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1921 Graves Investigation Update – November 1, 2022

This article was archived on 2/1/2023

Excavation work continues at Oaklawn Cemetery in the City of Tulsa’s second full excavation at the site.   

On Wednesday and Thursday last week, crews recovered additional samples from the remains of seven individuals who were previously found during last year’s excavation in hopes of getting more viable DNA samples. 

On Monday, the City announced that 17 adult-sized graves, 16 of which were fully exposed and one of which was partially exposed, were found as crews expanded the excavation area to the west and to the south. 

Today, in the southern excavation block, backhoe excavation revealed two more adult-sized and two child-sized burials (ages unknown). 

Crews also progressed with hand excavation in the western block. Hand excavation is important as crews work to determine which graves meet the criteria for exhumation. Details like coffin type, gender, etc. have yet to be determined for the 21 burials found so far. 

Additionally, crews are working to document a profile of the soils in the southern block for further analysis. 

For more information on the 1921 Graves Investigation, and to see photos and videos from this year’s excavation, visit