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Recreating Ancient Recipes With VAWAA

Recreating Ancient Recipes With VAWAA

Sun, Jan 23, 2022 12:00 PM - Sun, Feb 6, 2022 2:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (UTC-5)

Tickets ($0 – $250.94) here.

In this 3-part seminar, recreate dishes from ancient Mesopotamia, ancient Rome, and the Mediterranean Middle Ages.

About this event


Join Vacation With An Artist (VAWAA) along with archaeologist and culinary historian Ursula Janssen and learn the art of recreating ancient dishes.

Together, we’ll turn our kitchens into vessels for gastronomic time travel, using historical recipes and modern ingredients to create dishes from ancient Mesopotamia, ancient Rome, and the Mediterranean Middle Ages. We’ll focus on the Middle East, Southern Europe, and the Mediterranean region, tracing ancient foodways and trade routes along the Mediterranean Sea and the lasting legacy they had on several regional cuisines. From Babylonian fowl pie to Mustacei, we’ll treat each recipe we cover as a portal to the past, looking at the traditions, culinary innovations, and societal values it was steeped in. We’ll explore how various foods, cooking methods, and notions of “healthy eating” were viewed across time, and what a profession in the food industry of yore may have entailed. By the end of the course, you’ll not only have a deeper understanding of ancient Babylonian, Roman, and Mediterranean cuisines, but also the knowledge and skills to weave elements of them into your own cooking practice.


There are three total sessions included in this purchase, each lasting for 2 hours on three consecutive Sundays beginning January 23.

Session 1 (Sunday, 1/23/2022, 12–2 PM ET): Babylonian: Fowl pie and Mersu

Session 2 (Sunday, 1/30/2022, 12–2 PM ET): Ancient Rome: Mustacei and Alexandrian gourds

Session 3 (Sunday, 2/ 6/2022, 12–2 PM ET): Mediterranean Middle Ages: Itriyya and hummus


Students will be given suggested readings to do outside of class.


Vacation With An Artist (VAWAA) is a platform to discover and book mini-apprenticeships with remarkable artists and makers around the world – from pottery in Joshua Tree, weaving and textile dyeing in Oaxaca to culinary food preservation in Newfoundland.

Ursula is an archaeologist, cook and author, passionate about sustainability. For years, Ursula worked on excavation projects in Syria, Turkey and Egypt, where she often lived in small, traditional villages and picked up a variety of recipes and traditional food preparation techniques. Historic methods of producing and cooking food inspire Ursula academically, but also motivate her lifestyle. She believes that looking back to traditional cooking techniques also encourages getting back to a more sustainable way of living. She lives in Southern Italy where she grows most of her own food, eats fresh ingredients seasonally, raises chickens, makes wine and olive oil, and in her spare time, practices archery!


This is an interactive, small-group, seminar-style course that meets over Zoom. Students may be invited to participate in discussions, workshop their projects, and receive feedback from the course instructor.

In most cases, instructors will use Google Classroom to communicate with students outside of class. While students aren’t required to use Google Classroom, instructors will be using this platform to post resources, discussion questions, and assignments, when applicable.


A detailed ingredients and materials list will be sent to students closer to the start of this course.


Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite that will provide access to the class meeting. Please save the confirmation email as you’ll use it to access your course via Zoom on each scheduled date and time.


If you are unable to pay the ticket price for this course, a limited number of no-pay spots are available to increase accessibility for students, regardless of their economic situation. Please note that this option is first-come, first-served, and reserved for those who would not otherwise be able to take this course. To learn more about our approach to pricing, including no-pay options, please visit our FAQ page.


We provide closed captioning for all of our courses, as well as transcripts upon request. Please reach out to us at if you have any questions, requests, or access needs.


This online course is offered by Atlas Obscura. Founded in 2009, Atlas Obscura created the definitive, community-driven guide to the most incredible places on the planet and is now an award-winning travel company that shares the world’s hidden wonders in person and online.

Our online courses offer opportunities for participants to emerge with new skills, knowledge, connections, and perspectives through multi-session classes designed and taught by expert instructors. Courses can take one of two forms: Seminars are intimate, interactive classes—capped at nine to 25 students—exploring topics and crafts through discussion, workshops, assignments, and in-class activities. We also offer lecture series that can be attended live, or viewed via a recording that will be shared within 72 hours after each session airs. Class recordings for lecture series will be available with a temporary password for up to two weeks following the final session of the course.

To learn more about our current course offerings, please visit

For answers to commonly asked questions, check out our FAQ page here.

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