I have two current passions that I enjoy learning about, HVAC and ancient history. The HVAC passion is obvious as it is my life. The ancient history came about studying biblical history through archeaology and other historical findings.
What is neat is that the physics we use in todays HVAC has been used in different parts of the world throughout history.
"Evaporation" and "absorbtion" are two major factors of the HVAC industry. At least one instance of each of these has been documented being utilized over 4,000 years ago by ancient desert dwelling peoples.
Ancient Pharoahs had large stone walls that could be rolled from the kings chamber to the outside by means of hundreds of slaves rolling these thousands of tons slabs. In the cool of the desert night the wall would be rolled to the outside where it would cool rapidly in the night air. Just before sun up, the cooled slab of stone would be rolled back into the chamber where all day long it would "absorb" the heat of the room.
On a 110º day the kings chamber could stay at about 80º. Not bad for no refrigerant.
Also, desert dwellers would cover shallow pools of water in desert oasis's with straw just before dusk. Over night the cool winds would blow across the wetted straw "evaporating" the water from the straw which would cool the top of the pools enough to form a thin layer of ice. The ice would be collected before dawn and stored in cool caves for use during the day.
Anyone else come across ancient methods of heating and cooling?