Honors Theses and Capstones
Date of Award
Senior Honors Thesis
College or School
Program or Major
Bachelor of Science
The First Crusade was a critically important period in European and Middle Eastern history, and in nearly a millennium since its conclusion, many have sought to understand the military campaign that formed the heart of the Crusade. Crucial to understanding this campaign that saw the Crusaders defeat the Muslim forces in the Levant is understanding the sieges which made up the majority of decisive engagements. Previous analyses on these sieges have been missing an important component: an accurate understanding of the siege engines that the Crusaders successfully used to turn the sieges in their favor. During the summer of 2022, I undertook a research project to conduct an engineering analysis of the siege engines used in the First Crusade, drawing from contemporary texts and applying modern engineering principles and software to gain a better understanding of the machines described within historical sources. After surveying all the siege engines described in the texts, I decided to focus on siege towers, machines critical to the success of the Crusaders but often overlooked in comparison with other flashier devices such as catapults. Through an iterative design process using 3D modelling and simulation software, I was able to create a realistic model of a siege tower which I hope will be a valuable resource for historians studying the First Crusade.
Lindberg, Ian G., "Engineering Analysis of Siege Engines in the First Crusade" (2023). Honors Theses and Capstones. 745.
Available for download on Monday, May 19, 2025