Flat-top kite shield

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Flat-top kite shields (mid-12th century only)

This type of shield is only appropriate for high-status combatants in the period c.1140-c.1200.

Flat-top kite shields appeared in the middle of the twelfth century. Well-equipped Anglo-Norman warriors from c.1140-c.1200 should use flat-top kite shields rather than the normal round-top design familiar from Hastings. In the very late twelfth and early thirteenth century this type of shield evolved into the smaller heater.

Flat-top kite shields should reach a point at the bottom and have a flat top (with rounded corners at the top, not a 90 degree angle), rather like an empty ice-cream cone. They may be curved to fit around the body or be flat. They should generally not have shield bosses. The top of the shield should be just above the warrior’s belly-button. The shield should have two vertical straps for the arm so that the arm is held horizontally over the belly when fighting. The arm should not be vertical down the shield. Flat-top kite shields should not have bosses.