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House VIII 2,28

Form of house

This house had two entrances on the south side of the street between Insulae VIII 2 and VIII 3. It had a ground-floor area of c. 600 m2, thus belonging to Wallace-Hadrill's Quartile 4 (1994:81). The house had a relatively standard front-hall/garden plan but with a terrace rather than a garden and underground rooms below the terrace.

Excavation reports

Unpublished: GdSc (Nap) no.17 (May﹣June 1826); GdSc A,VI,3 (Jan 1888﹣Oct 1899):47﹣54, 58﹣61.

Published: Sogliano 1886:133, 169, 1887:40﹣41, 242-43, 1888:509﹣12; PAH II:160﹣164;* Mau 1888:181﹣89.

Excavation recording

If the PAH report refers to this house, then it was first excavated in May and June 1826. It was excavated again between March 1886 and December 1887. The standard of its excavation and recording is therefore comparable with that of House VIII 2, 14-16 and House VIII 2,26.

Interpretation of whole house

The only stratigraphic information for this house comes from the apparently disturbed deposit in area v and from curious finds in the upper levels of the deposit. According to Mau (1888:182), the remaining decoration is in the Fourth Style, which was dated by Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben (1936:76) to the mid 60s AD. Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben (1936:76) concluded, from this new decoration in most of the rooms, that the house had been functioning as a dwelling before the eruption. They had previously noted (1936:74), however, that simple plastering was found throughout the house, near which was frequently found crudely finished Fourth-Style decoration. Mau (1888:193) noted that the front of the house had been roughly repaired, and Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben also observed later alterations to the house (1936:76), notably the construction of a lararium aedicula, replastering of the columns in the front hall, and repair in rooms c and e. They also observed that such repairs were not necessarily all contemporary but that they had been made after the Fourth-Style decoration.

It would thus appear that after this house had been decorated in the Fourth Style, it had undergone further changes that had caused cursory repair; perhaps the front hall had been used for bulk storage and sculptural fragments to have been distributed about the house. If Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben were correct about their dating of the Fourth Style, then this further disruption had occurred after the household had at least partially recovered from the AD 62 earthquake but before the eruption. If the skeletons in area v were those of the occupants of this house, then it seems that it had not been for lack of funds (see coin collections in rooms B and 43 in the Casa del Menandro) that their house had been cursorily repaired and that pieces of broken sculpture had been scattered about.

* As noted for entranceway VIII 2,27 in House VIII 2,26, this report was the same as PAH III:69﹣71. It is not possible to ascertain whether or not the material in area v was indeed found here or indeed if all of it was from this location (see House VIII 2,26).