Nicosia—cradling a skull in her hands, Popi Chrysostomou surveys a sea of bones laid out neatly on tables around her. Some are sorted by type; others form near-complete skeletons. Scores of vertebrae make up a macabre design on one table. On another, bones are tidily arranged into feet.

A hole the size of a pea is clearly visible in the side of the skull. Dead bones don't talk, but the hole shows that this person was shot in the head. Chrysostomou refuses to speculate on who shot this person and why, but that question is at the heart of a conflict that has poisoned life on this once idyllic island for more than half a century.

The skull and the bones around it come from a mass grave uncovered in a mountainside just an hour's drive north of Chrysostomou's...

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