Refrigeration is one of those modern luxuries that most people take for granted, especially considering that the majority of foods have to be preserved using cold to some degree.
While it might seem as if refrigeration is a relatively new invention, the idea has been around for thousands of years. Technology has simply allowed refrigeration to reach a new level of efficiency, but it has existed in many simpler forms throughout history.
A group of scientists recently discovered that something they had cataloged for years was in fact a rudimentary refrigeration system that functioned in the middle of an arid desert.
The ancients invented a large storage structure called a Yakhchal, and they were constructed in Persia, or what is now present day Iran. These structures were designed to hold cold temperatures by protecting the flow of heat through it.
The basic structure involved a subterranean storage center and an above ground conical heat diffuser. They built the structures from a highly heat-resistant mortar that was a mix of clay, sand, ash, egg whites, lime, and even goat hair.
During the winter, water would be allowed to flow down into the bottom of the Yakhchal where it would freeze.
The architecture of the buildings allowed that ice to remain frozen as the winter transitioned to summer, and it would create a refrigerated storage area hidden from the heat of summer by the subterranean location of the storage area and the conical heat diffuser above ground. The structures are so efficient they could still be used today.
When the Assyrians were taking the world’s very first real ‘extremely empire’ from the duration of 10th century to 7th century BC, a wave of pastoral people from north of the Caspian Sea was hectic settling in the eastern side of Zagros Mountains, in an extensive plateau that extended all the method to western India. These were the semi-nomadic Indo-Iranian individuals who gathered to settled lands and even started their own spiritual organizations with the ‘universal’ concepts. Among such concepts relates to the prophet Zoroaster and his nigh monotheistic technique to religious beliefs– with the ‘head god’ attribution provided to the supreme being of Ahura Mazda. Such developing yet unlimited spiritual maxims plainly contrasted with the Babylonian system where each city relatively had an unique client god with his/her own set of ‘godly’ powers.
Directed by these more recent spiritual conventions (that appeared to prefer order, reality and the law or reasoning) and semi-nomadic cultural background, the people of Iran (still fairly independent from each other) did determine themselves as a different super-entity who were various from the Babylonians settled in the resource-rich areas of Mesopotamia. And in the south of this land of Iran emerged a confederation of around 10 or 15 people, who jointly called their world as Persia. The leading people amongst this growing league was the Pasargadae– and their king constantly originated from the Achaemenid clan. In 559 BC, a brand-new leader was selected: Cyrus II (‘the Great’); likewise called Kurosh-e Bozorg (or Cyrus the Senior Citizen) in New Persian, the creator of the Achaemenid Persian Empire.