Mysterious skulls robbed from graves: Police
Updated: 2006-04-13 09:21
About 121 skulls found in northwest China's Gansu Province were confirmed as
robberies from unknown graves by illegal profit hunters to make artifacts,
according to the provincial public security department.
A Chinese policeman checks skulls in
Tianzhu County, western China's Gansu province in this March 29, 2006 file
photo. Police Wednesday confirmed that 121 skulls found in the the western
part of Northwest China's Gansu Province were human and had been hacked
from their bodies after death. [newsphoto]
A joint investigation showed a farmer, surnamed Qiao from Huzhu County of the
northwestern province of Qinghai, stole the skulls from unmarked tombs and then
sold them to Liang and Liu, natives of Yongjing County of Gansu Province who
used them to make handicrafts.
Liang discarded the leftover skulls in a ravine in an outlying mountain area
of Tianzhu Tibetan autonomous county before this year's Chinese Spring Festival.
The skulls, wrapped in a plastic bag, were found on March 26 by¡¡a herdsman,
sources with the Ministry of Public Security said.
Local police initially suspected that the skulls belonged to monkeys.
On April 2, the Ministry of Public Security sent a team of forensic
scientists, DNA specialists and anthropologists to Gansu Province for
investigation and examination.
The ministry said on April 5 that the skulls were human and had been hacked
from their bodies after death.