Phase 3 - Anthropological Analysis
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The CMP Anthropological Laboratory (CAL) was established in August 2006 and is located in the United Nations Protected Area, near Nicosia International Airport. The laboratory consists of two holding rooms for the exhumed remains as well as two areas for the scientific analyses of the remains. After a missing person has been identified, the concerned family members are invited to meet the scientists involved in the identification and to receive a briefing about the entire process in a specifically designated venue. Family members also have the opportunity to view and pay their respects to the remains of their loved one.
The laboratory’s primary function is to receive the exhumed remains and to perform a scientific anthropological analysis to establish the identity of a missing person. The scientific work is carried out by two bi-communal teams of anthropologists, who follow specific Standard Operating Procedures, aiming to maintain the highest level of scientific competence and ethical integrity.
The anthropological analysis establishes a biological profile of the individual, including sex, height, age at death, and any other individual characteristics that may assist in a successful identification. In addition, the analysis determines the origin of the exhumed remains, confirms whether the remains are relevant to CMP’s mandate, and whether the remains found belong to a single individual, to two persons or to multiple persons. The latter is referred to as determining the Minimum Number of Individuals (MNI). If the findings belong to more than one individual, these commingled remains are re‐associated with the aim to create – as much as is possible – complete sets of remains for a hand-over to the families. Following the anthropological analysis, small bone samples are cut and sent to a DNA laboratory for genetic analysis.