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Ancient Egyptian Shields

During the ancient Egyptian period there were no complex weapons to fight battles like the ones that are available today. Since the early Egyptian times the only weapon used for protecting the body of the soldiers during war was the shields. It is the earliest known protective armor.

The shields during ancient Egypt were rectangular in shape and were made from cowhide or ox hide. These shields were stretched over a wooden frame. In the early Egyptian period shields were of the same height as that of a man. 

Ancient Egyptian Shields

Ancient Egyptian Shields

However, shields of one or one and a half meter height are also known to have been used by the ancient Egyptian warriors. The size of the shield used for fighting varied upon the usage of the weapon. Bronze shields were used at the time of the New Kingdom reign. The metal shields were ornamented by carving pictures on them.

Big shields were inconvenient during wars as they were heavy and restricted the time for which they could be carried. On the other hand, smaller shields were easy to manage and also served the purpose of protecting its user from being attacked.

By the early New Kingdom period the tall shields were replaced by smaller shields that had a tapered lower half. The ancient Egyptian shields had a handle or a leather strip which was placed at the centre of the wooden frame so as to give its user a good grip of the shield. The soldiers also used shields that could be carried by a strap slung over the shoulder. These kinds of shields gave more mobility to the user.