Yakhchali: ancient refrigerators

(ORDO NEWS) — By 400 B.C. Persian engineers mastered the technique of storing ice in the middle of summer in the desert. Ice was brought in in winter from the nearby mountains in large quantities and stored in a yakhchal, or ice pit.

By 400 B.C. Persian engineers mastered the technique of storing ice in the middle of summer in the desert. Ice was brought in in winter from the nearby mountains in large quantities and stored in a yakhchal, or ice pit.

These ancient refrigerators were used primarily to store ice in the summer, but also to store food in the hot, dry desert climate of Iran. Ice was also used to cool treats for royalty on hot summer days and to make falud, a traditional Persian frozen dessert.

Yakhchali ancient refrigerators 2

Above ground, the structure is a large adobe-brick dome that often reaches 60 feet in height. Below are large underground rooms, up to 5000 m³, with deep storage.

The space often has access to a rope, or windcatcher, and often contains a system of windcatchers that could easily lower the temperature inside the space to cold levels on summer days.

Yakhchali ancient refrigerators 3 Yakhchali ancient refrigerators 1

In Yakhchal, thick adobe walls up to two meters thick at the base, made from a special mortar called s?rooj, consisting of sand, clay, egg white, lime, goat hair and ash in certain proportions, which was resistant to heat transfer. This mixture was considered to be completely impervious to water.

Massive insulation and continuously cooling waters that spiral down its sides keep the ice stored there in winter frozen throughout the summer.

Used in desert cities since antiquity, these ice houses have a trench at the bottom to collect water that melts from the ice and allows it to refreeze during cold desert nights.

The ice breaks and moves into caves deep in the ground. As water enters the cavity, the process is repeated.

Yakhchali ancient refrigerators 4

Double ice pits in Sirjan, Kerman province, surrounded by high walls, they were built 108 years ago with adobe bricks, ice pits are surrounded by high walls.

Online:

Contact us: [email protected]

Our Standards, Terms of Use: Standard Terms And Conditions.