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The present invention's stratified composite system of armor, as typically embodied, comprises a backing stratum and a strike stratum that includes elastomeric matrix material and low-density ceramic elements embedded therein and arranged (e.g., in one or more rows and one or more columns) along a geometric plane (or plural parallel geometric planes) corresponding to the front surface of the strike stratum. Some inventive embodiments also comprise a spall-containment stratum fronting the strike stratum. The density of the low-density ceramic material is in the approximate range 2.0-3.0 g/cm3. In the strike stratum, the volume ratio of the low-density ceramic material to the elastomeric matrix material is in the approximate range 4-20. The present invention's emulative method for designing an inventive armor system typically involves configurative change of the inventive armor system's low-density ceramic material vis-à-vis another armor system's high-density ceramic material so that the respective ceramic material areal densities are equal.