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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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