CW Ceram

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Gravestone of the Marek couple in the Ohlsdorf cemetery in Hamburg

CW Ceram (born January 20, 1915 in Berlin ; † April 12, 1972 in Hamburg ; actually Kurt Wilhelm Marek ) was a German journalist , editor at Rowohlt Verlag (1945–1952) and author , who became known for his works on archeology . He formed the pseudonym Ceram from his name Marek as an ananym read backwards in order to distinguish himself from his earlier works.


Ceram was married to Hannelore Marek (1926–2015), their son is the painter, draftsman and silhouette artist Max Marek (* 1957).

During the Second World War , Marek was a lieutenant and, as a war reporter, a member of a propaganda company .

His popular science book Gods, Graves and Scholars (with the distinctive subtitle Roman of Archeology ), published in 1949, became a bestseller worldwide . On February 23, 1950, the Rowohlt publishing house announced that it had sold around 12,000 copies within five weeks at a price of DM 12.00  (around 32 euros based on today's purchasing power). The book has also been translated into 28 languages ​​and sold around five million times. Through its easily understandable communication of methods and recent findings, this work has made archeology extremely popular. That is why an archaeological non-fiction book prize donated by the Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn was named the Ceram Prize .

In the late 1960s, Ceram wrote his bestseller The First American in Woodstock .

Ceram was buried in the cemetery in Hamburg-Ohlsdorf . The grave slab is marked by the bronze sculpture of a reading youth.


Envelope of gods, graves and scholars
  • We stopped Narvik. 1941.
  • Red mirrors - everywhere on the enemy. From the gunners of the Reichsmarschall. 1943.
  • Gods, graves and scholars . Archeology novel. 1949; countless new editions and editions, etc. a. as a paperback by Rowohlt, Reinbek, ISBN 3-499-61136-8 .
  • Narrow gorge and black mountain - the discovery of the Hittite Empire. 1955.
  • Gods, graves and scholars in the picture. 1957. (supplementary illustrated book)
  • Provocative notes. 1960.
  • An archeology of the cinema. 1965.
  • Ed .: Fame of Archeology. Gods, graves and scholars in documents. 1965.
  • The first American. 1972; as a paperback by Rowohlt, Reinbek. Revised and expanded new edition by Hannelore Marek. 2001, ISBN 978-3-499-61172-8 . (Work on the archeology of North America ) ( No. 1 on the Spiegel bestseller list in 1972 and 1973 )
  • with Hannelore Marek How two world bestsellers came about. 1974.

Film adaptations

Individual evidence

  1. CW Ceram, origin. Kurt Willy Marek , at

Web links

Commons : CW Ceram  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files