Wedge And Burn

Quarry at Selinunte, Sicily, 1998

Rock was excavated by cutting a shallow, circular track which would be filled with burnable material. When set on fire, the heat would crack the rock which was then removed to a certain depth, and the process repeated. Wedges could be used to produce a similar result; a wooden wedge hammered into the rock, when soaked with water, will expand with enough force to crack the rock.