HERRIN, Ill. (AP) – A southern Illinois judge has cleared the way for researchers to begin excavating a Herrin cemetery as part of a search for the remains of people who died during a violent 1922 labor strike.

Williamson County Judge Brad Bleyer gave an archaeology team the go-ahead on Monday for the work in Herrin Cemetery, which was being held up by an injunction.

Historian and author Scott Doody tells WSIL-TV that his crew hopes to begin work on Friday.

The so-called the 1922 Herrin Massacre took place during a union strike when dozens of replacement workers at the Southern Illinois Coal Company were killed.

Doody thinks nearly a dozen victims were buried in a potter’s field and possibly an adjoining part of the cemetery.

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