Dr Peter Swallow

With follow-on funding from AHRC, phase 3 of the ACE project is well under way. We are busily working with our project partners across the UK to improve access to Classical Studies in museums and schools. With the Liverpool World Museum, we are producing digital source books based on their world-class collection of ancient artefacts.

These source books will give teachers and students access to relevant material beyond the prescribed sources, which is an essential requirement of the Classical Civilisation syllabus. They’ll be accompanied by relevant information on the objects and linked directly into the contents of the GCSE and A Level courses.

Dr Chrissy Partheni showing highlights from the museum’s Roman ash chest collection

In June 2021, we filmed the first tranche of educational videos about Greek pottery techniques and Roman funerary practices, which will be included in the digital source books for A Level Greek Art and GCSE Myth and Religion. We’ll also be producing short films on polychromy in Greek art, and depictions of gender and sexuality in Roman statues (for A Level Love and Relationships).

The opportunity to get so close to such incredible artefacts was electrifying, and underlined the unique power that museums have to make the ancient world tangible.

Dr Chrissy Partheni, the museum’s Curator of Classical Antiquities, was on-hand to guide us through the museum’s impressive collection and discuss the objects’ significance. Highlights included a black-figure amphora depicting Ajax and Achilles playing dice, and a Roman ash chest dedicated by one C. Minicius Gelasinus to himself! Filming was expertly handled by local film company Half Cut. Further filming is scheduled for July 2021.

With the continued uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, it has been harder than ever for young people to access the treasures of the Classical world in museums. Our hope is that, via these digital source books, we can bring the Liverpool World Museum to young people wherever they are.