Food and Drink in the Ancient World

Posted January 22nd, 2016 at 1:27 pm.

Project Team

Annette M. Baertschi, Associate Professor, Greek, Latin and Classical Studies and Esther Chiang, Post-Bac Educational Technologist

Course Involved

CSTS 320: “Food and Drink in the Ancient World”


Platform development: Summer 2015
Piloted in course: Fall 2015

Project Link

The class’ Omeka website can be viewed by visiting this link.

Goals and Description

This project has two components, both of which will use digital technologies to improve student understanding of the role of food and drink in ancient culture and society. The first is a digital map, which visually represents the provenience and supply of culinary ingredients, including information about production, preparation, and availability. In order to begin to understand food and drink in the ancient world, it is important to provide maps that tell a story of travel and trade. Using both Pleiades, a historical dynamic map, and AWMC’s Antiquity À-la-carte tool, Baertschi and Chiang will develop interactive maps for the students to use during class to provide a visual comparison to the readings. This map will be an important resource for students in the class, providing them with an overview of the variability in food cultures, the geography and history of the ancient Mediterranean world, and reading and using digital maps.

The second component is a group assignment during the course. Students will work in small groups to create digital presentations using Omeka. These presentations will combine a wide array of primary sources from Bryn Mawr’s Special Collections material and material found elsewhere. These presentations will be combined into a collective guide, and form the foundation of an online archive about food production and consumption in the ancient Mediterranean world. The project will teach students to analyze and synthesize complex historical and archaeological evidence and present it in a novel digital format.

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