Officially elected and actual ruler of FAF
I must vaguely disagree with "They like the Greeks were quite advanced for their time", but it should be noted that one of the big reasons for this is that many people aren't aware of a lot of the oldest Civilizations and Proto-Civilizations because they literally pre-date the written word. In some cases by millennia or more. Çatalhöyük, for example - while not one of these contendors - came about approximately nine thousand years ago, meaning that St. Martin's Church in England was closer to the first (historically preserved) examples of writing than Çatalhöyük was to the written word.
A good example of a contemporary to Minoan civilization is the Indus Valley Civilization, specifically examples like Harappa and Mohenjo-daro. I know I gushed about these before, but it's rather impressive thinking about these what with the latter proto-city having examples of a functional city-wide sewer system, individual water supplies for many houses / buildings, and even one of the earliest examples of indoor heating via hypocausts... about 4600 years ago. When you ask people to think "Society 2500 BCE", the typical first thought is "Not anything like that".
This is by no means meant as a knock on Minoans. Or Greeks, for that matter. Just to point that... like, there were definitely settled civilizations outside the Mediterranean with a hefty list of accomplishments. Many of whom either faded into history due to one factor or another (such as the environment simply making any effort to preserve something over a span of ~4000+ years implausible at best for less malicious / purposeful examples; or the purposeful destruction of cultural items seen countless times by countless polities), misattribution (Kerma society was, until relatively recently, long believed to be Egyptian in some fashion or another, as one example), the simple lack of records (Consider, for example, that in many cases of the oldest civilizations our understanding comes from what amounts to looking at prehistoric receipts and working backwards from what we know of a mix of human nature and what little architecture or evidence remains), etc.
I guess what I'm saying is that history is amazing, and people should probably stop taking societies at their words when they say "We brought civilization to [region]" when often times what they mean is "We broke what was there and put our stuff there instead".
I tend to agree that civilizations that predate the first writing systems impact our perspective, it makes it hard to understand what really happened, which is unfortunate. Though, on the other hand, I do think Sumerians deserve a great deal of credit for being among the first civilizations to develop a consistent writing system, as having information record in that way was crucial to the development of culture, science and so on.
Sumer's development of cuneiform was instrumental in allowing human knowledge to really compound and layer on each other. Changing the emphasis away from learning via word of mouth was critical towards human development, so I do feel the emphasis on civilizations that had a writing system has some merit. Of course there is debate if Sumer was truly the first to develop a consistent writing system, but I digress.
I do feel it is unfortunate civilization that predate writing have so little known about them, though I feel having a writing system is crucial to being an advanced civilization, in my opinion.
Well, when I mention the Minoan civilization, and mention that they were "among some of the first advanced civilizations", it was not intended as a put down against middle eastern civilizations or eastern ones. The Indus Valley Civilization was also quite advanced for their time and were contemporaries of the Minoans and the Egyptians. Like the Minoans, the Indus Valley Civilization was also fairly advanced, though it should also be considered for every civilization that had such a large hand in determining the development of civilization, such as the Egyptians, the Indus Valley Civilization and the Minoans, ect, there were dozens more that just kept to themselves, which is fine. Not every civilization is obligated to be the peak of technology, nor should it be expected.
It really isn't so much a competition between the Minoans, and the Indus Valley Civilization so much as ideas simply spreading past borders, which happens often in history, certain ideas will be adopted and developed in a slightly different path from it's source, wherever that source may be. It doesn't always happen 100% of the time, but it is why you'll see a few civilizations within the same age come up with similar technologies. Of course this assume both civilization have similar technological capabilities, hence why both the Minoans and the Indus Valley civilization had very similar technologies in some areas, where as it may be absent from other civilizations. Though, this can also be attributed to a lack of interest as well on the part of some civilizations. That is also possible.
I have a natural interest in Greece, so, it is why I went out of my to mention the Minoans, it is not that I have a total disinterest in civilization outside the Mediterranean region, just that personally I have always had a strong interest in that region, so I've always been inclined to learn as much as I could. So, I naturally gravitate towards it a little more. I am aware to civilizations outside of the region, but I can freely admit my knowledge of that area has slightly less focus by me. But I have no issue reinforcing that the Indus Valley was a historically significant civilization that had brought important contributions to humanity.
And, I think that is a fair take away, I don't think it is at all bad to group the Minoans alongside the Indus Valley Civilization or the Egyptians, they all played very important roles. Is it unfair to place emphasis on big players such as the Indus Valley Civilization, the Egyptians, and Minoans over others? Well, I'd like to think not, but I suppose it hinges on what the individual finds important about history. If the goal is to better understand man, then maybe in some part is unfair, if the intent is to learn from contributors, triumphs and defeats, then perhaps not at all. I can't say it is inherently wrong to give some accolades to particular civilizations for advancing humanity where the credit may be due, so long as the nuances behind how they were able to do so are brought up in some fashion.