A mass grave may be difficult to location, especially if there have been attempts made to conceal the site.

Methods for mass grave detection:

(1) eye-witness or survivor

(2) cadaver dog

(3) emergence of body parts from a shallow grave, which may lead to animal scavenging

(4) changes in the ground surface (depression in the ground as soil settles; cracks and fissures outlining a pit)

(5) change in surface soil (with presence of deeper layers such as clay or sand)

(6) difference in flora (different type; absence; accelerated growth) from that surrounding

(7) ground-penetrating radar (GPR)

(8) aerial or satellite surveillance for surface anomalies

(9) tracks of trucks or heavy equipment

(10) an area under the ownership or control of the suspect person or persons


Digging without positive evidence has an extremely low yield.

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