Thanks! Your response makes sense: “History” has historically been document-based, since the study of history is older than genetics, archeology, geology, etc.
You gave excellent coverage to the Minoans Myceneans in the course, and you covered the Hittites fairly thoroughly too. I became interested in the Hittites by learning about the Battle of Kadesh, and then I saw a 2-hour documentary about them and discovered they spoke an Indo-European language. I think this might make them “Western” in a sense, at least in relation to the other large empires of their times. Similarities between them and the later Greeks is an area I’d like to see historians explore.
As I understand it, the Mycenean Linear B is also Indo-European, while the Minoan Linear A has never been deciphered. The idea of the Minoans being the Keftiu, possibly Egyptian in origin, made a lot of sense to me, but I read that there were DNA studies of Minoan remains that indicated otherwise and would seem to indicate heritage similar to modern Cretans.
The course is excellent, and I can’t wait to get started in Part II. But the real interest you sparked in me is the study of very early cultures, such as the Natufian people, and combining what’s known (or thought to be known) about them with the kind of sociological analysis inspired by Hoppe, Oppenheimer, etc. Professor Casey’s first several lectures in the History of Political Thought Part I are great in this regard too.