so called scorpion king, who is the first known to be depicted with the symbols of a united Upper and Lower Egypt.
The Expansion of Ancient Egypt:
After 4000 BC Egypt developed from scattered villages and hamlets into a powerful civilizations with kings in complete control of the people and resources of the Nile valley. They expanded their trade routes, developed writing and increased their territory along the Nile until three cities dominated the valley and vied for complete control.