Evolved from The Roman "Parma Shield", Oval Shields were among the first developmental step in protective equipment used in Europe. Starting in the 8th Century AD, Oval Shields were constructed from many different materials, with wood being the most common (and cost effective). They were reinforced with various metals (Copper, Iron or composite metal). Sizes varied from elongated to almost circular. The were however uniform in that they had to provide protection to the majority of the torso. Most were equipped with Shield Bosses (which could be used as a striking component to the Shield).