Ancient World in London: Events Highlights

Exciting new web event and content series the Ancient World in London comes to an end very soon. Started at February 2010, the project is sponsored exclusively by Addison Lee, London’s largest minicab service. During the three months we hope we have inspired people to set out for adventures and make their own great historical discoveries either live in London or online.

Ancient World in London featured a variety of events, and a fabulous series of videos. It all started when we searched for the face of Heritage Key and were overwhelmed by the responses we received from keen explorers.

Since then, our Heritage Key presenters and video crew have trawled all over London and further to give site users a different perspective of the ancient roots of our modern city. In addition, the site has been bulging with blogposts, competitions, and live events, with the added thrill of the promise of the grand prize.

Here are some of our best bits…

Virtual Experience

What we were looking for were images that captured the way in which the ancient world is revealed in the modern day

Heritage Key’s Virtual Experience brought an extra dimension to our package of web content. Heritage Key Grid – running on OpenSim with some extra magic added to it – shows ancient Egypt, the Valley of the Kings, the treasures from Tutankhamun’s tomb and, most recently added, Stonehenge. It is easy to REGISTERand have a look at what we have created.

Users are able to interact in an immersive space and share their experiences with your friends and other like-minded people. Throughout the series we had daily live tours and quests in Virtual Stonehenge, plus our own book discussions.

We also brought to you some live musicians who performed live from different parts of the world to the Heritage Key Audience. One of these live music events was particularly special as it was for a good cause – to raise funds to help the victims of the Haiti earthquake.

Singer and songwriter Kirsty Hawkshaw performed a live concert to raise money in aid of the crisis in Haiti on Saturday 27th March. Heritage Key streamed the concert at Stonehenge Virtual where the online audience could listen and donate to the cause online (Watch the Promo video). It was a fantastic night which raised over 700 for the Foundry/Haiti fund. Donations were made both at the venue and online from people who listened to the concert from around the world in Heritage Key Virtual.

Our photography competition for photos taken in Heritage Key Virtual was a very popular challenge. With stunning landscapes, awesome costumes and plenty of wildlife, HKVirtual is an area well worth ‘snapshotting’. We had some amazing shots taken by some incredibly talented photographers. Check out our Heritage Key Virtual Flickr group to have sense of what you can achieve also in the virtual environment.


Creative and Fun

We had some really fun contests along the way. Our Valentine’s Day special was my favourite one: we asked our audience to be original as well as historical and create an ancient-style personal ad. Some very clever ads were submitted, but the winner was Loki Popinjay with his ever-so-funny entry ‘Young man, well connected, in possession of fig leave and spare rib is looking for young lady with an apple and a hunger for knowledge to get humanity started. Pets no objection’. Loki won a romantic meal for two in Stonehenge Virtual, with live music thrown in.


We also had some brain teasers. Users could test their knowledge, and win points, with our popular online London quizzes.Ancient World in London quizzes help you test all that you’ve learned throughout the series, and turbo boost you right up the points leaderboard. We had Prehistoric London Quiz, Roman London Quiz and many more. They’re still available, so why not take the test and find out how much you really know about ancient London?

Photography Challenges:

One popular competition which rolled out online and on the ground was the photography contest series. The competition series started with Ancient World in London Spotted. We asked our readers to simply snap photos of the ancient sights that they had spotted in and around London. We weren’t looking for high-res professionalism – iPhone quality was fine – which made it so easy to participate. What we were looking for were images that captured the way in which the ancient world is revealed in the modern day. Our first winner was Daveograve with his fantastic take on the Egyptian Sphinx at Embankment (see the image above). We had many more photography competitions with fun themes around London such as Boudicca Spotted in London, and Spot the City of London Griffins. Visit our Ancient World inLondon Flickr photo pool to see more excellent entries, or check some of the images below.

Bloggers Challenges

Headed by some of our key writers such as Malcolm Jack, E.P. Wohlfart – and me! – the Bloggers Challenges quickly became an interesting series. We announced topics such as violence in edutainment, the future of tourism, repatriation of the Rosetta Stone, and the most influential invasions, and attracted many bloggers to enter challenging discussions on each issue.

We had some very interesting responses to the bloggers challenges, which opened us up to many expert bloggers’ ideas and insights. We believe that these community challenges bring the best out of the web community in many ways, and will definitely keep the series running.

In London


Click To Watch Video
Episode 10: Ancient Astronomy
A recent lecture given by astronomer Paul Murdin offered a fascinating insight into how ancient Britons studied the stars, Sun and Moon to understand what it was they saw in the night sky.

Heritage Key hosted an amazing lecture by Professor Paul Murdin live in London. Professor Murdin is a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, former President of the European Astronomical Society and Visiting Professor at John Moores University, Liverpool, and he currently works at the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge. The talk, entitled ‘Unlocking the Wonders of Astronomy’, showed how man’s obsession with the heavens has endured for thousands of years, from the first cities of Sumer to the technological breakthroughs of today’s most powerful nations. The presentation was held at Cicada, a hip restaurant in the heart of the City of London. Watch the video that covers the interview with Paul Murdin here, or click the image on the right.

First ever interview with the London Stone:

Click To Watch Video
Episode 1: The London Stone
Meet our three intrepid explorers who will take an adventure across the Ancient World in London – Jamie Hobbis, Natalie Foster and Nicole Favish – who over the next 3 months will appear in Heritage Key’s new webseries, proudly sponsored by Addison Lee.

Ever felt like you’ve been speaking to a brick wall? Well, we really have been! We hooked up with the London Stone on Twitter and asked it all we wanted to know so that our followers on twitter could experience it live. And though you can get a huge dose of the stone’s history in our inaugural Ancient World in London video, this was a web event not to be missed.

We have been to the London Stone many times as we were filming some of the videos there, so we have been introduced before. Learn more about the interview that took place live on twitter here.

Pub Quiz

We organised a pub Quiz on April Fool’s day with the Heritage Key Crew at the Red Lion – one of the oldest pubs in the city. It was a fun gathering where people could learn some interesting and important facts about London, win some great prizes, or just simply learn a bit more and have a couple pints with the Heritage Key Crew.

So, I think the above covers only some of the events that we have run during the exciting three months of the Ancient World in London series. As we come to an end we are getting very close to revealing the winner of the Grand prize, sponsored by Turkey holiday specialist HolidayMate – a week’s holiday for two in Turkey.

The prize is a breathtaking holiday for 2 people for 7 nights on the sunny shores of Dalaman, Turkey. The lucky winners will be treated to 4 star bed and breakfast accommodation at Green Anatolia Hotel, Fethiye – Ovacik. All flights from the UK to Dalaman are included, along with airport transfers. Your stay will also cover a two day tour of Lycian sites around the area. We will announce the winner on our website next week so watch this space real close and see you on another adventure. Will it be you? Stay tuned to find out!