> Hi Corpuscles,
> During drinks a scrap of paper happened to blow into the
> Members Stand.
> "The name Mons Claudianus is now used about a whole complex
> of quarries and structures. There are 130 quarries spread over
> a fairly large area and there is a smaller camp, sometimes
> called a fort or a hydreuma, placed c. 1 km away. Buildings and
> quarries are extremely well preserved. There is no vegetation
> to speak of and there has been no activity in the area since
> Roman times.
> To continue just a little longer with hard facts, we have found
> over 9000 Greek and a few Latin ostraca, perhaps as many 50,000
> fragments of textiles, tons of ceramic-fragments, bones of
> animals plus, of course, glass, metal, small objects, and
> botanical remains.
> It would, however, be hypocritical to deny that what makes this
> site really outstanding is the presence of ostracon-texts
> concerning the administration of the quarries and the people
> who worked there.
> The reason for this Roman presence in the desert was the
> extraction of the grey granodiorite, known as granito del foro,
> because it has been widely used in Trajan's forum and in the
> Basilica Ulpia. In fact, the name granito del foro covers
> stones of several provenances, but David Peacock now seems to
> have succeeded in isolating the Claudianus stone in various
> monuments, nearly all in Rome and all of them Imperial
> The stone was broken from the bed-rock with iron wedges and
> subsequently treated with hammer and point. The texts tell us
> that other tools, like large hammers and hoes, were used in
> very limited numbers, but the traces on the stone-objects are
> all of points. The stone objects were shaped in the quarries to
> a large extent in order to reduce their weight before
> PS. The author and his team spent six years on site. But what
> would they know?
More "free" reference for those fresh thinkers out there:
Global Convict Labour p75-77
Archaeology and Philology on Mons Claudianus 1987-1993
Imperial Mines and Quarries in the Roman World: Organizational Aspects 27 BC Select 1st go up to chapter 4 then read down.