Secrets of Lost Empires II, 5 x 60'
(C4/PBS NOVA) Executive Producer. Director/Writer Medieval Siege

Director/Writer Medieval Siege

Historical descriptions suggest that trebuchets were the ultimate thirteenth century siege machine. But how true are the claims that they could pummel a castle wall into smithereens? To find out two teams begin work on building two precise replicas in the shadow of Scotland’s Castle Urquart using traditional tools and materials. Construction is hampered by mud and constant drizzle. Eventually the volunteer timber framers have only one day to find out if either of the trebuchets can hit a specially constructed section of medieval castle wall with a 250 pound stone missile at a range of 200 yards.

“Hilarious the two teams built siege engines and managed to smash a purpose built wall with their projectiles” Jamie McCallum The Guardian

Director/Writer China Bridge

The reconstruction of a unique Song Dynasty bridge over a canal near Shanghai whose unconventional design still confounds engineers today. The design is neither an arch nor a beam, but rather a delicate hybrid of the two: a series of interlocking horizontal and cantilever beams form a graceful arc. It was a style never attempted in the Western world.

How could such a daring and intricate structure have been assembled above a river? Retired engineer Tang Huan Cheng says he knows the answers. He has carefully studied the Rainbow Bridge for nearly fifty years; now a team of engineers and craftsmen helps him fulfill his long-cherished dream of reconstructing it.

Other Secrets of Lost Empires episodes: recreating a Roman Bath to unlock their advanced plumbing and heating technology. On Easter Island a very fractious team explore Moai raising techniques with a full size replica. After a failed attempt in the first series experimental archeologists finally manage to raise an obelisk weighing 25 tons with the help of a sandpit.

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