Grave Search Day 1: Inconclusive

Oct 8, 2019


The ground radar resembles a push mower without an engine.
Credit City of Tulsa


The State of Oklahoma Archaeological Survey based at the University of Oklahoma will continue their work this week at Oaklawn Cemetery, 1133 E. 11th St., for the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Graves Investigation. 


Following initial work today, experts are asking bystanders to be at least 300 feet away from the site area as the majority of the results today were inconclusive due to interference from cameras and phones. The work completed today will be redone this week. The site area at Oaklawn Cemetery will be zoned off to create a larger perimeter to prevent further interference with the ground penetration radar and scanning equipment.


Parking will not be available inside Oaklawn Cemetery. On street parking should be utilized in the nearby residential neighborhood located across 11th St. from the cemetery on S. Norfolk Ave. or at nearby Tracy Park. Individuals are asked to please follow cemetery rules and Oklahoma Archaeological Survey guidelines while viewing the investigatory work:


  • Cell phones and cameras should be turned off if within 300 feet of the radar and scanning equipment.  
  • Photos or videos should be taken from a distance to not interfere with the radar equipment or work. 
  • Avoid touching any monuments or gravestones and be courteous to walk in between headstones and not stand on top of a burial place.
  • Avoid playing loud music and keep the volume of voices down. 
  • Children should be accompanied with an adult and pets must be leashed.


The public is invited to view the entire scanning process of the 1921 mass graves search. The Survey team is scheduled to be at Oaklawn Cemetery from Tuesday – Thursday, Oct. 8 - 10 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.