A book about food can be as fatiguing as sitting through a six course dinner, so I propose to intrude a digression — offered like a glass of marc or eau de vie to brace the protagonists.
The handling of gigantic blocks of marble presents impossible tasks. The tasks are tackled by a group of men under a capo — foreman. But in the moment of danger the man who recognizes it is granted complete authority. This is a safety device. Danger fosters personal responsibility, solidarity among equals and improvised methods of dealing with it.