The forensic architects piecing together the story of war

Researchers used forensic architectural techniques to calculate the ‘height of burst’ of a white phosphorus projectile in Rafah, Gaza, on 11 January 2009.

by Caleb Davies Around the world there are 10 wars are being fought, according to recent figures. That covers humanity’s most deadly clashes, but the figure rises to 49 if you count those state-based conflicts where ‘only’ 1,000 people or fewer have been killed in the past year. The captain’s share of all this fighting happens … Read more

Notre Dame: Medieval stonemasons built vaulted ceilings to protect against fires

Medieval stonemasons knew very well what they were doing when they built ceiling vaults such as those found in Notre Dame, says gothic vault expert. Image credit - CC0

Medieval stonemasons built soaring vaulted ceilings such as those of the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, France, using techniques that are still not completely understood today. The challenge of restoring Notre Dame after the fire in April presents an opportunity to unravel the techniques of the time, says Professor David Wendland, chair of construction … Read more