Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Locating the Victims of "Posttraumatic Haemorrhage"

The current issue of Archaeology magazine features an article (abstract here) on the work of the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory, a team of around 50 archaeologists, anthropolgists, and forensic doctors who are devoted to uncovering the stories of the victims of fascist Spain.

Teams of diggers from the organization are excavating and exhuming the mass graves throughout Spain in which lie the skeletons of those who were executed under Francisco Franco's regime, and they are also collecting the oral and written testimonies of Franco's victims. According to Luis Rivero, a biological anthropology Ph.D. student who volunteered at one such dig, the exhumations are not about looking for the guilty parties but about recovering history, bringing the subject out into the open, and providing closure after many years of silence.

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