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1921 Graves Investigation Update – June 25

This article was archived on 8/8/2021

The City of Tulsa and archeology experts announced today that the first phase of the 1921 Graves Investigation at Oaklawn Cemetery is now complete, which consists of the archeological exhumation and fieldwork.

Dr. Stackelbeck and the teams from the University of Oklahoma – Oklahoma Archaeological Survey (OAS) and CARDNO have now completed the first phase of exhumation and fieldwork at Oaklawn Cemetery and will be returning home while the final phase of the investigation continues with forensic analysis experts.

The last phase in the 1921 Graves investigation will focus on the forensic analysis of the 19 exhumed human remains from Oaklawn Cemetery. Dr. Phoebe Stubblefield and her team will remain in Tulsa and will conduct their portion of the investigation at the onsite lab inside Oaklawn Cemetery, which is expected to take three to four weeks. The lab is closed to the public.

With field work complete, the City will not have daily updates or news updates since ongoing analysis is underway. Once the forensic investigation is complete, Dr. Stubblefield will present a formal report with findings from the forensic analysis to the Public Oversight Committee during a public meeting.

Once the forensic analysis is complete, the exhumed remains will be reinterred at Oaklawn Cemetery. The excavation area on the south west side of Oaklawn Cemetery will be blocked off until the final reinterment takes place. Oaklawn Cemetery will open to the public by early next week.

For the latest news and information on the 1921 Graves Investigation, including photographs and drone video from inside Oaklawn Cemetery, visit and follow 1921 Graves on Facebook, @1921Graves.