The ancient Persian way to keep cool

DM

From ancient Egypt to the Persian Empire, an ingenious method of catching the breeze kept people cool for millennia. In the search for emissions-free cooling, the “wind catcher” could once again come to our aid. The city of Yazd in the desert of central Iran has long been a focal point for creative ingenuity. Yazd is home to a system of ancient engineering marvels that include an underground refrigeration structure called yakhchāl, an underground irrigation system called qanats, and even a network of couriers called pirradaziš that predate postal services in the US by more than 2,000 years. Among Yazd’s ancient technologies is the wind catcher, or bâdgir in Persian. These remarkable structures are a common sight soaring above the rooftops of Yazd. They are often rectangular towers, but they also appear in circular, square, octagonal and other ornate shapes. Yazd is said to have the most wind catchers in the world, though they may have originated in ancient Egypt. In Yazd, the wind catcher soon proved indispensable, making this part of the hot and arid Iranian Plateau livable.

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