THE EVOLUTION OF MATERIALS IN ARMS AND ARMORS: MEDIEVAL ERA
By Melissa K. Chung-Chuen-Yeung, Cody Harrop, Stanley Mui and Brandon Pare
Project Report, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 2011
Abstract: During the medieval ages, the development of armor was ever-changing because of the constant need for better protection. This project is devoted to the evolution of armors during the medieval ages with respect to technology, warfare and different geographical locations. Our research was compiled and presented on a public website, hosted by WPI, for public access. We also made a simple piece of armor using medieval techniques.
Introduction: The primary goal of this IQP is to study the evolution of armors of different civilizations and time period. Our team was broken down into two groups, each studying the evolution of armors on different time periods. Group one focused on the ancient times of antiquity while group two researched around the 1000s-1500s A.D., primarily focusing on Europe’s High Medieval Era to the fall of the Medieval Era. We gathered as much information related to armors and technology through different books, online database, and consultation with curator experts such as Jeffery L. Forgeng in order to broaden our knowledge and scope of how armors developed. The information was then compiled onto a website for public access. The website serves to present our some of our research findings and our work.
The definition of armors that will be adopted for this project is from the American Heritage Dictionary and is as follows: A defensive covering, as of metal, wood, or leather, worn to protect the body against weapons. Due to the human physiology, defensive covering requires a combination of pieces worn together to create a whole defense. The pieces that will be considered in the composition of armors in this project are the helmet, cuirass, gauntlet, greaves, and shields. Each of these pieces covers a part of the human body; the helmet covers the head; the cuirass covers the chest and the back; the gauntlet covers the arms and hands; the shield is simply a hand held protective tool.