An inspection was launched by archaeological authorities into a claim that an ancient tomb was threatened by the operations of a nearby brickyard in Xianyang, Shaanxi province.
A micro-blogger using the name Zhang Chi, a heritage enthusiast in Beijing, raised the issue with a satellite photo that appeared to show that the brickyard was getting material for production in the cemetery of the ancient tomb.
In the photo caption, Zhang said the cemetery of Emperor Yuandi was being nibbled away.
The cemetery of Emperor Yuandi, or Liu Shi (74-33 BC), the 11th emperor of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 24), is located in a northeastern suburb of the city and was listed as a State-level protected heritage unit in 2001 by the State Council.
The photo caught the attention of the Xianyang Heritage and Tourism Bureau, which sent an inspection team to investigate.
According to Si Xichang, captain of the city's Weicheng district heritage inspection team, he and some colleagues went to the brickyard on June 24 and found that workers had taken earth from as far as 20 meters inside the cemetery boundary, and they ordered it to stop.