The first watermill in Hamedan, together with its archeological spaces, waterways and millstones, was found in the latest excavations on Bu Ali Sina University campus.
Head of the watermill excavation team at Bu Ali Sina University announced the discovery of the first watermill in Hamadan at Bu Ali Sina University.
According to ISNA: Dr Ismail Hemati Azandariani said, when visiting the excavation site of the first watermill in Hamedan: “When the network of aqueducts (qanat) in the campus of Bu Ali Sina Univeristy were identified, a surface visit was made in this area, and after further studies it was made to these fields, and in further studies, it was decided to conduct archaeological excavations in the area.”
He continued: “After going through the legal process, and with the financial support of the University, excavation began. Sufficient evidence and documents were found from the watermills, and at the end, a mill was excavated archaeologically, which yielded valuable results.”
He explained: “After recording aerial images and mapping, we found that a 2m wide waterway branched from Zarbar River and entered this area, then divided into small waterways, bring water into the watermill system, with the help of the water transmission power, which could solve the problem of the land slope, then would enter the main watermill space. Thus all the steps needed to ground the wheat into flour were accomplished.”
Hemmati Azandaryan added about the mills: “Because the excavation work has not been completed yet, it is not possible to comment on their age, but the first and superficial evidence shows that they are 600 or 700 years old and it is assumed that it was utilized from the mid Islamic era right upto nearly 70 years ago.”
This member of the faculty of Bu Ali Sina University also talked about the number of mills: “According to some quotes, their number was seven, but they seem to have been destroyed due to being located along the river course. The only complete example is the one that we have excavated.”
Regarding the registration of the watermill he said: “Bu Ali Sina University has a detailed plan for its preservation and conversion into a museum site, and since the work is on the campus grounds and archeological excavation has not been done in this area, we can complete the registration process.”
The water museum of Hamedan province should be set up
The President of Bu Ali Sina University also commented on the visit: “One of the subjects that is always considered in archeology is the common people’s life style and this science takes into account the lives of all social classes. Therefore sites like this one gain importance.”
Dr. Yaghoub Mohammadifar added: “This area is famous for the training mill and is related to the social life of the people of Hamedan until nearly 50 years ago. It also shows the intelligence of the people who used river water and hydraulic power somehow and returned to the agricultural route.”
He pointed out that today the world is giving out slogans like “renewable energy”, while this was done in our country for millenia, and added: “Unfortunately, there is not much knowledge about water and watermills in our country, while these mills exist in every corner of our country, and in Hamedan the above is proof of this.”
The archeologist pointed out that the waterway in question could become a sightseeing route in future and be considered as a tourist attraction. The issue of water has existed in all countries for a long time. It is still one of the main issues, so the management of water resources is very serious. We must educate the future generation regarding the importance of this site and the system used for generating water.
Mohammadifar stated that the goal of the first phase of the excavation was to make the collection legible: “We hope that in the next phases, with the help of the Cultural Heritage Organization, we can reconstruct this complex and turn it into a water museum in Hamadan province, because Hamadan needs a water museum.”
According to ISNA, the excavation started a month ago on the grounds of Bu Ali Sina University and will continue until full results are achieved. Archaeological findings in these studies, such as architectural spaces, waterways, and stone mills, have been recognized to date.