Ignorance is not bliss: Evidence of human rights violations from civil war Spain

D.R. Congram, Ambika Flavel, K. Maeyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


© 2014 by the American Anthropological Association. Between 2005 and 2007 archaeologists and anthropologists excavated the burial site of more than four hundred bodies, people who died or were killed during and soon after the Spanish Civil War and Post-War Repression. This article presents an analysis of eight mass graves. Evidence from these graves strongly suggests that the bodies are those of victims of extrajudicial killings during a purge from a transition period between the end of the war and the beginning of a more controlled, though brutal, postwar repression (1940-42). Although our work was not part of a formal medicolegal investigation, we argue that the context warranted such and the approach used in this and similar situations should be forensic. We also suggest that forensic practitioners go further in their interpretation than we have seen in past exhumations to include the incorporation of multiple lines of evidence, reflecting holistic archaeological and anthropological practice and expertise.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-64
JournalAnnals of Anthropological Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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