E-course Ancient Jewels

5,000 years of jewellery
archaeology and history

5,000 years of jewellery

‘Is it true that the pharaohs already used eye beads?’ Yes! And did you know those eye beads, made in Egypt and Syria, traveled as far as Scandinavia? When you always wondered how jewellery from North Africa and the Middle East came to look as it does today, this series of prerecorded, short talks clears that up in a beautiful timeline of 5,000 years of jewellery history!

How and why did humans begin to create beads? Which traces of the ancient world are still visible in today’s traditional jewellery? And what does jewellery, like archaeology, reveal about trade and cultural connections? Find out in this course on ancient jewellery!

jewellery time travel

All you need is 15 minutes

This is the easiest course ever to fit into your schedule. Honestly. No rushing, no squeezing in fixed course times. Watch and learn whenever it suits you. 

‘I would love to take a course, but I don’t know where to find the time…’ Sound familiar? Our days fill up quickly, and so we are quick to skip those things we actually enjoy the most: a moment to relax, to explore, to enjoy our favourite topic. I have designed this course with you in mind: 2 hours is a lot to ask, but 15 minutes for a topic you truly love…? Scrolling online to find more on ancient jewels takes up more time – and with less results. (Spoiler alert: each episode is packed with online references, so I’ve got that covered for you, too)

So this course is not another item on your to do-list. This course is the break you’ve been wanting!

All you need is 15 minutes and an Internet connection. You could be enjoying the first episode in 10 minutes from now….!

a timeline of adornment

What will I learn?

Archaeology, history and stunning jewels will take you through 5,000 years and 3 continents. First, we will explore the world of the oldest forms of adornment: beads. Next, we will encounter the great civilizations: through many examples including sunken treasure, a jeweller’s hoard and divine queens you will get familiar with jewellery from Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the classical world. You will see how Chinese influences ended up in the Mediterranean and how profound and lasting the influence of the Islamic Middle Ages is. The Ottoman realm connected worlds too, and we will see how all of these cultural styles merged into our current timeframe in the jewellery we know today. Finally, I will show you how jewellery itself is a historic source. You will gain an understanding an appreciation of the huge timedepth reflected in jewellery, see how decoration schemes and techniques spread, and enjoy many fabulous pieces along the way!

I finally got around to the first of your classes and I must say I’m so impressed. Mind you, I did not expect anything but sterling quality from you but this is so exquisite! I really look forward to plunging into this fantastic world of jewellery, especially when it comes in such an enticing package as this, yet with scientific preciseness. And so much material! We are truly spoiled…

Tina Lundberg


about me

Your instructor

All classes are researched, prepared and taught by Sigrid van Roode. I have been presenting classes, courses, workshops and jewellery talks for over 25 years now, and am the author of two books on jewellery from North Africa and the Middle East. My goal is to present academic level research in an accessible, fun and easy to follow style. I believe jewellery is not just adornment, but an important historic source that tells us so much about the lives of women – and I’ll be showing you in how many ways that works!

history of jewellery


E-book package

With this prerecorded lecture series, you will receive 8 full-colour e-books. These contain not only the course material, but also present you with book recommendations, online reading material and additional images. The e-books are yours to download and keep: your own historical library!

Online community

You will have access to our private online community on Facebook. Here, you will be able to get any questions answered and enjoy the world of jewellery with other course participants from around the globe – with as many angles, comparisons and personal stories to share!

This class is definitely for you when:

  • you are interested in jewellery and dress from North Africa and Southwest Asia, and in the many traditions and cultures of the region;
  • you work with dress and adornment from the region as curator, designer, dancer, instructor or collector;
  • you are interested in archaeology, history and ancient jewellery;
  • you have lived or are living in the region as an expat and would like to understand more about its history and culture;
  • you are curious to look beyond your own culture or country;
  • you care about jewellery and cherish jewellery items as the heritage pieces they are.