MOSCOW, Oct 18 (Reuters) The 34 skeletons found beneath the basement of a Moscow mansion between Red Square and the city's secret police headquarters date back to the 19th century, an official in the prosecutor's office said today.
Police had earlier said that the skeletons, found this month by workmen renovating a Tsarist noble's mansion, probably belonged to people killed during Joseph Stalin's rule in the 1930s.
''Experts' preliminary findings indicate they date to the 1800s,'' Sergei Bulchevsky from the Tverskoy Prosecutor's office was quoted by Ria news agency as saying.
The Romanov family ruled Russia throughout the 19th century as Tsars with near absolute powers, although French leader Napoleon Bonaparte briefly occupied the Kremlin in 1812 before being driven out of Russia.
The second half of the 19th century saw the rooting out of anarchist and leftist groups seeking to overthrow the Tsar.
REUTERS RSA RAI2124