A Spanish official describes finding the remains of playwright Federico Garcia Lorca "like finding a needle in a haystack"—and the search for that needle has begun. Archaeologists yesterday kicked off a 10-day inspection of a 3,200-square-foot plot of land where they believe Garcia Lorca may have been executed at the hands of a firing squad loyal to late dictator Gen. Francisco Franco in 1936. Author Miguel Caballero Pérez identified the site, located in the hills outside Granada, based on deep research into police and military records; he published details of it in a 2011 book, and a 2013 scan of the area using ground-penetrating radar indicated there may indeed be a mass grave there, reports the Guardian.
No digging will take place as part of the roughly $19,000 project, per another local official, who explained that if "soundings" indicate the presence of bones, it will be up to a court to decide how to proceed, the AP reported last month. Both officials emphasize that the search is not specifically geared toward finding Garcia Lorca's body, but is looking for Spanish Civil War victims—some 3,500 are thought to be buried in the area. A two-month dig in a nearby area in 2009 was a bust. (This year, forensic scientists also tried to zero in on the grave of the author of Don Quixote.)