From the Quarry to the Monument. The Process behind the Process: Design and Organization of the Work in Ancient Architecture

  1. Maria Serena Vinci
  2. Adalberto Ottati 1
  1. 1 Universidad Pablo de Olavide

    Universidad Pablo de Olavide

    Sevilla, España


Publisher: Propylaeum

ISBN: 978-3-948465-29-2

Year of publication: 2021

Congress: Archaeology and Economy in the Ancient World – Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Classical Archaeology, Cologne/Bonn 2018

Type: Book


In the complex economic and constructive system of the erection of a building, the planning and organizational aspects of the work represent the first fundamental steps towards reaching a satisfactory final product. Skilled workers are a crucial element of this process, as they have the technical knowledge of the quarrying and building processes that guarantee a successful outcome at the building site (cantiere di costruzione).This volume aims to explore ancient construction, working procedures and the transmission of technical expertise by skilled workers. Covering different chronological ranges and geographical areas, it focuses on two main subjects: quarry marks or notae lapicidinarum and carving lines for planning architecture and artefacts. They are two aspects of the three-dimensional materialization of the plan and the organizational processes within the building activities. Quarry and mason’s marks are a kind of building material ‘tracking code’ from the extraction point to its final placement. The carving lines represent guidelines useful for the building’s planning and the positioning of stone and marble elements. This volume is a first attempt at contributing with original and innovative thought on the networking of workshops, linking quarrying and building activities in ancient world