DAVID AND GOLIATH. The biblical story of a lowly shepherd defeating a formidable warrior (1 Samuel 17) has become a metaphor for facing and overcoming seemingly impossible odds. David allegedly needed a single stone to knock down the Philistine giant Goliath. Is that credible? Archaeological evidence and literary sources confirm the wide use of slings among ancient warriors and armies, who understood all too well their lethal capabilities. The above image comes from the late 13th-century manuscript of The Northern French Hebrew Miscellany, now in the British Library.