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How the Persians stored ice in 400 BC

Yakhchāl (yakh meaning "ice" and chāl meaning "pit") is an ancient type of evaporative cooler. Above ground, the structure had a domed shape, but had a subterranean storage space; it was often used to store ice, but sometimes was used to store food as well. The subterranean space coupled with the thick heat-resistant construction material insulated the storage space year round.

The ice could be brought in during the winters from nearby mountains, but more commonly they had a wall made along an east-west direction close to the yakhchal. In winter, the water from an underground aquifer was channelled to the north side of the wall. The shadow of the wall made the water freeze more quickly so more ice was produced per winter day.

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