P. E. Botta, from Monument de Ninive

King Solomon had 500 gold shields, the Bible reports (1 Kings 10:16–17), probably arrayed on his palace walls. Although not one gold shield has yet come to light, we do have solid evidence that such shields existed. King Sargon II of Assyria celebrated his victory over the Urartian city of Musasir in 714 B.C. with scenes of conquest carved into stone on the walls of his palace. In this drawing of one panel, Assyrian soldiers carry off shields from the Musasir temple. A written account Sargon made of this victory records that “six shields of gold” were among the spoil taken from the temple.