Archaeologists End Test Excavation At First Dig Site For Mass Graves

Wednesday, July 22nd 2020, 3:39 pm
By: Amy Slanchik


Archeologists said they have exhausted their efforts at their first dig site in the search for possible mass graves from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

The team made it clear Wednesday that just because they didn't find anything connected to the massacre at this site does not mean they are done with their work at Oaklawn Cemetery. 

State Archeologist Dr. Kary Stackelbeck said things did not transpire the way they had hoped, and they were able to confirm this was not the location they are looking for.

Brenda Nails Alford, a descendant of several massacre survivors, and the investigation's public oversight committee chair, said the past week and a half of work was not done in vain.

"I still have the hope that I began this process with. The hope that we are just at the beginning of this process, in this long-term investigation, for the truth. And that we have a powerful team assembled that will continue that work with us,” Nails Alford said.

Archaeologists said Wednesday the shoes found Tuesday are now at the Gilcrease Museum to be carefully examined and preserved.

The team wants to do more work at Oaklawn Cemetery, along with the Rolling Oaks Memorial Garden Cemetery and another location.

The team said more details will be known about the next steps of the mass graves investigation at the next public oversight committee, which is expected to happen in the fall.