A shield is a piece of personal armour held in the hand, which may or may not be strapped to the wrist or forearm. Shields are used to intercept specific attacks, whether from close-ranged weaponry or projectiles such as arrows, by means of active blocks, as well as to provide passive protection by closing one or more lines of engagement during combat.
Image from Hatshepsut's expedition to Punt showing Egyptians soldiers with shields (wood/animal skin). 15th century BC. Temple of Hathor Deir el-Bahari
Australian Aboriginal shield, Royal Albert Memorial Museum.
Nias ceremonial shield.
Aboriginal bark shield collected in Botany Bay, New South Wales, during Captain Cook's first voyage in 1770 (British Museum)
Wall painting depicting a Mycenaean Greek "figure eight" shield with a suspension strap at the middle, 15th century BC, National Archaeological Museum, Athens -The faces of figure eight shields were quite convex. The cited "strap" may be the ridge on the front (so denoted by the visible pattern of the ox hide) of the shield.
Elaborate and sophisticated shields from the Philippines.
Ballistic shield, NIJ Level IIIA
Two wooden round shields survived at Thorsberg moor