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Second test excavation in 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Graves Investigation to begin Oct. 19

Posted at 3:06 PM, Oct 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-14 16:03:38-04

TULSA, Okla. — The second test excavation and core samplings for the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Graves Investigation is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 19 at 8 a.m.

READ MORE: 99 years later: The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

The excavation is expected to take one week, starting each day at 7:30 a.m. and ending at 5:30 p.m. at the Oaklawn Cemetery in Tulsa.

The City of Tulsa, along with member from the University of Oklahoma - Oklahoma Archaeological Survey and the 1921 Graves Physical Investigation Committee, is focusing on two main areas of the cemetery: the Original 18 site and Clyde Eddy site.

The Original 18 site is located in the historical African American section of Potters field, adjacent to two 1921 race massacre headstones. A test excavation will take place at this site.

Officials said a core sampling, and possible test excavation, will take place at the Clyde Eddy site which is in the southwest part of the cemetery.

In July 2020, searchers began the first test excavation to potentially uncover possible mass graves from the 1921 Race Massacre at the Oaklawn Cemetery.

Officials said searchers found no evidence of human remains present in the excavation area. They found mostly fill debris and artifacts, some dating back to the 1920s, in the area.

READ MORE: Researchers find no evidence of human remains during first test excavation for potential mass graves

City of Tulsa officials said news conferences are being held on the first and last day of the test excavations. There are only going to be daily news conferences if there are major findings, otherwise the city is going to share daily updates on their Facebook page.

Officials said there are still multiple sites of interest in relation to the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Graves Investigation including "The Canes," located near Newblock park, and Rolling Oaks Memorial Gardens.

Below are the test excavation guidelines from the City of Tulsa:

  • During the test excavation, Oaklawn Cemetery will be closed to the public.
  • Two cultural monitors will be offered to be on site to view the excavation with the researchers. All approved individuals that will be inside the cemetery (monitors, researchers, historians, city videographer) are required to test negative for COVID-19.
  • Members of the media and members of the public wishing to view the test excavation will have the best vantage point on the sidewalk area located along 11thSt.
  • Parking will not be available inside Oaklawn Cemetery. On-street parking should be utilized in the nearby residential neighborhood located across 11th St. from the cemetery on S. Norfolk Ave.
  • Photography/video of human remains is strictly prohibited.
  • No overhead cameras or drones will be allowed (except for the City’s videographer). All video footage taken by the City will be available in the City of Tulsa's website.
  • It’s important that researchers be able to conduct this test excavation without interruption. Media interviews will be limited to the news conference and daily reports will be available on the City’s Facebook.
  • Those planning to attend Oaklawn Cemetery should socially distance, wear masks and wash hands frequently.
  • Individuals are asked to follow cemetery rules while viewing the investigatory work including: Avoiding playing loud music and keeping the volume of voices down. Children should be accompanied with an adult and pets must be leashed.

For the latest updates on the search for possible graves, click here.

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