Archaeologists and medical experts have confirmed the 19 bodies found at the extension project of the Nanjing Massacre Memorial to be those of massacre victims, curator Zhu Chengshan said on Monday.
It is the third time that such remains have been found at the memorial. Construction workers found first bodies in 1984 when building the memorial, and 15 years later another 208 were unearthed after workers tending the lawns found human remains, said Zhu.
The latest remains were found on April 21 last year in the memorial's extension project, and archaeologists from the Nanjing cultural relics bureau were summoned to ascertain if they were the victims of the Japanese invasion 70 years ago.
Fourteen of the bodies were found in one place and the other five were scattered nearby. The 14 bodies were distorted and in disarray. Fractures were obvious.
A group of legal medical experts from the Nanjing police bureau analyzed the remains and concluded that they died "unnatural deaths and were buried in abnormal ways, which shows they were massacre victims", Xu Xiangcheng, one of the experts, told Xinhua.
The remains would be exhibited in the Nanjing Massacre Memorial, which is scheduled to reopen on Thursday to mark the 70th anniversary of the massacre.
Japanese troops occupied Nanjing on Dec, 13, 1937, and began six weeks of destruction, pillage, rape and slaughter. Historical records show that more than 300,000 Chinese, including unarmed soldiers and innocent civilians, were murdered.
(Xinhua News Agency, December 11, 2007)