Author: Horace Sykes
Our early operative brethren had to go to the lodge or quarry and, at great cost in labor, take their building materials from the original sources. It was then necessary to transport them long distances to the places where they were to be used. But later on, as buildings, and sometimes cities, gave way to the ravages of time or were destroyed by enemy invaders, their remains, scattered about the landscape or lying in shapeless piles of rubble, became convenient sources of materials from which to draw for future use. this was especially true with regard to the sculptured or decorative materials which would require excessive labor and skill to reproduce. If such pieces were not carried away by the conquerors as prize loot, as they oftentimes were, they were eagerly sought after and greatly prized by the builders. In many instances, when used in later temples or cathedrals, such salvaged parts – objects of art and adornment – greatly enhanced their archaeological value and served to assist the archaeologist in piecing together history of the past and in interpreting the full meanings of the problems before him.