A man in Sichuan province discovered a ceramic figurine dating back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279 CE) on his drive home after he made an emergency stop by a highway to relieve his bladder and spotted the artifact in the dirt after urinating on it, reports the Chinese-language Chengdu Economic Daily.
The 20-year-old man was driving home at 6pm on April 24 after work in the county's Xipu township. As he passed a hospital, he had a sudden urge to urinate and pulled over behind a mound. His stream washed away dirt on the mound, revealing the artifact which he dug out with a nearby branch and took home. After rinsing the object under the tap, he made out a woman crawling on the ground with green and brown color still faintly clinging to her chest and face.
The man handed the figurine to the local cultural item control bureau, which later announced that the artifact was most likely buried along with its owner in a local grave. The county museum had already collected two similar figurines.
Li Tiechui, a senior adviser at the provincial ancient ceramic research center, said the figurines usually come in male and female pairs. People in the Song Dynasty would place the figures by a tomb to prevent evil spirits from harassing the deceased and to bring luck to the living. The female looks upward since her role is to observe the will of the gods while the male listens to voices from the ground.