QUARRIES (Heb. pesîlîm, graven images ). The “quarries” are mentioned in a doubtful passage in Judg.3.19, Judg.3.26 KJV. The marginal readings in KJV and ASV suggest “graven images,” a rendering supported by the authority of LXX and Vulgate. RSV has “sculptured stones,” NIV “idols.” Some piece of local nomenclature and a lost tradition are no doubt involved. Perhaps the place was a dump for discarded and roughly broken idols. Perhaps the reference is to Joshua’s stones of commemoration by Jordan. The word “quarry” occurs in another disputed passage at 1Kgs.6.7. RSV and NIV say that the stones or blocks were dressed “at the quarry.” NIV uses the English word in a less doubtful context elsewhere (e.g., Eccl.10.9; Isa.51.1).
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
(pecilim (Jud 3:19,26, "graven images"), shebharim (Jos 7:5, "Shebarim," the margin "the quarries")):
Quarries in Palestine are not usually very deep because there is plenty of good stone to be found at the surface. The quarryman seeks a thick stratum of firm limestone which has a favorable exposure. The vertical joint-planes divide the stratum into large blocks which the quarryman dislodges with the aid of crowbars. These great blocks he skillfully cleaves by inserting several wedges in a line in holes made by a pick, and driving the wedges in with a heavy hammer. In these days gunpowder is occasionally used, especially when there are not favorable joint-planes producing blocks capable of being moved by the crowbar.
Another method, which is employed where stones of great size are wanted, is to carve the stones out of the rock by cutting channels around them with the pick. In the limestone quarries of Ba`albek and the granite quarries of Acwan at the first cataract of the Nile, enormous stones may be seen which were abandoned while in process of being removed by this method. The channels are wide enough to admit the body of the workman, and the marks of the picks on the sides of the channels are plainly visible.