Abstract. The (alpha) version of the Fermi-Pasta-Ulam is revisited through direct numerical simulations and an application of weak turbulence theory. The energy spectrum, initialized with a large scale excitation, is traced through a series of distinct qualitative phases en route to eventual equipartition. Weak turbulence theory is applied in an attempt to provide an effective quantitative description of the evolution of the energy spectrum. Some scaling predictions are well-confirmed by the numerical simulations.