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.