Umbos are small, rounded projections or knobs found at the center of a shield. They are often made of metal and serve as a reinforcement or strengthening point on the shield to absorb the impact of blows. The umbo also helps to deflect and redirect attacks, making the shield more effective in combat.
In ancient times, umbos were typically made of bronze or iron and were a common feature on shields used by various cultures and armies. They were often decorated with designs or symbols to signify the owner’s allegiance or rank. Some umbos were quite ornate and served as a status symbol for their owners.
Today, umbos can still be found on some modern shields, particularly those used in historical reenactments or by collectors. While they may not be as prevalent as they once were, umbos continue to serve a functional purpose in adding strength and protection to a shield. Their distinct appearance and historical significance make them an interesting and important feature in the study of ancient weaponry and warfare.