Author: Farshid Rahimi Kalahroudi/ Translated by: Maryam Qarehgozlou/ Photo by: Anoosheh Pirbadian
Romans are known for their astonishing aqueducts, Iranians for their qanats (ancient underground water channels); people living in this plateau built water canals beneath the surface of the earth and, by means of successive wells and a horizontal canal in the desired direction, managed to transfer the life-giving water from the main well to the cities, villages, and farmlands.
Given their important role in the everyday life of Iranians, āb anbārs have a special place in Persian culture. Their main constituent parts are a water tank, a seal, ventilation shafts with wind catchers, stairways, a pasheer (the lowest point of the āb anbār stairway where a tap is installed to provide water from the āb anbār storage tank), and sar dar (a gate-like entrance to a building with over-the-door decorations).
Despite the hot and arid climate in the central Iranian plateau, the temperature plummets to below zero across the whole region in winter. This enabled people to freeze the water in yakhchals ( water storehouse) and then use it during the hot, scorching summer, to make potable water cooler, or to make slush and flavored ice.
On the southern shores of the country, there is a different type of cistern called a berkeh (pond). Despite the high humidity in the southern shores of Iran, due to a low precipitation level and the brackish groundwater, the existence of such berkehs are crucial as they sometimes are the only sources of fresh water.
The historic Laft Port, known as one of the most ancient settlements in Qeshm Island, is a unique assemblage of natural and man made phenomena located in the northwestern part of the island, opposite the mangrove forests. Laft has a hot and very humid climate with the mean summer temperature reaching 40 degrees Celsius and humidity at 90%.
Water is an essential element for life and its shortage for agricultural purposes as well as everyday use in a large part of the central Iranian plateau has made life difficult for settlers. Regarding the climate of the region, Persian architecture, with thousands of years of experience, has come up with workable solutions to provide better living conditions.
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