Ewald Schuldt

Ewald Schuldt's name will always be associated with the archaeology of the three districts of Rostock, Schwerin, and Neubrandenburg during the life-time of the German Democratic Republic (Keiling 1988a; 1988b). In 1945 Schuldt was appointed inspector for pre- and protohistoric sites and monuments in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and he became simultaneously assistant keeper for prehistory at the state museum in Schwerin. Having gained his doctorate from Berlin in 1952, Schuldt was made director of the new Museum für Ur- und Frühgeschichte (museum for pre- and protohistory) in Schwerin one year later. Until his retirement in 1981, he led this institution which had the sole responsibility for research, protection, and excavation of archaeological sites in the northernmost part of the GDR. Schuldt founded and edited an annual academic journal (Jahrbücher für Bodendenkmalpflege in Mecklenburg) and a large monograph series (Beiträge zur Ur- und Frühgeschichte der Bezirke Rostock, Schwerin und Neubrandenburg), both devoted mostly to the quick and comprehensive publication of excavation reports. He also wrote a number of popular picture catalogues about various archaeological topics, mostly in connection with his own research interests. In 1964, Schuldt was awarded the title of Professor.

From the 1950s Schuldt concentrated on researching Slavic archaeology in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. He led a series of major excavations (e.g. Teterow, Hohen Viecheln, Behren-Lübchin, Groß Raden) of Slavic sites and established a typology and chronology of Slavic pottery. After his retirement, Schuldt continued working in Groß Raden and created an open-air museum on the site which was opened shortly before his death in 1987. It has since become a major regional tourist attraction.

Interrupting his research about the Slavs, Schuldt directed from 1964 until 1972 a major research project about the megaliths in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. As part of this project Schuldt, assisted by a small number of colleagues, excavated altogether 106 megaliths. The results were published in a stream of reports of together 1200 pages with 910 illustrations in the Jahrbücher (Schuldt 1972: 7) as well as in a monograph entitled Die mecklenburgischen Megalithgräber (1972). The main aim of this project was to improve the state of knowledge about the Neolithic in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.Schuldt decided to focus his research mainly on a large number of megalithic graves as they offered undisturbed Neolithic contexts and Schuldt hoped at the same time that the study of their architecture would provide a framework for distinguishing Neolithic settlement units in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Schuldt 1972: 7). Parallel to the study of megaliths, Schuldt was concerned to restore them and make those megaliths which were in both good condition and in appropriate locations accessible and comprehensible for a wider public through information-boards (e.g. in Everstorfer Forst, Gaarzerhof, and Lancken-Granitz).

My own research would not have been possible had not Ewald Schuldt conducted his systematic research project and, most importantly, conscientiously published its results. The list of megaliths I studied is based on Schuldt's Table A (1972), supplemented by several new finds and additional megaliths which I came across in the records, but excluding, for practical reasons, those (few) sites not now in the area of the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.


Keiling, Horst (1988a) Nekrologe, Ewald Schuldt 1914–1987. Informationen des Bezirksarbeitskreises für Ur- und Frühgeschichte Schwerin 28, 80–92.

Keiling, Horst (1988b) Ewald Schuldt zum Gedenken. Schweriner Blätter 8, 1988, 95–97.

Schuldt, Ewald (1972) Die mecklenburgischen Megalithgräber. Untersuchungen zu ihrer Architektur und Funktion. Beiträge zur Ur- und Frühgeschichte der Bezirke Rostock, Schwerin und Neubrandenburg, vol. 6. Berlin: Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften.

Voß, Rolf (1994) Zum Gedenken an Ewald Schuldt. Archäologische Berichte aus Mecklenburg–Vorpommern 1, 1994, 5–7.

© Cornelius Holtorf