Then disaster struck. We arrived, in the form of Columbus and enough greedy companions to make a difference, already well - or badly - infected with the notion of money and gold and under its illusory spell of 'worth', which does not exist, of course. And there these new invaders scented gold in quantity.
Their delusion of wealth was fiction, but the edge of their steel was real. As was - and is - their wont, they used indigenous tribe against tribe, and the clergy used their notion of religion for the natives' own good and with sword and rope and fire "sent another ten thousand souls to Almighty God today".
Within a hundred years the indigenous population was decimated, reduced from a total of about seventy million to seven, under such influences as disease, Jesuitical religion, and enslavement to produce more gold and other 'wealth' for the intruders. It is no surprise that those who could, hid in the hills. So would I. So would you. And so some still survive today.
Further slaves were imported to work in the cotton fields, and in the sugar industry of the Caribbean, initially whites from England and other northern countries and then, as a slaving-industry commodity(2) from Africa, as these could tolerate the climate better, just as they are being imported today 'to help our economies'.
In the same way that 'wampum' was used by the indigenous 'Americans', the same idea had come about in 'the old world'. Unfortunately here, however, a few stunted folk saw that they could use this notion against the rest of the populations. Therefore they harnessed others' more brutal 'leaders' against their populations as 'royalty', who 'ruled' and 'reined', so that the people worked and slaved to produce 'wealth' for the kings and - oh of course, quite incidentally - for those who installed and maintained such 'divinely-ordained royalty'.
(Excuse these 'inverted-commas', but you should not think that all words and terms indicate real things. These commas are to give you a guide to what is presented as fact but really is an arbitrary imposition or an outright fiction.)
This necessitated 'government' and its bureaucracy, taxes which required census, and, since such an organism took the character of its creators and manipulators, domination and ever further control.
So, since six thousand years or so ago, we have had immensely wealthy 'kings' and enslaved populations. If you particularly like others' palaces and pyramids, you can call this civilisation, but as a diet pyramids somehow lack something: you can't eat many pyramids. And as slaves and the poor do not carry much practical emulation-value, the history books carry no record of how many in their millions starved and died to support this or that well-recorded 'king' or 'king-emperor' or yea even 'god-king-emperor' and their invisible puppeteers. - Yes, as we still see today, if we look.