An oblique view of a mass animal grave at the Parc Safari cemetery (left)/ Image credit: Gupta 2008

Tangled Corpses: Interpreting a Complex Mass Grave at the Parc Safari Cemetery


Very often, investigations of human rights abuses have focused on the identification of individual and mass graves. Reconstruction of the burial event has taken a secondary position in those scenarios. Yet, using an interdisciplinary methodology, the scope of investigation can be widened by collecting important contextual information during grave identification and excavation. A more thorough recovery and analysis of the collected contextual information offers scholars and human rights investigators greater understanding of the depositional context, and the stratigraphy related to the burial event. That information is augmented with an analysis of the recovered skeletal and non-skeletal remains. On-going studies of a mass grave at a zoological park in Quebec, Canada will be presented as an example of that interdisciplinary methodology.

Washington State Convention & Trade Center, Seattle, Washington, USA

Poster for AAFS click for larger view tangled