Archaeologists Launch Live Online Workshops on the Greek and Roman World to Coincide with 2006 Winter Olympics

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Live online courses taught by experienced archaeologists allow learners to explore the Greek and Roman world from a new perspective. Both home schooled and traditional students, as well as adults and hobbyists, will be able to investigate the origins of the Olympics and other topics in a series of 4-week workshops. Instructors use an interdisciplinary approach that integrates history, archaeology, art, ancient literature and other disciplines.

Secondary school students and adults looking for new perspectives on the Greek and Roman world can now learn from experienced archaeologists online. A live, online 4-week workshop that examines the origins of the Olympics is just one of several workshops that will be offered when The Lukeion Project begins its Spring session in February.

The Lukeion Project targets college-bound high school students and adults who are seeking enrichment courses on the Classical world. Its offerings fit easily into a home school education program, but are equally appropriate for traditionally schooled students, adults and hobbyists who want to explore the ancient world in a new way. The live online classroom makes use of ancient literature, images of ancient art and iconography, interactive media, and archaeological discoveries.

Regan and Amy Barr, founders of The Lukeion Project, received an interdisciplinary education that combined history, archaeology, ancient languages and literature. Together they have a combined 20 years of excavation experience at archaeological sites in Jordan, Greece and Turkey. One of the highlights of their archaeological work was participating in the joint German/American excavation at the venerable site of Troy for three seasons. Each has published articles on artifacts from Troy in the journal Studia Troica.

One thing that makes The Lukeion Project unique among online offerings is its philosophy of education. “We aren’t trying to be a one-stop shop for curriculum,” says Amy Barr. “Many online education providers start with a diverse list of subjects they want to teach and then try to find someone on their staff to teach them. We’re only about the Classical world. We focus on topics that we’re passionate about teaching, and where we have advanced degrees and first-hand experience. I don’t think you’ll find anything like this on the web without paying for accredited college courses.” Another unique feature is the library of more than 5,000 personal slides taken during the Barrs’ professional and educational pursuits over seas. Many of these images showcase sites or artifacts that are not publicly available.

Although you couldn’t tell it today, they weren’t always passionate about the ancient world. “I didn’t really enjoy history when I was in high school,” says Regan Barr. “My teachers weren’t excited about it, and they made very little reference to archaeology, art history, ancient literature, or other related disciplines that really bring history to life. It wasn’t until I’d been in college for several years that I overcame some of those early prejudices and my love for the ancient world really blossomed. We want to teach in a different way.”

The 4-week workshop format allows learners to select courses that fit personal tastes or educational paths. In addition to the workshop on the Olympics, other spring workshop topics include ancient city sites like Athens and Rome, bigger-than-life personalities like Alexander the Great and Cleopatra, and mythological characters like the Olympian gods and the Greek heroes. A full semester introductory Latin course is also available.

For additional information on The Lukeion Project, visit http://www.lukeion.org.

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