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State archaeologist provides another update on excavation work in Tulsa

Excavation work at Oaklawn Cemetery (Courtesy of 1921Graves Facebook Page)
Excavation work at Oaklawn Cemetery (Courtesy of 1921Graves Facebook Page)
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State Archaeologist Dr. Kary Stackelbeck provided another update on the grave excavation work at the Oaklawn Cemetary.

Stackelbeck said they are continuing to make progress with the excavation. After the first exhumation on Wednesday afternoon, they are preparing a second exhumation which will be ready by the end of Friday.

After the second body is exhumed today, they will go back to the hand excavation to uncover further into the series of grave shafts that are open and ready for teams to work on.

Through hand excavation, they will be able to determine if the bodies are candidates for exhumation or not.

They have discovered some that appear to be fancier coffins and are not among those they are looking at right now for exhumation.

They use strict criteria to decide who stays in the grave shafts and who they will exhume. The main criteria are from historical records such as newspaper accounts and information from one of the two funeral homes that performed the burials on behalf of the city. The criteria confirmed they were looking for a number of adults buried in simple wood caskets. She said there was one infant they were looking for too based on the criteria.

Stackelbeck says now they are at a level where there are no visible markers in terms of those makeshift markers found in July.

Stackelbeck says they are looking to compile all this information to determine if there is any correlation between some of the markers and the graves they are now encountering at the deeper level.

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