Great Pyramid

Participants in the Ancient Legacies: Egypt tour, a college-credit-applicable program from Southern Illinois University Carbondale also open for non-credit-seeking travelers, pose in front of the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx at Giza. (Photo provided)

January 17, 2017

‘Ancient Legacies’ study trips planned to Egypt, Greece

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Nothing makes a trip to Egypt complete like participating in a mummification ritual. Or, for those who prefer Greece, building a sundial on the beach to better understand ancient astronomy. 

Robert Hahn, professor of philosophy at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, has guided more than 1,200 people to sites in Greece and Egypt via Ancient Legacies, the intellectual travel adventure tour and college-credit-ready study trip he launched 35 years ago. Building sundials and model pyramids, reconstructing the trial of Socrates, and participating in a mummification ritual (minus the actual mummification) are all part of the experience.

Media Advisory

Robert Hahn is available for interview, including television or radio interview, to discuss the Ancient Legacies educational tour opportunities. The media may also attend an information session on Feb. 2. Hahn is best reached at or

Students may participate in the Ancient Legacies tours for college credit, but some participants prefer to join the tours “just for fun” or to accompany a college-credit seeking friend or family member. 

Hahn, along with other Ancient Legacies faculty, will present an information session that will give prospective participants an idea of the ancient wonders included in the tour, as well as information about cost, tuition and college credit options, travel requirements, deposits, accommodations, full itinerary and everything else a prospective student or community-member traveler needs to know. The session is 5-6 p.m. on Feb. 2 in the Student Center, Ohio Room (second floor). 

The Egypt trip is May 16-27 and the itinerary includes sites in Cairo and Giza, Luxor, Aswan and a Nile River cruise. The trip to Greece is May 28-June 10, and includes visits to Athens, Delphi, the islands Samos and Kos and sites on the west coast of Turkey, including a day exploring the Mediterranean Sea on a private yacht. 

Hahn notes that faculty-led hands-on learning activities included in the tour enhance travelers’ appreciation of the ancient sites they are visiting. Building pyramids out of sugar cubes to test construction theories, for example, encourages a visitor to appreciate not just the timeless beauty of the Great Pyramids, but also to have more respect for the ancient architects’ achievement, he said. 

“These are not simply lectures,” Hahn said. “They are led by a team of faculty who also direct hands-on activities to provide learning in a fun format. In Greece, the group recreates the trial of Socrates in an ancient site to see how democracy and the jury system began. In Egypt, they carve their own limestone tablets to learn how tomb painting was achieved.”