Flour Mill


 In ancient times, the water-powered flour mill held a place of importance in the social and economic fabric of the community. Highlighting its significance, a chute-style flour mill was built at the foot of the Tell Qasile archaeological site and reconstructed based on the mills that once operated in the north of the country. The water flows in an aqueduct from the top of the Tell Qasile slope, part of which is supported by pillars and arches. The aqueduct splits into two channels on top of the mill, carrying the water to the openings of the two penstocks.

The water falls into the penstocks from a height of 7 meters and bursts through the spouts at the bottom, in a tunnel built beneath the grinding room. The spout is precisely angled in order for the water stream to hit the large iron paddle wheel. The water turns the wheel, and by means of a vertical axle, moves the basalt millstone, which is situated in the grinding room. The lower stone is fixed in place while the upper stone speedily turns and grinds the grain. The miller pours the grain into a wooden container hanging above; when they reach the funnel at the end of the container, they slowly drop into the space between the stones and the ground. The flour is gathered in the plastered compartment built around the millstones.

Thirty to fifty kilograms of grain can be ground in this mill every hour, versus just 1 kg an hour in a hand-powered mill - dramatically changing this basic function and easing the condition of human existence. Farmers traveled great distances to grind their grain in these mills, giving the miller a tenth of their flour in payment.  Customers waiting for their turn would gather around the mill, and it became a focal point of everyday life.