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ShieldThe shield is one of the oldest pieces of personal armament. Shields were used in times where warriors did not have any helmets or cuirasses. Shields came in various sizes, shapes and were made from various materials, usually wood or metal or both. Most shields project in their center an umbo or boss of metal. This boss, a kind of deep, circular pan made of iron was fixed to the front of the shield, where it had a considerable projection, and was securely riveted over a hole in the center; and thus the hollow under the face of the boss was open towards the reverse of the shield. Across this hollow, and consequently also across the central aperture in the shield, a plate of iron, having its sides somewhat concave, was well secured. This plate was made to expand towards its extremities into three branches, or small bars, which were prolonged to the circumference of the shield and imparted to it a great strength and solidity.

History of Arms and Armor | Arms and Armor Glossary


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