Friday, December 15, 2006

Grave robbery keeps Chinese archaeologists bustling around
Veteran archaeologist Zhu Zhongxi couldn't believe the "irony" when Gansu provincial authorities announced their bids for the country's 2006 ten most important archaeological discoveries with two ancient graves unearthed recently.

The discoveries of the graves, one dating back to the Warring States Period (475-221 B.C.) and the other to ancestors of China's first emperor Qinshihuang, "were actually not archaeological achievements, but the result of rampant grave robbery", said Zhu, director of the archaeological institute of Gansu.

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.