A couple of thousand years ago, mankind mastered metallurgy, and people have learned to create truly deadly swords and spears of metal. From this we can imagine what was the surprise of the archaeologists from York University, when in 2015, they found a shield of those times, made of light, and rather thin tree bark. Products made from organic materials deteriorate quickly, but due to the high humidity and ancient remedy has survived for over 2300 years. The reconstruction showed that it could really protect from the blows of swords and spears.
The discovery was called the shield Enderby — according to the researchers, it was made from the bark of the alder, willow, poplar or hazel. Radiocarbon Dating showed it was made between 255 and 395 BC. With a width of 37 inches, the length of the shield was 67 centimeters. To strengthen the design used was a thin plank of wood and the frame, framing the entire form of defensive weapons. For making beats meant the inner side of the bark, and the rough outer surface was directed at the holder of the shield.
Researchers already found the product from the bark of those times, but it was made of boxes and other items, but not defensive tools. A new discovery has forced historians to take a new look at techniques and the manufacture of weapons of people who lived thousands of years ago.
This truly is an amazing artifact gave us an insight of the prehistoric technology that we never knew — shared the York University archaeologist Michael Bamforth.
The analysis showed that the shield was well decorated — it had a red, and was described in a checkerboard pattern. Before the loss of the unknown warrior, it was badly damaged by spearheads. The researchers also noted that the shield had the “shape waist”, and could inspire people to create the metal shields of the same shape.
Initially, researchers believed that such a shield could adequately protect soldiers from impacts, however, after its reconstruction, they discovered an interesting feature of the shield. Was that being easy, and it’s protected from bumps, and provide the soldier more freedom of movement. This is the main advantage of the shield of bark over metal counterparts.
Only as a result of experiments, we realized that it can be tough enough to protect from bumps metal weapons. Shield of bark is not as durable as wood or metal, but it is much easier and provides much more freedom of movement, explained Bamforth.
Archaeologists find a larger defensive structure. For example, recently they dug up the ancient fortress of Egypt, which was destroyed during the Persian invasion. Read more about the discovery can be read in our material.