Types of Quarries
The Excavation
Lifting Machines


1. At the first years of the Byzantine Empire there were two types of exploitation of the quarries.
One way is were the builders use again marble from old buildings and at the same place usually built their temple. In this way they have the material in front of them and they work with it as they need it. They burn pieces of broken marbles, statues and other stones in order to make lime. This establishment at the same place with old idolatrous temples, gives them all the necessary elements to built and it makes easier the difficult problem of the transfer of the masses.
THe other way, is the natural quarries, and this exploitation usually happens from rich monasteries.
They use again the old quarries of the payanistic years as long as they have good quality marble and then they open new ones.

2. The age of the Greeks and the Romans

From the archaic times until the end of the roman times we ascertain that there are two types of natural quarries. The difference is at the organization, the time that the quarry remains open, that is, if the quarry is open temporarily for one building or if it's working for a long period for other reasons too.

á) The temporary quarries

The temporary quarries open when they have to do a scheduled work. It could be a building, a statue or something else, and when the work is finished the quarry is abandoned. It's possible that they opened the quarry at Mourgena (Thassos) for two "kourous", from which one is at the museum of Thassos and the other at the museum in Constantinople. Another example is at Naxo, where three "kouroi" where made. We can see the traces of exploitation for the two of them, while the third one, that presents Apollona is still in its place. The quarry of Akeratou at Thasso was used only for the building of the light-house at the spot "Pyrgos". The quarry of the Fanari at Thasso opened at the beginning only for the building of a second light-house but it continued to exist as a quarry.

The Quarries of The Hellenistic Years

At Amathounta (Cyprus), at the most places around the city and the port there are quarries. From there they took the stones for the construction of the first port. At the hill of Pnyka, in Athens, when it was built, the already pulled marbles were used in other places too. At the valley of the Nymphs, in, the situation is similar with the one at Pnyka. In Korinth there is a small quarry next to the big temple. At Argos, the theater is carved at the natural rock. At the same time it is also used as a quarry, because all the marbles that they take they use them for the building of the theater. The same happened at Paphos (Cyprus).
We can find other examples too, at the Delphus, at Egina, at Vaurona, etc.

This type of quarries has two sides. We can have a big system of many small quarries, like Karysto (Evia) and Alyki (Thassos) or a unique big quarry, that it's separated in a lot smaller parts according to the different phases of the works, like for example in Chio.

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