have always been populous in Yazd. Even now roughly ten percent of the town's population adhere to this ancient religion, and though their Atashkadeh (Fire Temple) was turned into a mosque when Arabs invaded Iran, a dignified new fire temple was inaugurated thirteen hundred years later.
This Atashkadeh (Fire Temple) intitates meet there, but nobody apart form the Moubad (Grand Priest), a descendant of the Magi, reciting the Avesta, has access to the Moubad-e Moubadan (Saint of Saints) where for the past 3000 years a fire burns in a brazen vessel. The fire itself is a symbol for purity and eternal life.
Several thousands of years ago, ancient Iranians invented a new system called Qanat. With this unique invention it was possible to collect significant amounts of underground water and bring it to the surface, which, like natural springs, reaches its surface throughout the year without any help from inside the earth.
The word Qanat (Ghanat) is Arabic but this aqueduct system has been originally called Kariz in Iran.
Most central Iran is warm and dry. Living in these areas without sufficient rain and running water is impossible, but Iranians have used the Qanat techniques to meet their water needs and fertilize dry deserts. Warm and dry regions of the rest of the world, such as Australia, are uninhabited, but thanks to this achievement, many cities and villages exist at the heart of deserts and their agricultural products including fruits, vegetables and oilseeds are exported.
According to Ministry of Energy statistics, about 36300 Qanats have been identified in Iran. These aqueducts are also found in countries that have been part of Iran or had cultural ties with Persia. In Mesopotamia, especially Iraq and Syria, Pakistan and Afghanistan, western China, southern Russia, young Persian Gulf states, North Africa and southern Europe, but the number of Qanats within Iran alone exceeds the total number of aqueducts outside Iran.