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The Rocks

Material used in building the terraces was found locally or at quarries nearby so as to minimize distances needed to transport heavy stones. Selection criteria was divided into base size, dimensions, shape and consistence. Large rectangular blocks were used in the front of the walls, irrigularly shaped materials for filler; In addidtion trails and their perimiters, steps and their construction required shapes and sizes to build.
Selection of construction materials for the nature of the terrain and inventing technical solutions to best adapt to the terrain was a huge challenge for wall builders. Selection of construction materials, labor division and workforce required complicated management stratagies. Friends shared collegial orginization, sharing chores and helping each other. A skilled workforce was needed, their labor in high demand.

“ All the young men who returned from France helped moving earth, digging and plowing; everyone who was home and available gave a hand, carrying rocks, sacks of dirt, even us young kids carried up stones and were happy to do our part.
They had to make holes in solid rock for mines to blow them up into smaller ones and carry them to the building sites. Rocks from the Brenta were carried up too, The stones came from Lake Levico and Caldonazzo, The only affluent is at Cismon, with its origin at San Martino and the Dolomites. We hauled the round rocks up to make 'masiere'. We dug and piled soil to one part and began making the foundation, little by little the border wall went up, it was filled with small stones and soil. There was only about 30-50 cm of soil. Beneath that was gravel. It was hard work, hammering and chiseling to make cube shaped rocks. Pieraca e Gostin were very good, and his uncle Toni was an able stonemason, he could cut and shape stones like an artist. We called stones 'prie' in dialect." (Giuseppina C., Valstagna, 1999.)

 

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