Hands on History Blog

Torsion catapults are siege weapons developed at the beginning of the fourth century bc. Simple torsion devices could have been developed earlier, but the first existing evidence of a torsion siege engine comes from the Chalcotheca, the arsenal on the acropolis in Athens.  

Medieval siege weapon warfare was an extremely expensive business! In any siege with weapons, would require precise planning. Lords and their siege engineers looked at the weakest part of an oppositions castle and planned the weapons beforehand. All workers were transported to the work site ( black smiths and carpenters ). The surrounding area was checked for supplies and materials.

The mangonel was the most common catapult used in medieval times. this is because it is very easy to maneuverer and versatile. Its only downfall was accuracy! The mangonols physics is virtually the use of stored energy (gravity and tension) to launch a projectile. The mangonel catapult consists of a long wooden arm, with a bucket and a rope attached to the end. The tools used to build the catapult were a Tenon saw, which is a hand saw that is used and designed to cut wood. A hand drill was used to cut holes into the wood for us to screw screws into the siege weapon to create stability. In addition, we used a rule and a led pencil to measure accurate points to drill and to draw accurate lines to cut on.