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Gandy, Jim
Ancient and medieval mechanical artillery
16th Engineering Heritage Australia Conference: Conserving Our Heritage - Make a Difference!
Engineers Australia, Barton, Australian Capital Territory, 2011, pp. 301-312

Artillery existed long before gunpowder in the form of war engines that harnessed the muscle power of their crews. There are stories in the ancient texts of engines that could pin men to walls with spears, smash castle walls with huge stones or hurl plague ridden corpses over the walls of besieged towns. But not one these engines has survived intact. The historical descriptions or illustrations are usually drawn by men with no engineering training and are often difficult to interpret. The only hard evidence we have is a few fragments of mechanisms and a lot of abandoned ammunition,. However, by looking at the evidence as a whole with an engineer's eyes in the light of experimental and mathematical analysis, we can arrive at convincing picture of the performance and appearance of these engines.

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