From Quarries to Rock-cut Sites – Echoes of Stone Crafting

A. Lamesa, K. Whitaker, G. Gattiglia, C. Sciuto & M.E. Porqueddu (eds)

Sidestone Press, 2023

The archaeological study of quarries focuses mainly on the reconstruction of the extraction process, while rock-hewn spaces have often been approached from the point of view of architectural styles or art-history. Nevertheless, a holistic structural approach to the study of these spaces could allow a better understanding of the agency of those who carved the stone.

Stone quarries and rock-cut sites have rarely been included in global studies of historical landscapes and few are the forums dedicated to the theoretical and methodological debate over the importance that these sites have for the understanding of past societies. To fill the gap, the proceedings volume aims at providing new data on sites located in Africa (Ethiopia, and Egypt), Europe (France, Croatia, Italy, Spain) and Asia (Turkey, Saudi Arabia) studied with a diachronic approach, as well as new theoretical reflections for the international debate on the archaeological investigation of rock-cut spaces and stone quarries.

Two directions structure this volume: the analysis of the individual rock walls, considering the study of tool traces as a proxy for understanding the carving phases, as well as the analysis of the structure (site/quarry) as a whole, by contextualizing the results of the study of the single walls.

The volume mainly targets researchers who are willing to discover quarries and rock-cut sites as aspects of the same mining phenomenon: places in which specific empirical and handcrafting knowledge related to stone working is expressed and conveyed, but also a wider audience that is interested in these peculiar and impressive sites.