Bodies Found By Researchers Dig Searching For Victims Of Tulsa Race Massacre


At least 10 bodies were found by researchers in a dig searching for victims of the Tulsa Race Massacre

At least 10 bodies were discovered in an unmarked mass grave in Tulsa, where researchers are looking for potential victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

A team of archaeologists resumed the search for victims of the 1921 race massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Monday, following the first excavation in July.

Oklahoma state archaeologist Kary Stackelbeck said 10 coffins were found in the mass grave, with what is presumed to each contain one body but warrants further examination.

“What we were finding was an indication that we were inside a large area … a large hole that had been excavated and into which several individuals had been placed and buried in that location,” Stackelbeck said, citing a report by the Associated Press. “This constitutes a mass grave.”

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One set of human remains and possibly a second were found Tuesday at the city-owned Oaklawn Cemetery in north Tulsa, where the July excavation previously ended unsuccessfully. Officials said any remains found at the sites will be analyzed for signs of trauma to indicate if they were a victim of the massacre.

“We are still in the process of analyzing those remains to the best of our ability,”  Stackelbeck said, adding that the team doesn’t “have a whole lot of details.”

“We are still analyzing what has come out of the ground at this point in time, and so no, unfortunately we have not been able to assess the trauma at this point in time, or potential trauma,” to determine if the remains belong to someone who was a victim of the race massacre, she said.

The Tulsa Race Massacre occurred from May 31, 1921 to June 1, 1921, in which a white mob attacked an area of Tulsa known as “Black Wall Street.” An estimated 150 to 300 people, who were mostly Black, were killed in the incident, and another 800 were injured amid the looting and rioting, according to  reports from the Associated Press and NPR.

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