The Ancient Persian Way To Keep Cool

The Ancient Persian Way To Keep Cool

Andrew H. Sweet

Among Yazd's ancient technologies is the windcatcher, 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 windcatcher soon proved indispensable, making this part of the hot and arid Iranian Plateau livable.

Two main forces drive the air through and down into the structures: the incoming wind and the change in the buoyancy of air depending on temperature – with warmer air tending to rise above cooler, denser air.

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