Blog Post #44: A Round-Up of Our Year

A Brief Round-up

We’ve had a busy year at Peopling the Past, covering a lot of topics from the ancient world! We published 12 podcasts, 8 videos, and 34 blog posts. Our 2021 podcast season covered many topics under the general theme of Roman Archaeology, and we have more in the works under a new theme this coming season. Our videos ranged from discussions of Athenian democracy to the practice of tattooing in ancient Egypt. The blogs continued some ongoing themes, notably our ever-popular Grad Student Features. We also continued our interviews with founders of new, exciting, and inclusive projects in our New Projects series as well as researchers discussing understudied and/or marginalized peoples for the Unknown Peoples series. We ran a number of ‘themed month’ series, looking at Human-Environment Interactions in April for Earth Day, and a special Monster Mash series in October for Halloween. We also had the chance to talk about our project in workshops and panels at the 2021 annual meetings of the Archaeological Institute of America, the Society of Classical Studies, and the Classical Association of Canada.

Screenshot of the Peopling the Past team giving a presentation on Public Scholarship to ARCHON using the zoom platform.
Archon Presentation April 2021
Some New Ventures

This year the Peopling the Past team also host two workshops on producing public scholarship. The first, in April, was run through Archon, the Dutch inter-university graduate network for scholars in archaeology and the Allard Pierson Museum during the Netherland’s Week of the Classics. The second was hosted through Simon Fraser University’s Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies. In both workshops we talked about our experiences and goals with establishing Peopling the Past and worked with students to workshop their own research into publicly accessible and meaningful resources.

 And — for the first time ever — we recorded a LIVE podcast! Thanks to the University of Winnipeg, Melissa and Chelsea were not only able to record with their guest Natalie Swain in person, but they also invited a live audience of UW students. This was an incredible experience and we hope to be able to do more events like this in the future! We also participated in the first (and hopefully annual!) YouTube Ancient History Day hosted by Digital Hammurabi. The theme was “Ancient Lessons for a Modern World”, and we released two videos on Paleo-oncology — the study of cancer in the ancient world —with Roselyn Campbell and Women in Power in ancient Egypt with Kara Cooney.

Photograph of Dr. Swain (left) and Dr. Gardner (right) sitting at ta table with podcasting equipment in front of them, including microphones and a laptop.
Dr. Chelsea Gardner, Podcast Host, with Guest Dr. Natalie Swain at the Live Podcast Taping
Poster for the YouTube Ancient History Day hosted by Digital Hammurabi
Ancient History Day, Hosted by Digital Hammurabi
Looking Forward

We have a lot planned for 2022 and beyond! On the blog, we’ll be devoting the month of February to hearing from researchers working on food and drink in antiquity, while March will be devoted to all things to do with video games and the ancient world!! We’ll of course continue with our Grad Student Features, New Projects, and Unknown Peoples series. We received a generous grant from the Society for Classical Studies Ancient Worlds, Modern Communities program to pay honoraria to our writers who are students or who are non-permanently employed.

The third season of our podcast, funded through a SSHRC Institutional Grant from Acadia University, is scheduled to be released over the summer. We’re really excited for these episodes, which are all about Women in the Ancient Mediterranean. Stay tuned for episodes featuring  Boudicca, midwifery, Mesopotamian free women, and Roman girlhood. We will be busy recording episodes from January-March and our Research Assistants Lauren and Cassy are already hard at work editing the content and sound engineering (read their blog post here)!

We also have an excellent series of videos coming on topics from family pets to environmental history to ancient beer to gaming. We are very grateful to have received a National Geographic Covid-10 Remote Learning Fund grant to support ongoing video production featuring contingent early career scholars!

Bronze statue of Boudicca standing on a chariot pulled by two horses. Her daughters are in the chariot behind her.
Boudicca and Her Daughters, bronze statue on Westminster Bridge, London (Wikimedia Commons photo by Paul Walter, CC BY 2.0)

Peopling the Past has several new and exciting things in the works as well. You may also notice some changes coming to the website next year, as  the project will be joined by two students at the University of Winnipeg thanks to a Knowledge Mobilization Grant from the University of Winnipeg. They will help us create a more interactive platform for our content.

You’ll also be able to hear about our project at the upcoming Archaeological Institute of America / Society of Classical Studies Annual Meeting in January 2022. Sabrina will be giving a lightning talk on the project during the AIA Ancient Makerspaces session (AIA Session 4K) on Friday January 7 from 8am-10:30am and Chelsea and Christine will participate in the Learning from the Ancient Worlds, Modern Communities Initiatives SCS panel on Saturday January 8 from 8am-11am PST.

Thank you to everyone who watched / read / or listened to our content this year, and a HUGE thank you to all of our guests who shared their work with us! We wish you all a safe and restful holiday season.

How to Get in Touch with Us

As always, find us at and sign up for alerts for any and all new posts. You can email us at and of course get in touch with us on Instagram, Twitter (@peoplingthepast), and Facebook. Our videos are also hosted on YouTube and our podcasts can be found through all the major hosting services (Apple, Spotify, Google Play, and Stitcher).

Peopling the Past in the Press

Published by Peopling the Past

A Digital Humanities initiative that hosts free, open-access resources for teaching and learning about real people in the ancient world and the people who study them.

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