It is believed that the mine where the stone was first extracted was in Egypt’s Aswan area.  Extraction was done with chisels, hammers, and picks which were all built from bronze, iron or stone. There were quarries found in communities that didn’t have stone structures.

Here in North America, it is the Midwest region where quarries were found in primarily the Lakota culture. The stone that was quarried was not used for houses or monuments, but instead for calumets and ceremonial pipes. The Calumets were made from catlinite, a metamorphic rock or pipestone. These were an important part in creating agreements and treaties between groups.

Once it was determined that the materials they quarried could be used for building, slaves were made to drag the large quarried pieces manually. Workers would haul large stones with pulley systems made of ropes, sleds, and moveable wooden tracks.

Easter Island

One example is Easter Island where an entire community was involved in the quarrying, the carving, and transporting Moai, a rock used for building statues. They would take the rock they had quarried and haul it to the island. Today, Scientists are still studying how the ancient Polynesians were able to move this heavy material, which can weigh as much as 86 tons.

Today, the methods used to extract stone from quarries are very different. Instead of using people, we have mechanical tools. We have blasting equipment, drilling equipment, and hauling equipment. The industrial drills used for drilling are diamond tips and explosives are also used. Once the material is blasted loose from the Earth, large mining trucks haul the material away.