EXHIBITS > Measuring instruments, tools and machines of the ancient Greeks >
The Greek watermill
It was a water-powered mill for grinding grain which continues identically in use until today. It was particularly suitable for the hilly and mountainous regions of Greece and Asia Minor since it was capable of functioning with small quantities of water that were moved, however, at great speed. It constitutes the predecessor of the water turbine.
It consisted of one horizontal winged-wheel, a vertical axle and two horizontal millstones. The axle penetrated the lower millstone and was connected via metal connections to the (perforated at its centre) upper millstone. The water moved the winged-wheel and the axle transmitted the rotation to the upper millstone. The fruit from the funnel fell into the opening of the rotating millstone, was ground between the two millstones and came out circumferentially because of the centrifugal force. The funnel was provided with a fruit supply regulator, depending on the speed of the rotation.
SOURCES: "Strabon, Geography"