Oxford academics have teamed-up with an animator to bring ancient Hellenic vase scenes to life. The images on this 2,500-year-old vase have been animated to show what life was like in ancient Hellas.

Animation brings 2500-year-old Greek vase to life
Athenian black-figure footed cup (kylix) c.500 BCE
[Credit: Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford]
The Classics in Communities project, which is led by Mai Musié of Oxford University to encourage the teaching of ancient languages like Latin and Greek, has teamed up with the Panoply Vase Animation Project following an award from the Oxford University Knowledge Exchange Fund.

The Panoply Vase Animation Project is run by Steve K. Simons and Sonya Nevin, combining Steve’s animation skills with Sonya’s expertise in ancient Hellenic culture. With a history in software engineering, Steve studied multimedia production and design before becoming a freelance animator.

Sonya did her doctorate on ancient Greek warfare at University College Dublin.  She is now a research fellow and visiting lecturer at the University of Roehampton in London.  She has worked and volunteered in the Ure Museum, the UCD Classical Museum, and the Royal Museums Greenwich.  Sonya’s research and teaching interests include religion, warfare, and historiography.
They hope it will be used by teachers and lecturers to support their teaching of topics related to ancient Hellas. Nevin explained:

"Our animation features a cup that would once have been used at ancient drinking parties 2,500 years ago. The cup's decoration comes to life in the animation, with a scene of drinking, chatting, and playing music and games now acted out before your eyes. We hope it will be used by teachers, students and anyone else who has an interest in seeing classical history brought to life."

The project is the latest initiative by Classics in Communities, a project involving Oxford University, the Iris Project, and Cambridge University. Mai Musié of Oxford University’s Faculty of Classics stated:

"Our aim is to promote the teaching of Latin and Ancient Greek at state schools in the UK. This animation is just the latest way in which we hope to engage teachers and students in these fascinating subjects."

Steve has been making vase animations since 2007. There are many, many, many animations listed on the project's website. You can spend a lovely time there, soaking in the pretty. Enjoy!