Incident left new understanding of feelings

I and we are not grave diggers. I only got the hikers together to meet the hike leader. I did not touch the bones. The hike was one of hundreds of hikes that Howard has led. The hike was to see and hear about the ruins. Howard is good at interpreting and talking about the ruins.

He is a retired teacher and still teaching. The hikes were usually four of five hours to see and hear about the ruins. The burial site took 10 to 15 minutes.

I am sorry if I offended any local people. I did not understand the cultural feelings about grave sites. I have a new understanding of a different culture. I thought we always used a good respect for the grave site and the bones. We never dug up any of the site. If we were grave diggers, we would have dug up the site for the pots there. We have never sold any artifacts. We were only interested in helping others to understand and appreciate this ancient culture.

Harry Hance

Mancos

Editor’s note: On Oct. 18, Harry Hance was sentenced to three days in jail for disturbing a burial site while on a hike last year in Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. Howard Drake, who was with him on the hike, received a 10-day sentence.

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