Several teeth and buttons, presumed to belong to the victim, were found at the dark burial site of Seongam Academy in Ansan, where human rights violations took place from the Japanese colonial period to the 1980s.
Some tombs are so small that it appears that the bodies of the young Aborigines were not properly laid down for burial.
Reporter Park Ye-rin.
After 40 years of closure, the excavation work began with the testimony of the victims of Seongam Academy.
[Bae Myung-gi / Seon Gam Academy Incident Victim: (here) Three or four phrases were buried.
There are some children who ran away and were washed away into the sea, and that's mostly it.
There are children who died from beatings...
This is the former cemetery of Seongam Academy.
As you can see, there are dozens of small tombs, where it is estimated that at least 150 children's bodies are buried.
When I carefully dug up the soil with a hoe, I found teeth embedded in it, and buttons for the students' summer uniforms were also found.
Excavated teeth give an approximate age estimate.
[Park Seon-joo / Professor Emeritus of Archeology and Art, Chungbuk National University: The age of the third molars begins to appear at the age of 15 or 16.
(Molar teeth) Almost three came out.
I'd like to see him around the age of 15.]
It is difficult to expect to find a bone fragment that can tell the exact age and gender.
[Park Seon-joo / Professor Emeritus of Archeology and Art, Chungbuk National University: (The soil here) is highly acidic and humid, so all the ashes are gone and only the teeth remain.]
The largest tomb here is about 160cm long and 50cm wide. .
The smallest tomb is unusually small and narrow, measuring only 55 cm long and 45 cm wide.
[Kim Young-bae/Seongam Academy Incident Victim: The children are under the age of 13, so they are in their teens.
They are children who died without going through puberty, so they have to be small.]
It is presumed that the bodies were buried in a crouched or bent state, not in an upright state.
[Woo Jong-yoon/Director of the Korean Prehistoric Culture Research Institute: (Korean funeral culture) is a way to straighten everything out and ask.
In order to do that, it must have a size of 150 cm or more.
The small size is due to the fact that people buried here are buried by bending or bending them...
The Truth and Reconciliation Committee plans to finish the excavation work tomorrow (30th) and request a detailed investigation.
[Woo Jong-yoon/Director of the Korean Prehistoric Culture Research Institute: Even though they died, even the souls of these people should be returned to normal…
I think that is our mission and our role.]
(Video coverage: Kim Seung-tae, Video editing: Ha Seong-won)