Stolen & Looted: Grave Robbers in China

In China, looters are robbing graves at a rate that far out-paces the ability for Chinese authorities and archaeologists to keep up.

Still, public officials of the Gansu province report having arrested 1,283 people and seizing 1,959 artifacts and cultural items between 1998 and 2005. Gansu is where some of the earliest known sites of Chinese civilization are evident. And it was in this province that grave robbers recently discovered two important sites:

[O]ne dat[ed] back to the Warring States Period (475-221 B.C.) and the other to ancestors of China’s first emperor Qinshihuang. […] The Warring States grave in Zhangjiachuan county was discovered last August when local police caught grave robbers who had unearthed an ancient tomb, that had remained hidden for more than 2,000 years. By mid December, archaeologists had excavated from the grave more than 500 pieces of items of gold, silver, bronze, iron, bone and porcelain
as well as more than 800 other decorated relic pieces.

Read more at Grave robbery keeps Chinese archaeologists bustling around.

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