College of Humanities and Social Sciences
In the Middle Ages, armies built trebuchets to destroy enemy castles. The trebuchet is a type of catapult that uses a falling counterweight to throw projectiles.
Many trebuchets were huge machines over 60 feet tall and their construction was complex. The methods used to erect a trebuchet in history are not widely known.
My Research Question: How were trebuchets designed and assembled in the Middle Ages?
Through experimental history, I used primary sources to design a trebuchet. This machine is half-scale: 30 feet tall.
I built this trebuchet with medieval techniques, assembled it with an ancient type of crane hoist, and tested it with up to 1,500lb of counterweight.
Bertrand, Daniel, "Building the Medieval Trebuchet: Assembling a Half-Scale Historical Machine" (2019). Research on Capitol Hill. Paper 122.