The battering ram

This instrument of warfare was used to strike at the base of walls of besieged sites to crack them, causing collapse and eventually a breach. This solid beam, suspended horizontally from a framework by ropes or chains often had an iron head at the end of it. Using the ropes attached to the ends, the soldiers would give it a backwards and forwards motion. The battering ram and the soldiers manoeuvring it were protected by a peaked roof known as the “canopy” which was covered in non-combustible materials, such as fresh animal hides, dung or sods of earth.