The mass burial of Rebel soldiers of the Spanish Civil War outside the cemetery of Figuerola d’Orcau (Isona i Conca Dellà, Pallars Jussà)

Núria Armentano Oller, Jordi Ramos Ruiz, Cesc Busquets Costa

The excavation of the mass grave outside the Figuerola d’Orcau cemetery was carried out in the framework of interventions linked to the 2017-18 Mass Graves Plan of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Institutional Relations and Transparency of the Government of Catalonia. The exhumations took place in June 2017 subsequent to a series of tasks which including a thorough study of written and oral sources, and archaeological and geophysical surveys. The finds led to the prescriptions established by the Law 10/2009 (30 June) on locating and identifying individuals who disappeared during the Civil War or under the later Dictatorship, and dignifying the mass graves. The Decree 111/2010 (31 August) which regimented the aforementioned law established the protocol to carry out the technical actions approved by Resolution IRP/4072/2010 (15 December). The current article therefore focuses on the excavation and study of the remains of 17 individuals unearthed at the western end of the northern wall outside the cemetery. The arrangement of the bodies, military clothing, weapons and other personal clothing and insignias, as well as their biological profiles and traumatic wounds, indicate they formed part of the Franco’s army and were direct victims of the Battles of 1938.

Keywords: mass grave, Spanish Civil War, soldiers, anthropological remains, Rebel faction.