A kite shield was a distinct type of shield from the 10th–14th centuries. It was either a reverse teardrop shape or later on, flat-topped. The tapering point extended down to either a distinct or rounded point. Believed to be an evolution of the simple round shield purely to guard one whole flank of a rider when in combat, the shield gained popularity amongst professional soldiers as it allowed them to guard their foreleg when in a mêlée. It was either flat in section, or featured a gradual curve, to better fit the contour of the human torso, much in the style of a scutum. The kite shield is most closely associated with the Normans, who were one of the first cultures to use it widely, and can be seen throughout the Bayeux Tapestry.