Pompeian Households: Explanation of database fields

Pompeian Households: Explanation of database fields

Table of houses

House ID Each house included in the study is uniquely identified by a number from 1 to 30 that provides a link to summary information about the house. This number does not appear on the house summary pages but provides the link within the rooms and artifact tables. See "Help" table of these identification numbers.

House name This field consists of the name by which the house is usually known (for example, "Casa dei Ceii" or "House I 10,8").

House number This field consists of the region number, insula number and door number of the house according to Giuseppi Fiorelli's systematic naming system for Pompeian buildings.

Table of rooms

House id This field identifies the house in which the room is located using the house's unique ID number.

Room label This field contains room numbers according to those used in (Bragantini, I, M de Vos, F Parise Badoni, and V Sampaolo, 1980-86).[Note] These numbers are also used on individual house plans. The room number "UF" is used for artifacts which are either from the upper levels of the deposit, often from the upper floor, or not from an identifiable room or space. If an artifact can be securely assigned to an upper floor area, this is indicated in the provenance field in the artifact table or by the abbreviation "UFl". Similarly "LF" is used for lower ground-floor levels.

Type code The rooms are divided into twenty-two types based on location relative to the front hall/garden complex; size relative to house size; through routes; and functions defined by fixtures (for example, hearth, water catchment pool). See "Help" table for these type codes.

Text nomen This field includes the nomenclature from ancient literary sources which is commonly used by modern scholars for the particular room type.

NSc This field includes references to the room's contents in the Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità

GdSc This field includes references to the room's contents in the Giornali degli Scavi.

Otherref This field includes all other published references to the room's contents.

Location This field includes a brief description of the room type and its location within the house plan.

House name This field consists of the name by which the house is usually known (for example, "Casa dei Ceii" or "House I 10,8").

House number This field consists of the region number, insula number and door number of the house according to Giuseppi Fiorelli's systematic naming system for Pompeian buildings.

Table of artifacts

House id This field identifies the house in which the artifact was found, by the house's unique ID number.

Material This field includes the fabric of the artifact (for example, ceramic, glass, or wood). For some artifacts the fabric is not known. For these the word "unidentified" is included in this field. Also some objects may be made from two different materials (for example, iron and bronze or bronze and bone). For these, the dominant material is usually included in the material field and the other in the Description field.

Artifact This field includes the label used for each artifact in the reports (for example, amphora, stairway, hinge). The more significant part of the artifact, in terms of its functional identification, may therefore be sometimes found in the description. Where the English equivalent of the Italian or Latin term is unclear or disputable, the original label is kept (see Allison 1999a).

Quantity This field indicates of the number of artifacts in each record because not every entry is equivalent to one artifact. If the quantity shown is 5, 10 or 20 this is often an approximate quantity because the precise quantity is not usually recorded in the excavation reports when there are numerous items.

Category This field consists of ten broad artifact categories: building material, coin, door, furniture, hole, sculpture, skeletal, utensil, vessel, and other. See "Help" table for these categories.

Description This field contains a brief description of the artifacts, as given in the excavation reports.

Measurements Measurements included in this field are those provided in the excavation reports or provided in Maiuri (1933). Sometimes these measurements seem incongruous but this reflects the recording in the reports. Only and fixtures and other artifacts still in situ and artifacts from the houses in the Insula del Menandro currently in the Pompeii storerooms have been remeasured. It was not always possible to provide accurate measurements for in-situ material but approximate measurements have been included to indicate scale. Discrepancies between actual size and recorded sizes of artifacts from the Insula del Menandro have been noted. "Pal," in some of the earlier reports, equals 26.4 cm.

Inv. no As well as the inventory number of the Pompeii Collection, this field includes comments on discrepancies between the documentary sources. It also includes the inventory numbers used by Maiuri (1933). Inventory numbers from the old numbering system, prior to January 1906, are suffixed with "(old)."

Provenance When the information is provided in the reports, this field indicates where in the room or space the artifacts were found, and at what height above the ground floor level. For those from the upper levels of the volcanic deposit ("UF"), the corresponding lower room is given where possible. If the provenance is doubtful, this is indicated in this field.

Artif type Each artifact has been assigned a type, dependent on its identification, fabric and description, and material. For example, a ceramic boccale, brocca, olpe, oinochoe, or oleare has the type "pottery jug". See "Help" tables for these types.

Type function The artifacts have been further grouped according to functional criteria (for example, food-preparation vessels, storage furniture, cloth production). Many of the vessels are classified as "Diverse vessel function." This is because the artifacts have not been sighted, but also because of an acknowledged need to review Roman artifact function. Also, within the parameters of this database, it has not been possible to address the potential multi-functionality of vessels. Some objects have therefore been given a single function while in fact they may have had a number of functions. For example, jugs might be used as serving and tableware, as containers for the ingredients used in food preparation, or in ablution activities. Similarly, small bottles may be used for toiletries and ablutions or for other substances used in food preparation or religious activities. Objects defined as "skeletal" will not always have the same functional category code, given that some are identified as foodstuff and some as skeletal remains. See "Help" table for these functional categories.

House name This field consists of the name by which the house is usually known (for example, "Casa dei Ceii" or "House I 10,8").

Room label This field contains room numbers according to those used in (Bragantini, I, M de Vos, F Parise Badoni, and V Sampaolo, 1980-86).* These numbers are also used on individual house plans. The room number "UF" is used for artifacts which are either from the upper levels of the deposit, often from the upper floor, or not from an identifiable room or space. If an artifact can be securely assigned to an upper floor area, this is indicated in the provenance field in the artifact table or by the abbreviation "UFl". Similarly "LF" is used for lower-floor levels.

Type code The rooms are divided into twenty-two types based on location relative to the front hall/garden complex; size relative to house size; through routes; and functions defined by fixtures (for example, hearth, water catchment pool). See "Help" table for these type codes.

Note: In the Casa del Menandro the corridor labeled L by Maiuri (1933) is labeled P, P1, and P2 by Ling (1997). The database retains Maiuri's label. The location field indicates which part of this corridor is being referred to, that is, West branch, South Branch and East Branch (Ling's P1, P, and P2, respectively).