The mass graves of Paterna: examples of Franco’s repressive machinery in the region of Valencia

Eulàlia Díaz-Ramoneda, Alejandro Vila Gorgé, Sheyla Sancho Peris, Alejandro Calpe Vicente, Javier Iglesias-Bexiga, Miguel Mezquida Fernández

Court martials between 1939 and 1956 in Paterna (Valencia) handed down 2,237 death sentences. Most of the executed were buried in mass graves in the municipal cemetery. Due to the recent exhumations stemming from political changes in Valencia, a number of mass graves were explored bringing to light about 900 victims of the repression. This article advances the results of forensic archaeological and anthropological analyses of these exhumations, placing a special emphasis on interdisciplinarity. Its intention is to analyse the data stemming from the interventions so as to gain a better grasp of the repression in this Valencian capital during the Franco dictatorship.

Keywords: Franco repression, mass graves, exhumations, archaeology, forensic sciences, historical memory.