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The ancients didn’t use as many hydraulic presses. 

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My wife is to the age where the really heavy skillets are too heavy for her, the extra smoothness and lighter weight (== higher grade castings!)  still allow her to use them.  The "modern" heavier ones I give to my kids and soon to my grandkids.  They will have to wait and fight over the my old ones!

As to the Great Old Ones---they had *minions* to do the grunt work!

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I only wish that I owned a press of any sort & my minions are too lazy to pick up a hammer, let alone swing it. 

Someday I will have a bit of land somewhere with a year round gravity fed stream, then I'll build a water wheel trip hammer & maybe a grinding wheel. 

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