Alex Walthall

Ph.D., 2013


Alex Walthall specializes in the material culture of the ancient Mediterranean region, particularly the archaeology of ancient Sicily. His Princeton dissertation, “A Measured Harvest: Grain, Tithes, and Territories in Hellenistic and Roman Sicily (276–31 BCE),” utilizes archaeological, numismatic, and epigraphic material as a means of documenting political consolidation and economic development in eastern Sicily from the rise of the Syracusan monarch Hieron II to the island’s absorption into the Roman Empire.

Alex is currently assistant professor in the Department of Classics at the University of Texas at Austin. He earned a B.A. in classics and archaeology from the University of Virginia in 2004 and has worked with the American excavations at Morgantina in eastern Sicily since 2003. Serving as a field supervisor since 2007, he has worked on excavations in the agora and the North Bath complex. In 2011, he directed excavations in the West Granary which recovered archaeological material that helped refine the chronology of a monumental storage building constructed in the city’s agora during the third century B.C.E. He currently serves as field director of the Contrada Agnese Project at Morgantina, which investigates developments that occurred in the urban center between the 3rd and 1st centuries B.C.E. Alex’s research has also explored issues ranging from the visual language of Hellenistic monarchy and the impact of agricultural taxation on trade and economic performance in the ancient world to the relationship between numismatics and archaeology. 

Current Research

With Malcolm Bell, Alex is currently collaborating on the publication of the Central Shops at Morgantina, a suite of commercial establishments that was razed around the middle of the third century B.C.E. to accommodate the construction of monumental steps in the agora. Together with Tom Groves, he is preparing the final publication of nearly one thousand coins recovered in excavations at the site between 1982 and 2012. He is also at work on a book based on his dissertation.

Selected Publications

“Becoming Kings: Spartan Basileia in the Hellenistic Period,” in Splendors and Miseries of Ruling Alone: Encounters with Monarchy from Archaic Greece to the Hellenistic Mediterranean, ed. U. Gotter and N. Luraghi (Steiner Verlag, 2013).

“A Hoard Containing Late Republican Denarii from Morgantina (Sicily),” American Journal of Numismatics 25 (2013).

“Magistrate Stamps on Grain Measures in Early Hellenistic Sicily,” Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 179 (2011).