The marble quarries lie at a distance of 2-4 km from Aphrodisias, in the hills to the northeast, with a gentle gradient down to the site that would have greatly facilitated transport. They cover an area of about 3-4 sq.km. and were sufficient to provide the needs of the city for its building and statuary material, but were not of a scale that could have supported wide export of the marble as a raw material. There was probably long-distance export of some expensive, finished products, and local/regional export of some larger categories, such as statues and sarcophagi.
The marble at Aphrodisias was first exploited in the late hellenistic period by opportunistic ad hoc surface quarrying, visible in some parts. Most of the main quarries were opened in the early and high imperial period, but some remained active into the late antique period, albeit on a much reduced scale. The quarries, combined with the marble buildings and monuments of the city, provide an excellent case study of an active local quarry and its products together.