Iran’s windmills a step closer to UNESCO listing

December 27, 2018 - 10:16

TEHRAN – Iran’s cultural heritage body has almost completed preparations for a chain of ancient vertical-axis windmills for possibly becoming a UNESCO World Heritage. 

Vertical-axis windmills, which are locally known as “asbads” can be found in Sistan-Baluchestan, South Khorasan and Khorasan Razavi provinces, southeast, south, and northeast of the country, respectively.

“Documentation, surveying, photogrammetry of 30 asbads, which are situated in the historical part of Khaf (country), are being completed by a group of six experts and according to UNESCO-defined criteria,” IRNA quoted a local official as saying on Wednesday.

Architectural plans, facades, cross-section geometry, photogrammetry measurements, and their ownership are amongst issues being investigated.

“Asbad is a smart technique to grind grains, a technique which goes back to ancient times when the people living in the eastern parts of Iran, in an attempt to adapt themselves with the nature and transform environmental obstacles into opportunities, managed to invent it,” according to UNESCO website.

“The earliest-known references to windmills are to a Persian millwright in 644 CE and to windmills in Seistan [Sistan], Iran, in 915 CE,” the Encyclopedia Britannica says.

A number of asbads have so far been restored and brought back to life to testify before visitors how ancient Iranians harnessed the wind to make a living.


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