Al-Naba Watermill…Previous Vital Source of Flour and a Living Witness to Roman Age
HAMA, (SANA)- The most famous among the forty stone watermills that used to pump life into Abo Qbeiss valley in Hama is al-Naba (fountain) watermill, which survived among the rest to stand as living witnesses to previous civilizations.
According to the head of Abu Qbeiss town council, Mohammad Ali Abdullah, what most characterizes al-Naba watermill is its location at the top of Abu Qbeiss fountain that runs through high mountains with white karst edges.
This location at the most exuberant point of the fountain has made al-Naba watermill the most active among other watermills in the region since hundreds of years, Abdullah said in a statement to SANA.
“It used to be a vital source on which people of Abu Qbeiss area depended for securing flour till the end of last century,” he added.
People in the areas between Sahal al-Ghab and Mysiaf were depended on this watermill till the first 80s of last century when it stopped working by the time flour was secured in profusion by mechanical mills.
Abdullah highlighted that, in addition to being a source of flour, al-Naba watermill is considered an important cultural and archeological monument that adds to the many touristically attractive ruins the town is rich with, including castles and churches that date back to the old Roman period.
Many believe, said Abdullah, that al-Naba watermill has stood its ground over hundreds of years with all main parts of its work are in the shape they were first designed in, including millstones and channels.
Speaking of its parts, Abdullah noted that al-Naba watermill consists of two 1 diameter basalt wheels that are connected via vertical axle with iron blades which move by the force of the falling water causing the wheels to rotate.
The watermill is fed by two stockrooms that can be filled with wheat or barley. Water pumps into the watermill directly from the fountain through two channels, 15 m long each, which are engraved into black basalt stone.