With well-defined details, standing in an alert pose on top of a miniature sarcophagus, line of hieroglyphic inscription partially reading "Ichneumon gives life ...." Open rear end of sarcophagus covered with lucite concealing its contents. Late Period, 600-300 B.C. 2 5/8 inches long. Intact. From a Dutch collection, acquired before 1980. The ichneumon (mongoose) was revered for its ability to kill snakes and crush crocodile eggs. Together with the shrew-mouse, it was regarded as the animal manifestation of the sun god Horus at Letopolis in the Delta. The ichneumon also became a sacred animal of the lion-headed goddess Wadjet as a result of religious developments of the Late Period.