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1921 Race Massacre mass graves excavation continues June 1

Day two of the second excavation in the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Graves Investigation
Posted at 10:00 AM, May 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-02 10:34:59-04

TULSA, Okla. — A full excavation of Oaklawn Cemetery is scheduled for June 1 in the search for mass graves from the 1921 Tulsa race massacre.

The excavation is being led by the University of Oklahoma's Oklahoma Archaeological Survey (OAS) and the 1921 Graves Physical Investigation Committee. Researchers previously found 12 unmarked graves at Oaklawn Cemetery in 2020. Due to the anticipated number of burials to be found, excavation could take weeks or even months in the field.

READ MORE: Archaeologists confirm they have a total of 12 individual burials in graves investigation

The city also hired Keith D. Biglow Funeral Directors, Inc. and Cardno, Inc. for such a large-scale excavation.

Oaklawn Cemetery is serving as the temporary re-interment site. The Public Oversight Committee will make recommendations for a permanent burial and memorial location for 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre victims identified through this process if found.

READ MORE: 1921 Graves Oversight Committee recommends excavation, reinternment plans

Starting June 1, experts will start mapping and site preparations with expectations to begin excavations around 10 a.m. After the first day, experts intend to work at Oaklawn Cemetery Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Public Oversight Committee will carefully observe the excavation process. Other research team members will also be working to set up on-site workstations for artifact processing and lab analyses.

More information about finding mass graves can be found on the City of Tulsa's website.


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