Exterior of Ice house or Yakhchal, Abarqu, Iran

Brick interior of Yakhchal

An ice house or Yakhchal is an ancient refrigerator allowing the storage of ice in the desert in summer. It was collected in winter and kept cool by its shape and walls made from special mortar called srooj, composed of sand, clay, egg whites, lime, goat hair, and ash, which was resistant to heat transfer. Abarqu, Iran, 2008

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