The pick is a tool used primarily during quarrying. With a wooden handle up to 70-80 cm long the quarry pick has a metal head with points on one or both ends. The points themselves act effectively like a point chisel but the long handle allows the user to impart far more force, though less control, with each stroke. On quarryfaces the marks of the quarry pick are identifiable as long, often curved lines where the quarrymen struck the same spot repeatedly before moving on along, working parallel to the line of rockface. In the Roman imperial period a heavier form of the quarry pick than had previously been used seems to have been introduced. This gave the quarryman more power but it also made the process more wasteful, since more stone would be smashed away using this tool. In addition to quarrying the pick was also used for squaring blocks and hollowing-out sarcophagi.
In Medieval Europe a smaller pick, the carver's pick, usually with a handle 20-40 cm long, was used for shaping but there are no signs that this was used in the Roman period.