AP — OKLAHOMA CITY According to Oklahoma state archaeologist Kary Stackelbeck, the most recent search for the victims’ remains of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre resulted in the discovery of 59 graves and the exhumation of seven sets of victims’ bones.
According to Stackelbeck, 57 of the 59 burials were unmarked and unknown before the excavation was finished on Friday.
The seven that were excavated were discovered in plain wooden boxes that, according to Stackelbeck, investigators were looking for because they matched descriptions of massacre victims’ interment in old newspaper stories, death certificates, and funeral home records.
All seven of the bodies that have been excavated to this far have been brought to the onsite forensic lab, where investigations into their identities and the circumstances of their deaths will start.
No remains have been discovered yet that have been positively identified as massacre victims.
According to a press release from the city of Tulsa, the seven excavated bones will be reburied in their original grave locations following the conclusion of the forensic examination and the gathering of any DNA.
To aid in identifying them, any recoverable DNA will be gathered and forwarded to Intermountain Forensic in Salt Lake City. 66 sets of remains have been discovered as a result of previous searches, and 22 have been submitted to the Utah lab.
The recent dig, which ended on September 5, was the third of its kind in the search for the remains of the estimated 75 to 300 Black persons who were killed in the 1921 massacre in Greenwood, the Black neighborhood of Tulsa, by a white mob.
A vibrant commercial area called Black Wall Street was devastated, along with more than 1,000 residences that were burned, looted, and demolished.
The three known live survivors of the massacre are appealing a decision that dismissed their lawsuit against the city and other defendants for razing the once-vibrant Black district and for which they sought damages.