Leen Ritmeyer

Stone quarrying in Herod’s time. A stonecutter, right, uses a pickax to cut a channel in a limestone block. Meanwhile another worker, left, pours water over some logs stacked in the channel between two blocks. The water will cause the wood to swell, exerting lateral pressure on the block and splitting the block off of the bedrock to which it is attached at bottom. Because the limestone lay in natural horizontal layers, the blocks would cleave along a relatively neat, horizontal line.