Description of Desert

Description of Desert Any stretch of land with no water and human settlement is a desert,and the vast deserts of Iran are usually referred to as Kavirs.The northern half of the Iranian desert is called dasht-e kavir,and the southeastern half is named kavir-e Lut.In Persia Desert Site we are only concerned with the northern half,which measures some 600 kilometres across and from 150 to 300 kilometres wide. Eons ago,scientist tell us,the kavirs of iran were covered by water.Then this sea began to shrink because of insufficient precipitation and excessive evaporation,until one day the sea completely dried up .That primeval sea survives in the from of two small bodies of water:the salt lake ,lokated to the northeast of kashan ,and the much smaller lake howz-e soltan,just east of the tehran-qom highway. All life forms on earth depend on water,and human being are in danger where there is little or no water.But early iranians soon learned how to make their way safely across the kevir and how to make habitable settlements on its borders.In the course of the centuries a whole culture was developed for coping with desert condition,and it is so different from our present-day consumerism that we are attracted to it out of sheer curiosity. Very hot days, cool nights,scarcity of water,the continuous onslaught of gale-force winds,sand storms and moving sand dunes,these are some of the adverse coditions that confront the desert travellers and the inhabitants of its few and far-between settlements.Forget our modern capabilities:crossing the kavir in airconditioned 4WDs with powerful engines and ample supplies of water and petrol.Try to remember how the caravans negotiated the kevir as recently as seventy years ago.The main road from Isfahan to the ancient city of Rey[RHages] passed through the kevir,so did the route from Yazd to Mashad,not forgetting the Silk Road that crossed all sorts of deserts. Nature's first lesson to the man in the desert was to be frugal, to be conect with what you had. If water is scarce you learn to preservee it. You build cisterns along the way so that any rain water that flows in to it is stored for months. You put a high dome on the cisterns so that they are visible from along way off. You build tall minarets wherever you can, and you place signal lights on top of them.You ride camels and load your merchandise on their back, as camels are ideally suited to the difficult conditions of the desert. And if the days are too hot you rest in caravansaries and travel by night. You learn to gaze at the brilliant stars in the desert sky and navigate by them. Tou dig wells or creat qanats wherever you can. You build your homes with adobe and mudbricks and you shape your roofs like a vault so that hot air is vented out through the holes in the ceiling. You observe the lawsof natural ventilation. You have wind-turrets on your roof and you admit only the cool morning breezes. In your homes you have built cellars into which you retire during the hottest part of the day. You have even discovered the cooling effect that water creates when it begins to evaporate, and your jugs and jars keep your drinking water cool in this way. And if you do not have enough flowers blooming in yourcourtyard you adorn your walls and ceilings whit an abundance of floral patterns. In the towns bordering the kavir, the bazzars, mosques and shrines are the best showcases for the arts and crafts of the localarchitects and artisans. They are master craftsmen themselves, but they have not forgotten the teachings of their mentors; they keep to the tenets of their tradition and they work not for the wages that they earn but for the sake of creating something of lasting value, commensurate with the lofty status of the edifice. The distinct and different culture of the people who have tamed the kavir is certinly worth exploring, and we are grateful to Mr. Sadeqi Fasa'i, the photographer, for drawing our attention to the more interesting aspects of life in and around the Iranian Salt Desert. Karim Emami Reference:Kavir Safari Book

Send date: 1389/5/27
Visit count: 1544