- the original weight of the initial block of marble as extracted from the quarry would weigh around 40 tons, a cost of around 1,600. this estimation is made by scaling up the cost of a 12 ton block (i.e. a half-finished column capital) which would cost 500 talents: this is known from records of the Parthenon found on the Acropolis
- before we cover the transportation of the blocks from quarry to site it will do well to remember that to get these half-finished blocks ready for transport would take around two months, and that the twenty-two tons of left over debris would also have to be removed or reused, perhaps for architectural adornments, or as the marble chippings used when turning blocks over to soften any falls
- Hoisting the block to the quarry entrance: this would involve a sledge, timber beams as a track, oak rollers, and winches with to hoist the block on its sledge up to the entrance
- at the entrance the same method of sledge and rollers sis used to move the block along what would hopefully be a flag-stone road (or other flat alternative), and for going downhill, leavers and ropes would be used so as to stop it sliding out of control, as well as this there would be someone directing the block, making sure that it stayed on the road
- at the end of the hill, it would be placed onto a tetrkykle (a heavy wagon, something very much like what would have been used by Elgin to hoist his marbles away). This wagon needed good roads due to its inflexible nature, however it could support up to twenty tons; modern lorries, in comparison can carry only thirty tons!
- to transport marble from the Pentelli quarries (those nearest) to the Acropolis involved a laborious ten and a half mile journey on transport that was the most expensive in the Ancient World, a lot more expensive than transport be sea or river at any rate!
- once at the base of the Acropolis, the ascent was made using a technique called the 'Balanced Wagon' method. This involved the wagon being attached to a rope that was in turn attached through or around a pole, with the other end of the rope being attached to another wagon which was pulled back down the hill to be used again, having dropped of its load at the top; this system worked like a lateral pulley. as a safety precaution lest the rope should snap, the lower wagon was constantly being double stopped with chocks; through this any Sisyphus like events would hopefully be avoided!
- However, at Didyma, where there is an unfinished temple to Apollo, the marble was got by sea from Thasos because this was cheaper and easier than getting the materials from other sources of marble and limestone which, whilst nearer, would have to be transported by land.
- Nevertheless, transporting marble by sea has its own dangers, a modern day example would be when one of the ships carrying some of Elgin’s marbles back to England was sunk in bad weather, resulting in various metopes and other aspects of the Parthenon being stuck at the bottom of the sea for two years until they were eventually rescued (however, there would have been no hope of rescue in ancient times)