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House I 6,8-9

Form of house

House I 6,8-9 is on the south side of the Via dell'Abbondanza. It has only one entrance from the street, although it also has a narrow doorway leading from the garden area to the Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali. It is one of the smaller houses in the sample with a ground-floor area of c. 200 m2, belonging to Wallace-Hadrill's Quartile 3 (1994:81). It has a relatively standard front-hall/garden plan but with no side rooms to the front hall. As mentioned in the section on the Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali, this house is treated separately from the neighboring and connected house, the Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali (see Foss 1994:223).

Excavation reports

Unpublished: GdSc A,VI,5 (November 1904﹣April 1912):295; A,VI,6 (May 1912﹣March 1929):11, 24, 26, 50, 490, 501﹣5.

Published: Della Corte 1912:142, 183, 217; Maiuri 1929:391﹣400.

Excavation recording

The street front of the house was first excavated in April to May 1912. The latest excavation reports are in December 1927 after the opening to the Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali was uncovered. The locations of the finds seem to have been methodically recorded, but notably less attention was paid to the stratigraphy here than to that of the Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali.

Interpretation of whole house

From the evidence of storage in the garden and possibly that in room d, Maiuri concluded (1929:395) that the owner of the Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali was storing his damaged possessions in this house while the latter was being repaired. De Vos likewise believed that the table legs had been provisionally placed here with other construction material but also noted that House I 6,8-9 had been undergoing repair as well (de Vos and de Vos 1982:102). This solution has some problems, however. The marble fragments found in room d do not seem to belong to this or the house next door. The activity of a shop was unlikely to have been restricted or abandoned for the storage of fragmentary pieces, under normal conditions. The lack of evidence for merchandise or its containers, in the front hall and room a (which appear undisturbed) and in the shop front, points to a lack of business having been carried out. This, combined with the lack of apparent activity in the kitchen area, suggests that the house might have been largely, if not completely, unoccupied before the eruption. A lack of finds in the kitchen of the Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali has also been noted.

A plausible explanation is that this storage had been carried out after the shop had closed and before the beginning of the eruption. The storage could have consisted of material acquired or salvaged from elsewhere (Maiuri 1929:395) either by the owner of the Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali or by the occupants of this house. If, as has been argued (Maiuri 1929:405), this shop had replaced those in front of the Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali after AD 62, a further change of plan must have resulted in abandonment of this business activity and the house then being used for salvaged material.