Chinese farmer accused of tomb robbing after digging up two mummies so he could build a barn
- Farmer found looted mummified bodies after digging up graves
- Stumbled upon ancient burial site while building a barn
- Chinese man now faces a decade in jail for grave robbery
By SARA MALM
Most people who stumble upon ancient mummies run for the hills and call the police, but one Chinese farmed saw an opportunity for treasure.
Farmer Miao Piang is being held on grave robbery charges after digging up two ancient mummified corpses to make way for a new barn.
Days later, villagers in Jiazhuang, Shandong province, discovered the mutilated remains floating in the local pond with their broken caskets.
Return of the mummy: Horrified villagers discovered the mutilated remains floating in the local pond after a farmer dug up the graves
‘It was like something from a horror film. It was like they were coming back to haunt their tormentor,’ said one.
Mr Miao admitted to dumping the bodies in the water after digging up an ancient burial site to make way for a new building.
‘He also thought that being ancient, the tombs might contain some treasure,’ said a police spokesman.
‘Jewellery found on the bodies was split between Mr Miao and his friends, who had helped him,’ they added.
Skull diggery: The farmer who dug up the mummies may face a decade in jail
Theft: A policeman holds up some of the items from the grave which Mr Miao stole and shared out between his friends
Dishonoured: One of the caskets is seen on the bank of the pond
Mr Miao is facing ten years in jail for grave robbery if he is convicted.
Chinese burial traditions see many cemeteries or tombs located on hillsides. A high resting place is seen as a good omen.
One of the reasons for China's tough laws on the desecration of graves and tombs derives from the closing of the casket.
At the funeral, the coffin is nailed shut with mourners turned away from the casket as it is thought to be a bad omen to watch.
After this 'holy paper' is pasted onto the coffin to protect it from holy spirits, which would be broken if it was ever opened.
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