Between the 1st and 3rd centuries A.D. events at the world-famous amphitheater in Rome used 24 man-powered elevators to raise wild animals into the arena.
Restoration of the device took 15 months. It took eight men to operate each of the 24 lifts plus several more to keep the ropes in working order. Thats over 200 people used to lift animals into the arena.
Among the animals lifted into the site were lions, leopards, bears, wolves, ostriches and deer. Bones and skulls of these animals were found in the basement of the Colosseum by archaeologists.
Pretty amazing. Check out the video below to see how the system actually operated: