EXHIBITS > The elevating mechanisms of the ancient Greeks >
Crane with winches
for the elevation of mast and load
Its mast was constituted by two gigantic pieces of wood in the form of Λ. Its articulation was ensured by two dents in the horizontall joist at the base. Its stabilisation in various inclinations was achieved by two balancing ropes that were tautened with hoists and the rear winch (via removable levers). The load was raised or lowered with the help of two traction ropes , the hoist "trispaston" and a winch with horizontal axle, the "reel", (where the rope for the elevation of the load was wrapped) and was rotated (around specific bases, "tortoise - like cases" that were fitted on the mast) with the help of constant radial levers.
The rear winch was also essential for the lifting and lowering of the mast itself at the beginning and the end of work. The friction between the ends of the axles of the winches and points of their bases ensured their easy stabilisation.
The crane was placed on rollers for its sideward shifting.
SOURCES: "Vitrouvius, On architecture X"