Hi Jason, and thanks for your comments. One reason I’ve laid out the course the way I have is that once you try to go back much beyond the Greeks in the direction you are suggesting, everything gets very speculative. You’ll notice that there is virtually no “pre-history” in the course for that reason. In my opinion, doing history requires documents.
You’re also correct that the continuity of civilization is one I’ve tried to stress. There’s no really good way to demonstrate this going back before the Greeks’ cultural memories of the Minoans and Myceneans. You’d have to adopt some sort genetic or linguistic determinism to justify tracing things back beyond that and then get into really speculative archeology and anthropology to try say anything substantive. I’m not convinced of the value of that approach, and in any case it wouldn’t be an area of expertise for me.
I hope this reply makes sense and is helpful to you. Thanks again for posting.