On Sieges by K.J. Parker

K.J. Parker, author of some of my favourite books (The Folding Knife in particular) did some writing on the history of Sieges:
The only reason to study war is the reason doctors study a disease; to find a cure. Smallpox is now officially extinct, and the same is probably true of the classical assault-and-blockade siege. There are, of course, plenty more diseases. The siege shaped our society at every level. It brought us together to live behind walls, in cities. Its fundamental influence on the nature of warfare directed political life and development for three thousand years. It was, of course, the mother of many of our essential technologies, from mining to metalworking. It would have been nice, of course, if we could have arrived at the same place without such a monstrous waste of lives, resources and effort. It’s impossible to calculate how many millions of tons of earth were shifted in its name, mostly in wooden shovels tipped with iron, steel being too rare and expensive.
Check out the full story HERE, it's fascinating reading.