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Forensic Investigations - Commingled Remains from the NinawaA0002 Mass Grave, Ninawa Province, Iraq

Author(s): Christopher A. King ; Timothy J. Anson ; Hedy M. Justus ; Ariana Fernandez-Congram ; Diane Siebrandt ; Derek Congram

Editor(s): Michael K. Trimble

Year: 2006

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Summary

The mass grave site known as Ninawa0002 is located in the Ninawa Province near Al Hatra, Iraq. In 2004, an explorative excavation was conducted by the U.S. Criminal Investigations Division (CID) to document the existence of a mass grave at the site. The initial search and documentation team led by CID personnel confirmed the presence of a large mass grave. In late 2004 and early 2005, the Regime Crimes Liaison Office (RCLO) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducted a more thorough excavation of the site. During the CID investigation, earth moving equipment used to remove the soil overburden disturbed the human skeletal remains of a large number of individuals. These skeletal remains were grouped into arbitrary assemblages, then documented in narrative form and photographed. The assemblages were reburied by CID personnel following their investigation. In September 2004, the RCLO team re-opened the Ninawa0002 mass grave for full-scale excavation of the human remains. The team unearthed the assemblages from CID investigations and further exhumed 123 undisturbed individuals. Full accountings of these excavations and analysis of human remains are reported by Chomko and colleagues (2005). Due to time constraints by CID and later by the 2005 RCLO team, attempts to de-commingle the remains were never undertaken. The remains were stored for later analysis. The 2006 RCLO mass graves team undertook the task of documenting, decommingling, and analyzing the CID human remains. The Forensic Anthropology Facility (FAF) was given the task of examining the CID material in preparation for humanitarian repatriation. This preparation entailed opening the bags containing the cultural and skeletal remains and documenting their contents. Principal tasks of the Forensic Analysis Laboratory (FAL) were to attempt to sort the commingled remains into representative age groups; to determine a minimum number of individuals represented by the skeletal remains; to determine biological profile; and, to document perimortem trauma. The Cultural Objects Laboratory (COL) inventoried all cultural items recovered with the skeletal remains. The main task of the COL was to examine the assemblages and create an inventory containing brief descriptions of every item.


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Cite this Record

Forensic Investigations - Commingled Remains from the NinawaA0002 Mass Grave, Ninawa Province, Iraq. Christopher A. King, Timothy J. Anson, Hedy M. Justus, Ariana Fernandez-Congram, Diane Siebrandt, Derek Congram, Michael K. Trimble. Mass Graves Investigations. St. Louis, MO: US Army Corps of Engineers Mandatory Center of Expertise for the Curation and Management. 2006 ( tDAR id: 425581) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8FN18CN


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: 40.034; min lat: 33.724 ; max long: 46.802; max lat: 38.479 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): US Army Corps of Engineers Mandatory Center of Expertise for the Curation and Management of Archaeological Collections, St. Louis District

Landowner(s): Ninawa Province, Iraq

Sponsor(s): Regime Crimes Liaison Office United States Embassy Baghdad, Iraq

Prepared By(s): US Army Corps of Engineers Mandatory Center of Expertise for the Curation and Management of Archaeological Collections, St. Louis District

Submitted To(s): Regime Crimes Liaison Office, United States Embassy, Baghdad, Iraq


File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
08_Commingled.pdf 5.62mb Sep 20, 2016 10:08:28 AM Confidential

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Contact(s): US Army Corps of Engineers Mandatory Center of Expertise for the Curation and Management of Archaeological Collections, St. Louis District

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America