Viking Shields were mostly wood. Literature tells us that Linden wood was used but archeological evidence suggests fur, alder and poplar were used. These did not split and had fibers that resisted penetration. Viking shields ranged in size on the large end at 48 inches across and on the short end at 36 inches across. Many were painted vibrant colors and they bore clan affiliations. Viking ships had places for shields to be hung. In combat Viking shields were often used as bludgeons and as such they were lined with metal for just such an application.