Mar 09, Colombo: The Mannar Magistrate has ordered to temporarily halt the excavation work at the Mannar mass grave site after radiocarbon dating determined that the skeletal remains found at the site belonged to pre-colonial era.
Excavations at the grave located at the site of the old Sathosa Building in the Mannar town have been carried out for 156 days since its discovery nearly a year ago.
Following the discovery of human remains on 26 March 2018 at the old Sathosa building in Mannar, further digging at the site was continued under the supervision of Mannar magistrate M Prabhakaran. The excavation of the site started on 28 May 2018.
Skeletal remains of 315 people and human bones have been unearthed from the mass grave. Out of those, skeletal remains of 307 individuals have been systematically removed and currently sealed and placed in a special chamber at the Mannar Magistrate's Court complex. Among the bones found are skeletal remains of 26 children.
Radiocarbon dating tests conducted by a laboratory in the U.S. on six representative human bone samples obtained from the mass grave have determined that the remains belong to the period from 1450 - 1719 AD.