The two-piece wooden and plastered sarcophagus from Egypt's 21st Dynasty (ca. 1070-945 B.C.) is brightly painted with clear hieroglyphic writing on it. It was created for an elite male named Imesy. The coffin's decoration includes protective religious symbols for Osiris, Isis, Nephthys and the four sons of Horus, gods and goddesses believed to help the deceased travel safely to the afterlife. Texts inscribed along the work's center are requests for funerary offerings, including bread and beer.
Upon its return home, the coffin will be the centerpiece of a new special exhibition at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo opening April 7, 2010. The installation features artifacts and other treasures that were repatriated to Egypt in the last eight years. It will later become part of the permanent collection of a museum in Sharm el-Sheikh.
It will be fascinating to see how successful a museum in Sharm will be.