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Volunteers needed in Romania for special Archaeology project

Marking the dig site

Due to drastic governmental budget cuts, the Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes in Romania is in danger of no longer being able to do its work of finding the victims of a murderous regime, and is in need of our volunteers’ help.

Founded by the historian Marius Oprea, the institute’s work largely consists of finding the unmarked graves of the people murdered by the secret services of the Romanian communist government from the moment it took over power in the 1960’s. The victims were executed in isolated places, and buried in shallow graves, without proper Christian rites and without their family’s knowledge. In 2009, the institute found 17 bodies of anti-communist fighters and their tragic stories – as well as part of the unearthed objects (clothes, bullets etc) - are now part of an international exhibition.

The institute now needs help on the first of their projects taking place at the end of March and start of April 2010: the excavation of a common grave on Muntele Mare, in the Apuseni Mountains in Romania. This is where a resistance camp consisting of 5 anti-communist fighters (one of them a pregnant woman) was stormed by the communist secret service forces in the 60’s. The defenders were murdered and buried together.

Volunteers are needed to help with the actual digging, cleaning of objects found, recording the proceedings and interviewing family members. The living conditions are likely to be basic, you’ll be based in a tented camp Discovered Body for one or two weeks, and the work will be physically demanding. After participating in this project, volunteers have the choice of continuing to help with the institute’s initiatives or joining our normal Archaeology Project.

It’s interesting to note that this project will get massive media coverage, as it will be filmed for a documentary by the Czech Republic’s National TV station.

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