Nashtifan, a City with an Ancient Windmill

Nashtifan, a City with an Ancient Windmill

Nashtifan is a small city in Iran which has an ancient civilization. The city is located in northeastern Iran, about 30 miles from the Afghanistan border.

In this city, there is an ancient windmill that is around 1000 years old. The windmills in this city are believed to be the earliest windmills, which are then used as examples of windmills in human civilization.

The windmills in the city are used to help people meet their needs. Wind, which blows very fast in this city, is used to drive the mill.

The city’s ancient windmills are well-preserved and still function today.

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Use of Windmills in Nashtifan

There are around 30 windmills spread across Nashtifan with a height reaching 15 to 20 meters. All of these windmills are still functioning properly today.

This windmill is commonly known as Asbat and is made of wood, clay, and straw. Windmills were used to grind and pump water.

The windmill tower has two main parts, namely the wind catcher tower at the top and the lower room where the mill is located.

The wind-catching tower has a vertical opening to the northern part of the city area, so it could easily trap the wind and direct it to the vertical vane in the center of the tower structure.

Then the wooden blade would rotate with the vortex and then send energy to move the millstone at the bottom.

In the process, the windmill’s wooden blades rotate the stone in the clay chamber.

Each windmill consists of 8 rotating chambers, with each chamber housing 6 vertical blades.

When the space starts to rotate by the force of the wind, the main shaft of the mill, which is connected to the grain mill, will also move.

Then the vibrations created by the rotation will gradually shift the grain from the holding vessel to the grain mill.

Then the grain turns into flour. This simple system can produce about 150 kg of wheat.

Has a Fast Wind Speed

This area is famous for its strong winds. The name Nashtifan itself comes from a word that means the sting of a storm.

Wind speeds in this city often reach 120 kilometers per hour in the middle of spring. During the summer, they blow strongly, which lasts for three months and becomes a hurricane, but with the windmills, the people of Nashtifan can live safely.

This strong wind is used by the locals to help roll the grains and pump water.

With enough wind, windmills can easily muster enough power to work.

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History of Windmills in Nashtifan

The history of the mill is believed to have started in Persia around the early 5th century AD. The design relied on horizontal masts supporting 6–12 rectangular sails.

These ancient windmills are usually used for traditional industries such as sugar cane or wheat milling.

Although the ancient windmills in Nashtifan were actually built during the Safavid dynasty (15th to 18th centuries), their design is almost the same as that of the 5th century.

The windmills in this city are evidence of human adaptation to the surrounding environment. Strong and potentially dangerous winds are used to help people’s lives.


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