More remains are exhumed from mass graves in Spain

The remains of some of the bodies believed to have been shot in 1939 by forces of the dictator Francisco Franco are seen during the exhumation of two common graves in the cemetery of Paterna, Spain.

Scientists are working to identify the remains of victims of the regime of General Francisco Franco after two mass graves in Paterna, Spain, were recently exhumed.

It is believed that mass graves across the country are home to at least 114,000 victims of the Spanish Civil War – in which half a million people are believed to have been killed everywhere – and the four decades of Francoism that followed.

In Paterna, firing squads of the civil and military guard shot and killed at least 2,238 prisoners after Franco took office in 1939.

It is believed that their bodies were thrown into 70 different common graves and covered with quicklime to seal the site.

Recently, after carefully digging under a layer of common burials of coffins in Paterna cemetery, piles of skeletons emerged.

Now, forensic archaeologists are working to clean meticulously and record the remains found, so they can be identified.

Alex Calpe, one of the independent archaeologists who works on the site on behalf of the relatives of the murdered, said that the experts' work should be "thorough" because their goal is to "close the accounts to the families of the victims."

Mariano Descals Salvador is one of those who has provided his saliva for a DNA test to try to find the remains of his grandfather Mariano Descals Montes, who was shot in 1939 by Franco's forces.

The remains of some of the bodies believed to have been shot in 1939 by forces of the dictator Francisco Franco are seen during the exhumation of two common graves in the cemetery of Paterna, Spain.

The remains of some of the bodies believed to have been shot in 1939 by forces of the dictator Francisco Franco are seen during the exhumation of two common graves in the cemetery of Paterna, Spain.

The forensic anthropologist and member of the Scientific Association Arqueo Antro Javier Iglesias takes a saliva sample from Mariano Descals Salvador for a DNA test to try to find the remains of his grandfather Mariano Descals Montes, who was shot in 1939

The forensic anthropologist and member of the Scientific Association Arqueo Antro Javier Iglesias takes a saliva sample from Mariano Descals Salvador for a DNA test to try to find the remains of his grandfather Mariano Descals Montes, who was shot in 1939

The forensic anthropologist and member of the Scientific Association Arqueo Antro Javier Iglesias takes a saliva sample from Mariano Descals Salvador for a DNA test to try to find the remains of his grandfather Mariano Descals Montes, who was shot in 1939

In Paterna, firing squads of the Civil and Civil Guard shot and killed at least 2,238 prisoners after Franco took power in 1939

In Paterna, firing squads of the Civil and Civil Guard shot and killed at least 2,238 prisoners after Franco took power in 1939

In Paterna, firing squads of the Civil and Civil Guard shot and killed at least 2,238 prisoners after Franco took power in 1939

It is believed that their bodies were thrown into 70 different common graves and covered with quicklime to seal the site.

It is believed that their bodies were thrown into 70 different common graves and covered with quicklime to seal the site.

It is believed that their bodies were thrown into 70 different common graves and covered with quicklime to seal the site.

Marisol Schwab examines the remains recovered after the exhumation of two common graves containing the bodies of the victims shot in 1939 by forces of the dictator Francisco Franco

Marisol Schwab examines the remains recovered after the exhumation of two common graves containing the bodies of the victims shot in 1939 by forces of the dictator Francisco Franco

Marisol Schwab examines the remains recovered after the exhumation of two common graves containing the bodies of the victims shot in 1939 by forces of the dictator Francisco Franco

It is believed that mass graves across the country are home to at least 114,000 victims of the Spanish Civil War - in which it is believed that half a million people died on all sides - and the four decades of Francoism that followed.

It is believed that mass graves across the country are home to at least 114,000 victims of the Spanish Civil War - in which it is believed that half a million people died on all sides - and the four decades of Francoism that followed.

It is believed that mass graves across the country are home to at least 114,000 victims of the Spanish Civil War – in which it is believed that half a million people died on all sides – and the four decades of Francoism that followed.

The forensic anthropologist Marisol Schwab is among the scientists who work to clean meticulously and search the remains found, to be able to identify them

The forensic anthropologist Marisol Schwab is among the scientists who work to clean meticulously and search the remains found, to be able to identify them

The forensic anthropologist Marisol Schwab is among the scientists who work to clean meticulously and search the remains found, to be able to identify them

Forensic anthropologist Nicole Lambacher cleans a skull that was recovered from one of the common graves that was recently exhumed

Forensic anthropologist Nicole Lambacher cleans a skull that was recovered from one of the common graves that was recently exhumed

Forensic anthropologist Nicole Lambacher cleans a skull that was recovered from one of the common graves that was recently exhumed

A member of the Arqueo Antro Scientific Association participates in the exhumation of one of the two mass graves that contain the remains of the bodies of the people shot in 1939.

A member of the Arqueo Antro Scientific Association participates in the exhumation of one of the two mass graves that contain the remains of the bodies of the people shot in 1939.

A member of the Arqueo Antro Scientific Association participates in the exhumation of one of the two mass graves that contain the remains of the bodies of the people shot in 1939.

Shoes containing the remains of one of the victims executed by the forces of General Francisco Franco after the dictator took office in 1939

Shoes containing the remains of one of the victims executed by the forces of General Francisco Franco after the dictator took office in 1939

Shoes containing the remains of one of the victims executed by the forces of General Francisco Franco after the dictator took office in 1939

A member of the Arqueo Antro Scientific Association participates in the exhumation of two common graves in the cemetery of Paterna

A member of the Arqueo Antro Scientific Association participates in the exhumation of two common graves in the cemetery of Paterna

A member of the Arqueo Antro Scientific Association participates in the exhumation of two common graves in the cemetery of Paterna

After digging carefully under a layer of common burials in the cemetery of Paterna, piles of skeletons emerged

After digging carefully under a layer of common burials in the cemetery of Paterna, piles of skeletons emerged

After digging carefully under a layer of common burials in the cemetery of Paterna, piles of skeletons emerged

A common grave marked with the number 41 that contains the remains of the bodies of people believed to have been shot in 1939

A common grave marked with the number 41 that contains the remains of the bodies of people believed to have been shot in 1939

A common grave marked with the number 41 that contains the remains of the bodies of people believed to have been shot in 1939

The forensic anthropologist and member of the Scientific Association Arqueo Antro Javier Iglesias participates in the exhumation

The forensic anthropologist and member of the Scientific Association Arqueo Antro Javier Iglesias participates in the exhumation

The forensic anthropologist and member of the Scientific Association Arqueo Antro Javier Iglesias participates in the exhumation

Benjamin Ruiz Marti, member of the Association of relatives of victims of the Franco regime, appears in the photo during the exhumation

Benjamin Ruiz Marti, member of the Association of relatives of victims of the Franco regime, appears in the photo during the exhumation

Benjamin Ruiz Marti, member of the Association of relatives of victims of the Franco regime, appears in the photo during the exhumation

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