Proceedings of the 4th International Scientific Conference of Hawler Medical University
Forensic Investigation of Barzanian Mass Grave Skeletal Remains at Busaya Desert in Samawa, Iraq
Yasin K. Amin, Medical Research Center, Hawler Medical University, Erbil, Iraq
Proceedings of the 4th International Scientific Conference of Hawler Medical University – Page 18-23
Published: 11 Nov 2018
Background and objective: Human identification and anthropological evaluation of mass graves are the key step towards the scientific documentation and achieving justice. This study aimed to investigate the exhumation, anthropological evaluation and individual victim identification of a mass grave in Busaya in Samawa governorate.
Methods: The investigation included excavation of the graves and identification of the victims. The field study was started after taking testimonies and witnesses for locating the site of graves. The sites were determined, which were excavated according to the scientific standard procedures. Gender determination, age and stature estimation were performed on the remnant skeletons in the laboratory of medico-legal institute-Erbil.
Results: The grave included 93 bodies, 66 of them were males which constitute about 71% of the bodies and 24 of them were possibly males which are approximately 26% percent of the bodies, while the others were not identified because of degradations happens to the bones. The results of age estimation reported that the number of young bodies under 20 years old were 5 cases (5.4%), while 53 out of 93 were young bodies between 20-29 years which constitute (57%). While the rest were more than 30 years old, except 8 cases which we could not identify them. The results of stature revealed that more than half of cases had stature more than 166 cm, while only 6 cases were less than 155 cm. All the remained bones were recorded in details for more documentation.
Conclusion: These finding described the anthropological evaluation of a large Barzanian mass grave in Busaya desert, South region in Iraq, which the majority (or all) of the victims were males and young people.
Keywords: Mass grave; Barzanian victims; Busaya; Exhumation; Identification.