When did civilization begin?

The Egyptian predynastic culture was beginning to resemble the Pharaonic ages from around 5,500 BCE. Organized, permanent settlements existed, based around agriculture, and the archetypal characteristics of Egyptian civilization were appearing. Artefacts of stone were being supplemented by those of metal, and pottery, basketry, weaving, and the tanning of animal hides were part of daily life. However, the answer to "When did civilization begin?" depends on our definition of civilization. Primitive civilizations already existed long before this Egyptian predynastic period. The world's oldest known pottery was made 12,000 years ago by the Jomon people of Kyushu, Japan.