The Royal Assar Khaneh at Naghshe-Jahan Square
The Royal Assar Khaneh
The Royal Assar Khaneh at Naghshe-Jahan Square is located at Ghannadiha Bazaar - Mokhles Bazaar. Assari or Assarkhaneh has been referred to as a sort of oil-extracting factory in the past. One of the greatest such factories is located in the historical market of Isfahan.
The Asarkhane was referred to special mills, which were used to grind stuff such as stones, turmeric and pepper, and... in the ancient cities of Iran. in fact, Asarkhane is the oil-extracting factory in which the roasted seeds such as castor, sesame, poppy, and sunflower were ground, and the extracted oils used in food preparation, soap production, and in oil lamps.
Oil-extractors were the people who extracted oil from oilseeds such as poppy, wild rocket castor, linseed, and sesame. This type of job was important and deserved an important role in providing fuel for different uses in the past.
According to archeologists, oil was extracted from oilseeds in Iran by simple instruments and through primary processes for 7 thousand years ago. Using the produced oil in mosques, schools and houses caused the people to know Assar Khaneh as a holy and respectable place. Such a belief was so deep in the people that when the 12-10 meter wooden beams used in the construction of Assar Khaneh were carried through narrow alleys, and accidentally hit walls or other obstacles in their way and damaged or destroyed them totally, not only the owners of the damaged places did not make any complaint, but also they treated such accidents as the signals of God's blessings and therefore celebrated them.
Isfahan had 17 Assar khaneh in the past but unfortunately, most of them were destroyed during the last century. Shahi Assar Khaneh Isone Of The most important historical places and a major venue for tourist attraction in Isfahan. This building was made more than 400 years ago (1600) in Mokhles Bazaar, next to Tofang Saazha Bazaar in the Shah Abbasi dynasty. The total area of the Shahi Assar Khaneh building is 408 square meters. Also, the height of the building is about 11 meters. Then, the Renovation and Restoration Organization of Isfahan boughtShahi Assar Khaneh from its last owner in 1900 and renovated it for two years. Oil-Extraction Processes The first step in the oil-extracting process is to transport the oil seeds to the counter of the factory and classify them according to the way they were used for food processing fuel, medicine, coloring lubricating the instrument). Then the seeds were carried to a huge oven to be roasted. Next, the oil-extractors grind the seeds by moving a heavy millstone on them.
The ground seeds were then mixed with some water to make a special dough called Koleh. This Was Then followed by putting Kolehin a thick round basket called Koopi.The Koopies were then putinarow in Teiloveh (a huge vertical brick-made cylinder) and squeezed a little by a small puncheon named Karmaleh. Then, some thick wooden blocks called Gerdeh were put on top of the Kooples. Now, the small puncheon is moved down gradually by the weight of stone called Boneh to press the Koopies. Then this stage is repeated by the big puncheon. There was a big barrel at the bottom of the big puncheon called Paschal To hold the oil. The remaining refuse of the seeds after the oil-extracting process was used as a natural fertilizer and animal food. The Architecture of Shahi Assar Khaneh The ceiling of Shahi Assar Khaneh was doom-shaped to keep the oil cool and safe. The walls were made of sun-dried bricks. Neither was there any decoration nor windows in the building. However, sunlight was able to reach the floor through an opening in the roof. Assar Khaneh was constructed in five parts: Pish khan(counter) Barandaz(warehouse) Shotor khan (place for keeping camels)Garm Khaneh (place for roasting the seeds) and Tir Khaneh (place to keep the beams). Unfortunately, Pishkhan, Barandaz, and Shotor khan have been destroyed due to various reasons, but Garm Khaneh and Tir Khaneh still exist. Garm Khanehis placed on the eastern side of the second floor.
The main space on the first floor was Tir Khaneh. There are two beams and two millstones for oil-extraction in Tir Khaneh. Millstones were made of a hard kind of stone extracted from a mine in Ardestan(a city in the Isfahan Province) and were placed on a round brick-made surface. Next to Tir Khaneh, there is an octagonal room for keeping oil barrels. The Assari camel was male. A thick canvas was put on his back to make it possible to attach the beam of the millstone to it. If The camel realized that he was rotating round himself, he would stop working, therefore the oil-extractors closed their eyes with blinkers.
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