Sinje Stoyke


Since we were concerned about the uncontrolled diggings of Iraqi mass graves by desperate families we founded the NGO Archaeologists for Human Rights with the purpose to examine mass graves with archaeological methods, co-operating with physical anthropologists and forensic experts. The organization of such an excavation as well as the documentation and interpretation of the results of the mass graves is a work that should be accompanied by archaeologists, anthropologists, and forensic experts. We are a group of archaeologists with experience in organization and realization of excavation projects in the Near and Middle East. Archaeologists for Human Rights is convinced that the role of any human rights organization working in Iraq has to be to assist the Iraqi people with any vital issue that they, as a people, desire. Therefore, we wish to establish an infrastructure and communication network for future work on location; to find other excavators and specialized forensic anthropologists who can take on the responsibility of both excavation and documentation while training Iraqis to do the same; to make contacts with interested supporters; to seek and gain monetary support for our work. The success of this initial planning will make it possible for us to embark on a long-term program of excavation and training together with the Iraqi initiative. The end result will be the development of a coterie of local people with the skills to continue the program under their own leadership and with an infrastructure that will allow them access to colleagues as needs arise. (