One of the most interesting and valuable objects in the Archaeological Collection of the Australian Museum, Sydney, is undoubtedly the wooden box-shaped ancient Egyptian coffin which was found some few years ago, in a tomb, at a place in Upper Egypt called Beni-Hasan. According to the printed descriptive label attached to the glass containing case, it seems that when the tomb was opened up it was discovered that the grave had been rifled and the mummy removed from the coffin. It is quite possible that the latter itself has suffered somewhat as the result or the depredations of the unknown thieves, for the inscriptions and paintings are in a rather poor state of preservation; indeed, in some instances, the hieroglyphs are entirely obliterated.
The style of the coffin shows us that we can date it to the 12th Dynasty, that is to say, to somewhere about 2,300 B.C., at which time Amen-em-hat III.was the ruler of Egypt. This king carried out large irrigation works in connection with the great natural reservoir in the Fayyum, which was known to the Greeks as Lake Moeris, He is also thought to have built the Labyrinth, which the old historian Herodotus says contained twelve courts, and three thousand chambers, one thousand five hundred above ground and 011e thousand five hundred under ground, and covered an area about 1,000 feet long and 800 feet broad; this huge building was dedicated to the crocodile-god Sebek, and many sacred crocodiles were buried in a place specially set apart for them. [Etc.]