The mace is a melee weapon used during ancient and medieval times, consisting of a handle with a rounded head. The weapon has been in use since the times of the ancient Egyptians, who used rounded stone or bronze-headed maces, however, the weapon is best known for its use in the Middle Ages. The medieval mace consisted of a steel handle with a steel head, often with either flanges to focus the impact of the blow or metal spikes to cause sharp trauma and pierce armor. Maces were often used in combat with armored opponents, such as knights, as the mace was capable of delivering blunt force that broke the bones and caused internal trauma under the armor, effectively bypassing the defenses of the armor.