The confiscation of 40 boxes of human skeletons could lead to a break in uncovering a network of grave robbers that have pillaged hundreds of sacred Indian burial plots in central and western North Carolina, authorities say.

But two Rowan County men stripped Friday of their Indian artifacts said they were shocked by the raid and resented being likened to grave robbers.The state's chief archaeologist, Steven Claggett, who accompanied authorities on the raid of the two collections, said Indian graves are popular because Indians buried their dead with ceremonial necklaces, clay pots and carved stone pipes.