By Charles Singer et al (eds)
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Extra info for A History of Technology
T h e large blocks were cut by wedge-holes; if saws were used, they were plain copper blades fed with sand and emery. T h e great quarries o f imperial porphyry were also founded under Gaudius. Inscriptions show that at one time the granite and the porphyry workings were under the same overseer or procurator. These quarries were on the summits o f the Dukhan range in the eastern desert o f Egypt at the latitude o f Asyut; they were always imperial property, perhaps because nowhere else was stone o f the right colour for ‘imperial purple’ to be found.
ISS6. F igure 16— (Left) Wheelbarrows. (Right) Truck. 'A large blunt pin fixed to the bottom o f the truck rusts in a groove o f a plank in such a way that the truck does not leave the beaten tra ck' (Agricola's description). W heelbarrows and trucks were used to sh ift excavated m aterial along tunnels. The trucks had the greater capacity, and were preferrid fo r the larger and longer tunnels. 1SS6. wheel fifteen feet high raises the piston-rods o f all these pumps at the same time and causes them to drop together.
Tells that one ‘Theodorus o f Samos was the first to discover how to pour [or melt] iron and make statues o f it’ . Unfortunately he says nothing o f the furnaces necessary to produce the high temperature required. Cast iron figures o f animals, assigned to the seventh or western Spain, and others as far afield as Britain. In fact it was in pumpingdevices that Roman mining showed the greatest advance over that o f the Greeks. T h e most important o f these devices was the water-wheel (pp 593 IF).
A History of Technology by Charles Singer et al (eds)