As Adam Jenkins peeks and notes and probes and calculates all the possible options involved in moving a 9,000-pound artifact, remember this is more than a sarcophagus.
It's a crime scene.
Spend some time with Jenkins and he'll show you where the grave robbers of a century before used a crowbar to bust open an ancient seal. He'll show you how the beautifully decorated top was pried off and broken in the lust for gold. He'll show you repairs that were made in Portland cement, repairs in Plaster of Paris, and he'll walk you through which repairs can be trusted and which cracks are the most worrisome.
As we completely redesign our Ancient Worlds collection, this giant piece will need to be moved to allow for construction, and it also needs to be reinstalled in a way that lets people appreciate the majesty of the details on the lid. But before any of that can happen, ancient concrete must be supported in ways that will allow for movement. Crumbling under its own weight on a forklift is not an option.
"One of my first professors in this field," Jenkins said, "told me that this job is 98 percent tedium and two percent sheer terror." After all the calculations have been done, all the rigging installed, at some point all those theories must be put to a real-world test. In the case of The Sarcophagus of Psamtik-Seneb, that will be in about two weeks.
After some conversations with a structural engineer. And a few more calculations.