UPDATE, 12 February: The status of Maya's tomb remains unclear, as ScienceInsider reports in an update on Egypt's antiquities. See "After the Revolution, Who Will Control Egypt's Monuments?"
Reports of damage to one of the few ancient Egyptian tombs devoted solely to a woman have tempered the news that most of Egypt's priceless antiquities have escaped damage and that teams of foreign archaeologists are safe amid widespread protests against the regime led by Hosni Mubarak.
One archaeologist present at the famous cemetery of Saqqara, south of Cairo, said that as many as 200 looters were digging for treasure in the area this past weekend before police resecured the area. The excavator, who requested anonymity, added that the tomb of Maya, the wet nurse of King Tutankhamun, was "completely destroyed." Another Western archaeologist said, "We still don't know the extent of the damage, but things have been bad and out of control."
None of the Molotov cocktails hurled yesterday around Tahrir Square, home of the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities , damaged the building or its contents, according to Zahi Hawass, the minister of antiquities. His blog explains that he has been in contact with the museum control room and that there was no damage beyond last weekend's break-in, which damaged 70 artifacts. Hawass also vehemently denied that there has been heavy looting in Saqqara.
Hawass did say that six boxes were stolen from a storeroom at a site on the Sinai Peninsula but that many objects had since been returned. Concerns remain that the small museum at Memphis, the ancient Egyptian capital, has been thoroughly looted. There was good news at Giza, however. Mark Lehner, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based archaeologist who digs at the pyramid-builders town, said the site was not damaged, as was reported earlier in the week.