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CAIS ARCHAEOLOGICAL & CULTURAL NEWS©

 

The World’s Oldest Windmills Endangered

 

19 February 2006

 

 

LONDON, (CAIS) -- The remained rare and limited windmills in the Province of South Khorassan are close to complete destruction.

These windmills, called “Asbad” among the locals of the region, are located in the Village of Chahar-Farsakh, most southern point of the province. 

The Village of Chahar-Farsakh is located at the terminal point of a desert without any accessible communicative road except one old route from the city of Nahbandan.

As Alireza Shahbakhsh, tourism deputy of Cultural Heritage & Tourism Department in the province says the implemented studies and surveys in the region and its suburbs show that these windmills are among the oldest windmills of the world. He also emphasized that the initial idea to construct windmills in other countries, particularly the Netherlands, has been transferred to these countries from Iran, the city of Zabol and its suburban areas.

According to Shahbakhsh, despite registration of these windmills by the officials of Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization, no positive measure has been taken for protection and restoration of these windmills which once had key roles in the culture and life of desert residents.

“Lack of efficient budget is one of the chief factors behind negligence toward revival of these unique windmills”, an expert from Cultural Heritage & Tourism Department of the province pointed out.

Windmills were an essential part of daily life for many of the region’s early residents. They helped colonial farmers grind grains and gave pioneers a way to pump water along trails, rail lines and new farmlands.

Farmers relied on the power of wind during much of the past 20 years in this region. However, today due to development of technology, many windmills stand unused and deteriorating in fields.

Except for a few windmills in the City of Zabol and its suburban areas, the rest of the windmills are under the danger of complete destruction. A small model of complete construction of these windmills has been exhibited in the temporary museum of Cultural Heritage & Tourism Department in the city of Zahedan (capital of Sistan va Baluchestan province).

Contrary to other desert regions which suffer from water shortage all the time, the Village of Chahar Farsakh enjoys a great Qanat (aqueduct) which has flourished the agriculture of the region. The region is under the impression of 120-day winds of Sistan most of the time during the year. That is why windmills of this village are considered the local industry of this region.

 

  

 

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