Ashurbanipal's Siege Towers

In Chapter Sixteen of our Classical History Homeschooling Curriculum, (Story of the World, Volume 1) we learn about Assyria's ancient war tactics.  In particular, we learn about how Ashurbanipal used siege towers to destroy cities and began to enlarge his takings by doing so.

In this image found on an Assyrian wall relief, we can get a rough idea of these early siege towers.  It appears that the men pushing the siege tower were hidden down near the wheels.  The battering ram is tilted up at an angle.  Since we really wanted to create an activity for this chapter, we based our Paper Engineered Siege Tower off of this image. Here's what you will need to do the same:

This Siege Tower activity can be found in our latest addition to our TpT store:

It also comes in a black and white version, if you would rather print it out for your students to color in themselves.  If you have the ability, you might also prefer to print it on cardstock, but regular paper is what we used.

There is some tricky cutting involved (one side of the cart's wheels, in particular) so you may want to assist your students if they are younger than middle school age.  Basically, though:  cut on the solid lines and fold on the dotted lines.

My son was a little unsure of his ability to put this together, so I said, "Let's just start by folding the lines we know need folding, and see if it kinda comes together..."

Sure enough, that was all we needed to get started, and as he went he could see how the siege tower went together on his own.  We taped the edges together as we went and this helped, too.

Now the pencil tucks into the front as the battering ram.  But once we had this put together, we decided to put a "City" together so that we could experience how Ashurbanipal's siege towers worked their magic!

Using Lego bricks, we made a kind of tower.  Our history book mentioned that Ashurbanipal made ramps (his were built from dirt) and then the siege tower was pushed up the ramp in order to attack the castle.

Adding a few characters to our historical play made it all even better.  With sound effects and battle sounds, my son's little siege tower did its destructive work, and our History Supplements remain his favorite part of Homeschool!  Yay for learning about history!

You can purchase this fun little siege tower and easily download it for printing here in our store.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very cool! I love how this brings history to life, and especially love how the plans for the siege tower were based on an ACTUAL Sumerian relief! AWESOME! 👍