David Harris

Horse Blinder

Lions assault bulls around the rim of this magnificent ivory blinder, part of an equestrian harness found in the Assyrian city of Nimrud. This blinder, dating to the eighth century B.C.E., is carved in the North Syrian style, a technique of ivory carving whose influence stretched from Cyprus and Greece in the west to Assyria and Israel in the east. Decorative horse trappings—although not yet saddles—became very popular in Israel as early as the tenth century B.C.E. during the time of Solomon. Solomon is described as having “forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots and 12,000 horsemen” (1 Kings 5:6).