Archeologists Plan To Wrap Up Excavation Work At Oaklawn Cemetery

Monday, November 14th 2022, 6:11 pm


The archeologists working to find possible victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre plan to wrap up excavation work this week.

For the second time since this investigation started, a man with a gunshot wound was discovered in an unmarked grave at Oaklawn Cemetery. The city said a bullet core was removed from the victim's skull on Friday.

Scientists believe the person was a man, but experts do not have information yet on his race, or any connection to the massacre.

Archeologists said this person was buried in a plain casket in the Original 18 potter's field area, about 30 feet from the man with gunshot wounds found last summer. That man had a bullet in his left shoulder.

Archeologists and researchers plan to wrap up excavation work by Friday.

Dr. Kary Stackelbeck said they plan to continue digging further to the west, based on trends they are seeing from the individuals exhumed so far.

"We believe that it's worth our efforts to continue that process moving to the west to see if that pattern seems to continue,” she said.

While the team has found 26 burials during this part of the investigation, they have only removed four from the ground.

Stackelbeck emphasized what helps them decide whether to bring remains to the on-site lab.

"We're looking first, for simple wooden burial containers and we're also looking for adults,” Stackelbeck said.

While excavation work is expected to wrap up Friday, the forensic team will still be working in the on-site lab before everyone leaves town.


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