Playing in the Past

Playing in the Past (PITP) is a project to explore digitally recreated worlds, made primarily for games, in a series of live broadcast events. It is intended to facilitate a connection between those studying history and archaeology and others who are interested in it, in an interactive way.

Come and join us, play along with us, explore with us and discover the past.

What are we doing?

Visualising archaeology and life in the past is hard. Understanding how people lived, how economies worked, how technology worked are all difficult to do from descriptions. Pictures and diagrams rely on viewers being able to imagine how something looked or worked.

A carefully reconstructed virtual world allows us to really visualise and engage with what we can read about in books. More importantly, it shows us what the living ancient world might have been like and lets us explore and experience a version of it for ourselves – something that books, museums and lectures can never do.     

Why do this?

  • There needs to be greater interaction between scholarship on history and archaeology and everyone else
  • Visualisations of ancient and historic cultures and the way people understand them are informed by all interactions and experiences of them
  • This includes the popular, non-academic forms of engagement, such as art, literature and computer games
  • Virtual reconstructions of a place and time allow for the kind of immersion that you cannot otherwise get

The aim of Playing in the Past live events is to explore past worlds, to experience them, and to ask questions about the visualisation of the world that we are presented with.

Assassin’s Creed: Origins – what is it?

Assassin’s Creed: Origins is an action adventure game published by Ubisoft. It is set in 49-47 BC during the final phase of the Ptolemaic period and is a blend of historical and fictional events.

It represents one of the most detailed reconstructions of ancient Egyptian places, people and life that we currently have and it draws on many sources to realise this world. Is it 100% accurate? No. But it is the most immersive way to experience ancient Egypt that we currently have, and it is wonderful! See below to get an idea of what to expect!

Launch Event

We will launch the project on 15th September 2020 with a ‘play along’ in Assassin’s Creed: Origins. Gemma Renshaw will be your host, walking you through ancient Alexandria, Saqqara and Giza with Egyptologist Dr. Chris Naunton and Historian of Science, Associate Professor Kathleen Sheppard. No need to register with us, just join us on Twitch on the day!

Check back in for details of future events, which will be posted as updates on the website events page.

2 thoughts on “Playing in the Past

    1. Hi Emre,

      Sorry about that. Yes, the remaining days are:

      10th June 3PM UK time – Visions of Ancient Egypt in the 19th Century w/ Dr. Kate Sheppard, Ziad Morsy & Gemma Renshaw

      15th July 3PM UK time – Visualising a living and immersive ancient world, panel discussion with live gameplay w/ PITP team, Professor Stephanie Moser and special guest

      A few of the episodes are up here:

      The rest will be added when the edits are done.

      All best,



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: