The windmills of Khorasan, in danger of extinction?

In the region of Khorasan, in the Northeast of Iran, we find the town of Nashifan, which hides one of the many heritage treasures of the country: a thousand years old windmills. These windmills, locally known as Asbads, were built using only natural materials, and have never stopped working. Its formidable structure plays several key roles. They are not only a still-standing proof of an ancient architectural and scientific wonder, and an example of the region’s material heritage, but they also protect the town from its strong winds, and are a source of energy for water extraction and the grinding of grains.

However, as exposed in the following video, published by National Geographic, once the last guardian of the windmills, Muhammad Etebari, retires, there won’t be anyone to cover the post. This could mean the neglect and subsequent deterioration of the windmills. In the year 2017, Iran submitted a request to UNESCO for their recognition as a World Heritage Site, a status that would guarantee its protection and survival. The request is currently under consideration.

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