Forensic Scientists Exhume 20th-Century Mass Grave in Spain

Spain Mass GraveALMAGRO, SPAIN—CNN reports that forensic archaeologists and anthropologists from Cranfield University and the Complutense University of Madrid, and social anthropologists from Mapas de Memoria, are exhuming the remains of 26 people executed by local right-wing partisans during the rule of dictator General Francisco Franco at the end of the Spanish Civil War, between 1939 and 1940, and buried in a mass grave in a civil cemetery in central Spain. Team leader Nicholas Márquez-Grant of Cranfield University said the victims included carpenters, teachers, and farmers. The remains of several people with gunshot wounds to the head have been recovered to date, along with bits of clothing, buttons, a pencil, and a fountain pen. DNA comparison with family members could identify the remains, Márquez-Grant added. For more on the archaeology of the Spanish Civil War, go to “Battle of the Proxies.”


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