The U.S. is taking legal steps in Miami to return a stolen, 3,000-year-old sarcophagus to Egypt.

Federal prosecutors filed court papers Thursday seeking forfeiture of the ancient artifact.

It wound up in Miami last year following a series of transactions that began at an antique dealership in Barcelona, Spain.

Egyptian authorities say the sarcophagus was probably illegally excavated years ago.

It's made out of wood and is yellow in color, covered by elaborate hieroglyphics and symbols.

Prosecutors say it was constructed between 1070 and 946 B.C. for the mummified remains of an unknown person.

Virtually all such antiquities belong to the Egyptian government. The court case would allow for the sarcophagus to return to Egypt.