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10 Job Titles That Have Been Around for 2,000 Years


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Stonemason
Stonecutters at work in ancient Rome. DEA / A. DAGLI ORTI/De Agostini/Getty Images
Stonecutters at work in ancient Rome. DEA / A. DAGLI ORTI/De Agostini/Getty Images

The Great Pyramid of Giza, built 4,500 years ago, is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Comprising some 2 million blocks of limestone, it's the largest and most accurately built stone monument in the world. Around the same time, over in England, talented people constructed Stonehenge [sources: Boissoneault, UNESCO]. Both of these are the work of ancient, skilled stonemasons.

Stonemasons transform hunks of stone or rock into geometric shapes that can be used to create structures or art — everything from buildings and statues to temples and fountains. For centuries the craft remained largely the same. Practitioners would use a mallet, chisel and metal straight edge to create a flat surface in the stone or rock. It wasn't until the 20th century that things changed a bit. Engines enabled enormous stones to be moved and placed with ease, while power saws helped stonemasons cut the rocks more rapidly and precisely [source: Salisbury Cathedral].

Today, there are several types of stonemasons. Some may split sheet rock in quarries, while others carve designs in gravestones or build houses and walls [source: Sokanu].


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