Rise of the Black Pharoahs

While in Sudan earlier this year, a film crew from National Geographic came to El Kurru to document our work and interview the dig director, Geoff Emberling. The fruits of their labor aired on PBS on October 1 as “Rise of the Black Pharaohs.” Here’s the PBS description: About the ProgramThe Egypt of the Great…

The Sudanese Hug Revisited

In January, the Boston Globe Magazine published an essay I wrote about my friendship with Mahmoud, a Sudanese archaeologist, and a greeting I had never seen before, the Sudanese Hug. The basic gesture is a right handed pat on another person’s left shoulder while they do the same to you. The Sudanese Hug is more…

Red Sox nation

The New York Times decided to follow up on my essay about Greater Boston* by commissioning an interactive map of baseball fandom based on Facebook Likes correlated with zip code. The authors write about it here. The interactive map is here. A second map based on the same data showing the second favorite team is…

The Sudanese Hug

What’s more than a handshake and less than a hug? The Sudanese have the answer. From the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine (1/12/14): Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce to you the Sudanese hug. While working on an archeological excavation in northern Sudan, I was fascinated by a form of greeting I had never seen…

Assyria’s National Instrument

The journal Iraq, published by the British School of Archaeology in Iraq recently printed an academic article about Assyrian music that I wrote. The citation is: Cheng, Jack, “The Horizontal Forearm Harp: Assyria’s National Instrument,” Iraq 74, 2012, p. 75-87. Here’s the abstract: A horizontal harp, strung with 7 to 9 strings and usually decorated…

Irene Winter’s Festschrift now online

Ancient Near Eastern Art in Context: Studies in Honor of Irene J. Winter By Her Students, eds. Jack Cheng & Marian Feldman, (Leiden: Brill), 2007 is now accessible online for reading or download. You can find it on Scribd here: Ancient Near Eastern Art in Context: Studies in Honor of Irene J. Winter By Her…

Review of the Virtual Museum of Iraq

Now online is a review I wrote of the Virtual Museum of Iraq. It’s a really beautiful, well thought out site but I hate it for reasons that become apparent in the review. Here’s the first paragraph: The Virtual Museum of Iraq serves as an excellent multimedia introduction to the history and archaeology of Iraq,…

Article on Sumerian Music

The Journal of Near Eastern Studies has just published my article on Sumerian music (including singing and iconography). Here’s the citation and the first few hundred words: Jack Cheng, “A Review of Early Dynastic III Music: Man’s Animal Call,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies July 2009, Vol. 68, No. 3: 163-178. A review of the…

Museum Review

A review I wrote of “Art and Empire: Treasures from Assyria in the British Museum” has been published in the latest issue of Near Eastern Archaeology (vol. 71 #4, cover dated December 2008). It’s too late to see the show at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts and the review is not online, but it was…