Walter Ward. Associate Professor
(205) 934-8699
Heritage Hall 360D

Research and Teaching Interests: Roman Near East, early Christianity, early Islam

Office Hours: M/W/F 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.


  • BA/BS, North Carolina State University, History/Chemistry
  • MA, North Carolina State University, History
  • PhD, University of California at Los Angeles, 2008, History

Walter Ward studies the history and archaeology of the Mediterranean/Near East during antiquity and the early medieval period, with a primary focus on the role of the Roman Empire in the Middle East. His current research explores early Christian monastic interactions with nomadic populations in the Sinai. His next book project will comparatively examine the architecture and urban life of the Greek, Roman, and Early Islamic Near East.

Dr. Ward has extensive experience living in the Middle East as both a researcher and archaeologist and regularly teaches courses about the ancient and medieval Middle East. He was inspired to devote his life to the subject after spending the summer between his sophomore and junior years at NC State excavating the ancient town of Aila (modern Aqaba, Jordan).

He now lives in Homewood with his wife and three children.

Recent Courses

  • World History to 1600 CE
  • History of the Roman Empire
  • Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages
  • History of Ancient Greece
  • Clash of Civilizations
  • Arabia, Islam, and the Byzantine Empire
  • Athens and Sparta
  • From Alexander to Muhammad: The archaeology of the ancient Near East c. 323 BCE - 750 CE
  • Religions in the Ancient Mediterranean World

Select Publications


  • The Socio-economic History and Material Culture of the Roman and Byzantine Near East: Essays in Honor of S. Thomas Parker (Gorgias Press, forthcoming, December 2016).
  • Mirage of the Saracen: Christians and Nomads in the Sinai Peninsula in Late Antiquity (University of California Press, December 2014).
  • Walter D. Ward and Carol White, Sources of World Societies, Vol. 1: to 1715 and Walter D. Ward and Denis Gainty, Sources of World Societies, Vol. 2: since 1450 (Bedford/Saint Martin's Press, 2011), a primary source companion to John P. Mckay et al., History of World Societies.

Book Chapters:

  • "Eusebius's Onomasticon and the Transfer of the X Fretensis from Jerusalem to Aila," Limes 2012 (forthcoming).
  • "Early Christian Pilgrimages, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Red Sea," in Connected Hinterlands: Proceedings of the Red Sea Project IV, Lucy Blue et al., eds. (Archaeopress, 2009), 187-94.


  • "'In the Province Recently Called Palestine Salutaris': Provincial Changes in Palestine and Arabia in the Late Third and Fourth Centuries C.E," Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 181 (2012): 289-302.

Academic Distinctions & Professional Memberships

  • Second Runner Up, Whetstone/Seaman Faculty Development Award, Alabama Humanities Foundation, 2013
  • UAB Faculty Development Grant, 2012
  • Samuel H. Kress Foundation Research Fellow in the Art and Archaeology of Jordan, American Center of Oriental Research, Amman, Jordan, 2006/2007

Student Groups

  • Faculty Advisor, Chi Omicron chapter, Phi Alpha Theta (History Honors Society)