Maia is safe! Thank Heaven.
In a sign that Dr Hawass is learning, he allowed National Geographic journalist Jeffrey Bartholet to tour Saqqara yesterday. The report has just appeared on the National Geographic site. An independent report will do much to reassure. I am sure that Dr Hawass will be highly irritated, probably highly offended, that public opinion at this time requires independent reports rather than accepting his own word. However, he is a Minister in a Government which has arrested journalists and has a record of media censorship, so many people probably will seek corroboration of anything which seems to have a political dynamic - such as reports of looting during the unrest.
The reporter wasn't an expert, so he doesn't know which tombs he visited - other than Maia, the wet nurse of Tutankhamun. He didn't actually enter the tomb, reporting:
There had been reports on archaeology blogs that at least one tomb had been badly damaged and looted: the tomb of Maya, treasurer and top adviser to King Tutankhamun. When I asked to see the tomb, Farag took me to a place whose doors were sealed with bricks. This was Maya’s tomb, and it was untouched, he said. I later learned that this tomb didn’t belong to the treasurer Maya. It was that of a second Maya, King Tut’s wet nurse. When I called to ask about the treasurer’s tomb, and others that might have been vulnerable in its vicinity, I was told those too were undamaged. “I’ve seen them during the last week, and Maya is in good shape,” says Hussein, the government archaeologist. “Nothing at all happened there.”I feel relieved. I know people have their own focus at Saqqara. For some it is Maya the Treasurer; for some it is the Serapeum; for some it is Horemheb. For me it was Maia because I think there is still so much to learn about the family of Tutankhamun and his upbringing - quite apart from it being an exceptionally well-decorated tomb. I am relieved.