The crane was invented by the ancient Greeks around 900 BC. The original design was much more lightweight than modern crane machines and would have been powered by donkeys and other beasts of burden.
The first cranes used by the ancient Greeks were very simple. They consisted of long objects attached to ropes that were capable of lifting materials, allowing the Greeks to create huge structures, such as temples, theaters and ports. The earliest major structure thought to have been made by cranes is believed to be a sarcophagus in the ancient city of Corinth. A lifting device would have been needed to lower the 2900-year old stone object, which weighs 2.3 tons.