Archeologist Mark Lehner, a key member of the NOVA expedition, crouches in a granite trench that abuts one side of the Unfinished Obelisk. Lehner holds a piece of dolerite similar to the kind that he and others believe Egyptian quarrymen used to pound out the trench around the edges of the obelisk. They then lifted the pulverized granite dust out of the trenches with baskets. Evidence also exists that workers pounded underneath the obelisk until the monument rested on a thin spine.
Lehner says that huge levers were probably used to snap the obelisk from its spine, freeing it so it could be carved more finely and transported.