Dr. Chelsea Gardner

I am a Classical Archaeologist specializing in the history and material culture of ancient Greece, Rome, and the broader Mediterranean world. My research is centered around archaeological exploration in southern Greece. I work in the Mani peninsula, just south of ancient Sparta, and am currently the co-director of The CARTography Project, a Digital Humanities mapping project in which we analyze and recreate the routes of early modern travellers. I have a book under contract on the site of ancient Tainaron, the mythical entrance to the ancient Greek Underworld and the location of a famous sanctuary to Poseidon throughout classical antiquity. I am also interested in ancient and modern cultural identity, ancient religious space, the history of travel, archaeological survey, women in the ancient world, animals and nature in antiquity, landscape studies, and Digital Humanities. 

One of my projects that I'm most proud of is Peopling the Past, and it produces free audio, video, and blog resources for learning about real people who lived in the ancient Mediterranean world; I host the Peopling the Past podcast, which currently has three seasons and is available on our website and anywhere you get your podcasts.


Ph.D, Classics: Classical Archaeology. University of British Columbia, 2018.  "The Mani Peninsula in Antiquity:   An Archaeological, Historical, and Epigraphic Investigation into Regional Identity"

M.A., Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies. University of British Columbia, 2010.

B.A., Classics and Religious Studies. McMaster University, 2008.

Select Recent Publications and Works-in-Progress

  • Tainaron in Classical Antiquity: A Journey to the End of the World. Routledge (Under Contract).

  •   Ancient Pasts for Modern Audiences: Public Scholarship and the Mediterranean World. Routledge. Co-editor with S.C. Higgins (Under Contract)

  • Forthcoming, with C.L. Johnston: "Digital Media and Ancient Mediterranean Teaching”. Classical World.

  • 2024. “Global Activities in a Localized Context: Mercenaries, Proxeny, and the Small Local World of Hellenistic Mani” in Localism in Hellenistic Greece (eds. S. Ager and H. Beck). University of Toronto Press, Phoenix Supplements Series. 299-327.

  • 2023. “Mapping the Leigh Fermors’ Journey through the Deep Mani in 1951” ABSA 1-24. (with R.M. Seifried, and M. Tatum. Open-Access

  • 2021. “The ‘Oracle of the Dead’ at Ancient Tainaron: Reconsidering the Literary and Archaeological Evidence”, Hesperia 90339-358.

  •  2020. “The Origins and Evolution of Ancient Spartan Identity in the Mani Peninsula Greece”, thersites 10 (2019): Modern Identities and Classical Antiquity. 177-208. Open-Access.

  • 2020. “Ushering “Women in Antiquity” into the Modern Classroom”, Journal of International Teaching and PedagogyOnline.

  • 2019. “Reconstructing Historical Journeys with Least-Cost Analysis: Colonel William Leake in the Mani Peninsula, Greece”, Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 24. 391-41 (with R.M. Seifried)