Finnish practitioners and Forensic Archaeological and Anthropological research

Finnish forensic specialists have taken part in the international research, evaluation, and teaching work for example in Bosnia-Hertsegovina, Kosovo, Iraq, and Peru. Important innovator in these studies has been professor, forensic odontologist Helena Ranta, who also is an important actor in the Finnish Forensic Expert Team (FFET), University of Helsinki, established in 2006.

The first forensic archaeological study in Finland was carried out in Lappeenranta Huhtiniemi in 2006-2007 as co-operation between the Department of Archaeology, University of Helsinki and Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Helsinki. Research aimed at clarifying the widespread rumors in the area of illegal executions of Finnish soldiers during the World War 2 and mass graves connected to this.

In the course of excavations in Lappeenranta it was found out that a mass grave located at the Huhtiniemi campground which had started the rumors, can in fact be connected to 18th 19th Century activities in the area. On the basis of the find material and burial practice the mass grave belongs to Russian soldiers staged in Lappeenranta at that time. It is most probably connected to a Russian military hospital cemetery whose exact location was later forgotten. The lost cemetery is mentioned in the church books in the time of large 18th 19th Century epidemics. Thus the forensic archaeology and anthropology could disprove the rumors of World War 2 mass graves of illegally executed Finnish soldiers in Lappeenranta Huhtiniemi.