Mass graves related to Soviet-Era Terror (1937-1938) have been located in Batumi, Georgia Dr. Meri Gonashvili, a forensic anthropologist from Tbilisi and president of the Georgian Association of Forensic Anthropology (GAFA), is in the process of documenting the remains. The current project aims to 1) develop an analytical protocol and document previously excavated remains; 2) perform a site review and excavate a fifth mass grave; 3) re-sample the remains for DNA analysis; and 4) assist with proper burial of the remains.
The main goal of the project is to provide a proper and dignified burial in a neutral space for all individuals. An additional goal is to collect contextual and physical data from the skeletons and associated artifacts to clarify the historical record and serve as a reference for future identification efforts. Information from the graves and human remains represents the only physical evidence to date for mass executions of Christian and Muslim Georgians during the Soviet Repressions and will serve to support historical documentation of the period.Learn more