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Medieval Siege (see links below for navigation)

Welcome to the companion Web site to the NOVA program "Medieval Siege," scheduled for broadcast on January 24, 2006. In the film, which is a part of the NOVA series Secrets of Lost Empires, a team of timber framers and other specialists design, build, and fire a pair of trebuchets, a devastating engine of war popular in the Middle Ages. Here's what you'll find online:
  • Medieval Arms Race
    The trebuchet was only the most frightening of the weapons early European warriors employed in siege warfare. They also relied on battering rams, siege towers, tunnels - anything to gain access to a castle. Defenders, meanwhile, had a few tricks of their own.

  • NOVA Builds a Trebuchet
    Follow a slide show that documents NOVA's successful attempt to build and shoot a giant trebuchet, the most destructive war machine that ever laid siege to a medieval castle.

  • Life in a Castle
    Professor Richard Holmes, a British military historian and member of the NOVA trebuchet-building team, describes what everyday life was like in a typical English castle of the Middle Ages.

  • Destroy the Castle (Hot Science)
    Build your own virtual trebuchet and fire giant sandstone balls at a castle wall. You decide on the size of your projectiles, where to place your trebuchet, and other factors critical to success.
Plus Resources and a Teacher's Guide.

Medieval Arms Race | NOVA Builds a Trebuchet | Life in a Castle
Destroy the Castle | Resources | Transcript

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