Civilization question

Did civilization exist in pre-history? Or, is the definition of civilzation always considered during a time of recorded history?

The reason why it’s “pre”-history is that no one had invented writing yet, so there was no way to keep elaborate, durable, long-term records (although people can be amazingly good at remembering things through oral tradtion). Writing is generally considered one of the hallmarks of a true civilization.

It is my understanding that civilization is taken to mean a society that has left the nomadic, hunter-gatherer existence and adopted a life in settled and permanent communities. Since these communities don’t have everything that is needed, trade must have developed and trade with others usually requires written communication of some kind.

So it seems to me that “civilization” before written records is sort of an impossibility by definition.