The most frequent form of defense was the shield. The sagas mention linden wood for shield construction, however grave findings usually show different woods with steel or iron shield bosses, such as fir, alder, and poplar. These woods aren't particularly dense and feel light in the palm. They are also less likely to split than oak. Additionally, the timber fibers bond around blades, preventing the blade from cutting any deeper until a great deal more pressure is applied. Viking shields were frequently strengthened with leather or, on rare occasions, iron around the rim, in addition to the stronger wood. Round shields appear to have ranged in diameter from 45 to 120 centimetres, with 75–90 centimetres being the most prevalent.
For the Saxons, the smaller shield sizes date from the pagan period, while the greater shield sizes are from the 10th and 11th centuries. Most shields are painted a single color in illuminations, but others have a design painted on them; the most popular designs are simple crosses or sun wheel or segment derivations. The few circular shields that have survived feature significantly more intricate motifs painted on them, as well as exquisite silver and gold work around the boss and strap anchors.
Shields can be hung on the Gokstad ship's railing, and Gokstad shields feature holes along the rim for securing some kind of non-metallic rim protection. Shield lists were used to protect ship personnel from the elements, such as waves and wind. Simple designs may have been used to embellish some Viking shields, but some skaldic poetry praising shields may have indicated more intricate decoration, which has been corroborated by archaeological evidence. In reality, "shield poems," which describe scenes painted on shields, are a separate subgenre of Skaldic poetry dedicated to shields. Ragnarsdrápa, a late-9th-century skaldic poem, mentions certain shields with mythical themes painted on them. In formations, Viking shields were also widely employed.The shield wall, also known as the skjaldborg, was a major formation in which skilled Viking warriors formed a line of linked shields and thrust spears at their opponents. The svinfylking "boarsnout," in which soldiers formed a wedge and attempted to break through the front line of neighboring adversaries, was another significant strategy.
Shields for kites
It has been suggested that the Vikings introduced the medieval age kite shield to Europe, which the Normans favored. Archaeologists, on the other hand, have found no evidence or remains of Viking-era kite shields.
Medieval Armoury specializes in high quality shield replicas from the Viking Age. We have a full line of shields. If you find an item cheaper somewhere else please remember that haggling was quite common during the Viking Age.