Archaeologists recover victims of the Spanish Civil War

Photographs of the victims are on display at the cemetery in Almagro.

(CNN)Archaeologists have recovered the bodies of victims of former Spanish dictator General Francisco Franco who were executed and buried at a cemetery in central Spain.

The team of forensic archaeologists and anthropologists are working to find, exhume and identify those who were killed by the Franco regime at the cemetery in the town of Almagro between 1939 and 1940, at the end of the Spanish Civil War, according to a press release from Cranfield University published Monday.
Researchers from Cranfield are working with colleagues from the University Complutense of Madrid (UCM) and Mapas de Memoria (Maps of Memory) at the site in the Ciudad Real province.
    Similar efforts around the country have recovered more than 7,000 victims of the Spanish Civil War since 2000, the press release said.
      Experts are looking for 26 people in total, with carpenters, teachers and farmers among their number, excavation leader Nicholas Márquez-Grant, senior lecturer in forensic anthropology at Cranfield Forensic Institute, told CNN Tuesday.
      The excavation will continue until the end of June.
      Researchers know whose remains are in the cemetery because they are registered as being buried there, but their deaths are listed as natural, rather than executions, he added.
      They have already recovered several bodies with gunshot wounds to the head, bits of clothing and other personal effects, such as buttons, a pencil, and a fountain pen, added Márquez-Grant, who said the victims were executed by local right-wing partisans rather than Francoist soldiers.
        Family members of the victims have been contacted and it is hoped that DNA analysis can match them and allow for a proper burial of the remains, although matching DNA is not a certainty, said Márquez-Grant.
        Some family members have visited the cemetery, where photographs of the victims have been hung up by the researchers.
        "It's quite powerful," added Márquez-Grant, who said two elderly sisters had visited the site. Their father was executed at the cemetery when they were small children.
        Maria Benito Sanchez, director of th