Scala / Art Resource, New York

A lioness attacks a Nubian in a field of lotus and papyrus plants in this ninth-century B.C. ivory plaque from Nimrud. The plaque, only 4 inches tall, is decorated with carnelian and lapis lazuli inlays and is embossed in gold leaf. It is considered one of the world’s most beautiful examples of ancient art and is one of the finest pieces to have been stolen from the Iraq Museum. It has yet to be recovered.