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Assar-Khaneh (Oil Pressing House)

Oil pressing houses are amongst the spectacular and interesting monuments left from the Safavid era. There existed some seventeen operational workshops of oil pressing houses until 1922 AD, which nowadays are reduced to only four inactive workshops including: Qeisarieh and Sheikh. Their main activity was to produce burning oil extracted from Mandab (turnip) seeds. Nevertheless there were other seeds like sesame, sunflower, cottonseed, linseed and castor seed to extract oil from. Another production of oil pressing houses was Konjaleh (the remaining paste), used as fertilizer or the food for flocks. Oil pressing houses were normally built in depth of five to eight meters below the ground and in or close to bazar.

The essential part of the building was called “Tir-Khaneh” (timber house), wherein a large timber as the (moving arm) and a small timber as the karmaleh (extractor) played substantial role in oil extraction. There were some other spaces used as entrance, heating room, mill and storage chamber. The seeds were toasted prior to being pressed, then grinded by huge grinding stones normally moved around a pivot by a blind folded camel. The obtained flour was mixed with water to make a paste, then added on the surface of tray like baskets called “Kupi” to be inserted in cylindrical containers for the final step of being pressed by the large and small timbers for oil extraction.


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