The grave robbers in China they had the scare of their lives when looted a grave in his incessant search for archaeological treasures. Digging through what looked like old sacks containing priceless items, They found a 130-year-old mummified body perfectly preserved with an expression that will haunt them for life.
Almost in perfect condition with intact teeth and skin, the open mouth also wears the then hairstyle of the day: the ponytail, a single cut put to most of the Han ethnic groupfrom China during Qing dynasty.
As seen in these eerie photos, the mummy had, until the time of its death, the shaved head but long behind, wearing a crown, wearing a firm long braid like a horse's tail.
The haircut was required for all men. Those who disobeyed the orders that the Qing ruler gave to the barbers would be charged with disloyalty and executed for treason.
The grave robbers of the 21st century could escape the death penalty for looting the country and its 5,000 years of cultural history. But still they will have to face harsh punishmentsas the government and police attempt to curb the lucrative illegal industry of grave robbing.
Not that threats of punishment can deter thieves who use increasingly sophisticated methods to carry out their misdeeds. Many use excavators and dynamite to access thousands of sensitive graves often located at great depths and in remote places.
Once inside the ancient catacombs, they get night vision goggles and scan rooms looking for valuable relics that they later sell to merchants who traffic with much of the national treasureand that it is highly profitable on the international black market.
Experts believe that 9 out of 10 graves in China they have been looted, denying the country of its illustrious and unique heritage. Many of the graves survived looting made by the Red Guards, who destroyed countless cultural works during Mao's Cultural Revolution.
But grave robbing has become a way of get rich quick since China embarked on the economic reform in the 1980s.
The government is promising a tougher crackdown on grave robbers. Culture officials are dedicating more labor, money and security at sensitive sites, and they say that they will try to locate the objects as they change hands all over the world.
The mummy family chamber, located in Ningde, Fujian province, dates back to 1882 and it was one of the four rooms of the grave phoenix, all of it looted.
The tomb was previously looted in the 1950s but the thieves showed some respect to death and left the mummies and structures intact. But the thieves of the 21st century, once the fright and horror of what they found have passed, they seek and destroy what they do not steal.
With a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication, since I was a child I have been attracted to the world of information and audiovisual production. Passion for informing and being informed of what is happening in every corner of the planet. Likewise, I am pleased to be part of the creation of an audiovisual product that will later entertain or inform people. My interests include cinema, photography, the environment and, above all, history. I consider it essential to know the origin of things to know where we come from and where we are going. Special interest in curiosities, mysteries and anecdotal events in our history.