The discovery of a burial site containing multiple human remains in a military area near the new prison in the north of Nicosia has sparked some optimism at the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) but it remains extra cautious, the committee’s Greek Cypriot member said.
Nestoras Nestoros, told the Cyprus News Agency that work would now be carried out manually, without the use of an excavator but with the use of small tools in order to clean the soil and uncover the bones.
According to Nestoros, human bones were located at the site and the works to clean up the soil are expected to take up to two weeks.
“I cannot possibly say with certainty how long it is going to take, it depends on how many bones we will find but I believe that this will not take more than a couple of weeks,” he said.
“We record how the bones are found, if many bones are found together, if a single bone is found etc, then they are separated and placed in special paper bags,” Nestoros said.
This was the 12th excavation conducted by the CMP in the area. The previous ones had been unsuccessful. As many as 45-50 people could have been buried in the spot.
“We dig a surface about 110 metres long and 30-35 meters in width, making trenches in between and we focused our efforts in a particular corner of the area, we had to really widen the space,” he explained.
According to Nestoros, the archaeologists focused on this area and insisted that they needed to go deeper based on particular evidences and information.
The work is carried out by two teams consisting of four members each. On Tuesday six archaeologists were at the site.
According to Nestoros, when this phase is completed, scientists will move to a point beyond, at approximately 60 metres further west, based on testimonies as to where the missing people were buried.
According to a CMP statement, “the successful discovery of this site was made possible through information provided to the CMP by a new witness”. It therefore called on anyone with information on possible burial sites to come forward in order to help the Committee to locate, identify and return to their families the more than 1000 Cypriots still missing. (CNA)