Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Search NOVA Teachers

Back to Teachers Home

Secrets of Lost Empires II—Medieval Siege

Program Overview


Uncover the Latest Secrets from NOVA
Magnificent structures—symbols of faith, power, commerce, or comfort—are the intriguing legacies of the civilizations featured in this five-part miniseries, Secrets of Lost Empires. Without modern technology, these ancient builders achieved construction feats that still impress today.

NOVA travels to the sites of these once-mighty empires to answer the question, "How did they do that?" Expert teams of engineers, archeologists, and master builders attempt to recreate the structures, using the materials, tools, and techniques thought to have been available to their ancient counterparts. The researchers draw on tantalizing clues found in ruins, paintings, and documents to guide them. But in this real-world laboratory, things don't always go as planned. The teams demonstrate science inquiry in action, refining their hypotheses through trial and error. In the process, they gain a deeper understanding of the ancient builders and their worlds.


Medieval Siege
England's Edward I is said to have used a fearsome machine, called "Warwolf," to batter his enemies' castle walls into rubble. Historians think Warwolf was a wooden trebuchet, a missile-throwing siege weapon that dominated siege warfare until cannons were invented. In the Scottish countryside, teams build two trebuchet designs side by side, using medieval building techniques. Will either, or both, be capable of destroying a model castle wall at a distance of 200 yards (182 meters)?

Teacher's Guide
Secrets of Lost Empires II—Medieval Siege
BUY THE VIDEO PROGRAM OVERVIEW VIEWING IDEAS CLASSROOM ACTIVITY IDEAS FROM TEACHERS RELATED NOVA RESOURCES INTERACTIVE FOR STUDENTS
   

Support provided by