Women of the Ancient World (WOAW) is a digital history resource and research forum that explores the lived realities of women across the ancient world. Our graphic novel-style illustrations of female figures portray them in ancient contexts that we reconstruct based on evidence from texts and archaeology. The drawings are all linked to explanations of our translations of the texts in which they appear, to artifacts that inspired our depictions, and to articles discussing the choices we made and our suggestions for further reading.
WOAW aims to showcase women from all regions and walks of life, while simultaneously demonstrating the process of (re)constructing history. Our drawings constitute arguments about what we can know, and educated guesses about what we can’t. Central to this is an interactive feature in which other historians can weigh in, critique, and help us refine our visualizations toward ever-more accuracy. As WOAW develops, so will our understanding of ancient women’s experiences, beyond their representation by ancient male authors and modern interpreters.