Carving a tomb required a team of stonemasons supervised by a master builder or architect, who designed the project to the owner's liking. Sometimes the work started at the top--often more than 100 feet up--and proceeded down to the ground. Another process involved two teams carving simultaneously, one from the top and the other from the bottom.
One tomb-cutting process started at the top of a rock face. Masons made a rock-cut platform on which they stood to carve facade details. When they finished that section, they chipped out a lower platform, working their way down the cliff.
Masons took advantage of existing cracks and clefts in the rock to help with the carving process. Otherwise splitting solid rock required a mason to chip out a hole and insert a piece of wood. Adding water made the wood swell, which cracked the rock.