Previous / Next

House VIII 2,29-30

Form of house

This extensive house had two entrances on the south side of the street between Insulae VIII 2 and VIII 6. It had a ground floor area of c. 1,000 m2, thus belonging to Wallace-Hadrill's Quartile 4 (1994:81). The house had a double front hall-garden plan, but with no side rooms to the front hall to the west, a terrace rather than a garden and underground rooms below the terrace.

Excavation reports

Unpublished: GdSc A,VI,3 (Jan 1883 - Oct 1899):5-13, 37.

Published: Fiorelli 1883:135-36, 215, 346-49, 375, 424; 1884:397, 432; Mau 1884:210-16; 1885:85-95.

Excavation recording

This house was excavated between April and November 1883. The recording methods are comparable with those of the other houses in this insula.*

Interpretation of whole house

The excavators recorded signs of previous disturbance in this house (GdSc A,VI,3:8), including the discovery of a modern lamp. However, finds were often made in rooms with possible evidence of post-eruption disturbance breaches (for example, room v) while other rooms, with no apparent signs of intrusion, were empty. Although some of the house had been decorated in the Fourth Style, much had been left with a coarse base plaster. According to the Giornali degli Scavi (A, VI,3:8) all the rooms in house 30, except two, were lacking plaster. Fiorelli concluded (1883:135) that this house had been in the course of reconstruction at the time of the eruption. Mau (1885:91) did not attribute this incompleteness to the final eruption but to intervening circumstances between AD 62 and AD 79. Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben (1936:69) dated the reconstruction of the rooms to the south of the western part of the house, the seclusion of the shop in the north-east corner (room m), and the transformation of the front of the eastern part of the house into a workplace to AD 65, after the AD 62 earthquake. They also dated the decoration in front hall k' and rooms g, h, i, k, l, 16 and 19 to the same period. This dating means that the aedicula in front hall k' must have been installed during further alterations and implies that room f had also undergone a change of function during alterations subsequent to those of AD 65. In addition, Mau (1884:214) observed that much of the eastern section of the lower floor had been in a ruined state at the time of the eruption. For Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben's dating to be correct disruption or changes of plan must also have occurred in this area between AD 65 and AD 79. Although the finds are sparse, their distribution (for example, in room l, possibly room q, and the lower floor) implies that the house had been at least partially occupied during or after this refurbishing and reorganising.

*. This house was probably excavated before the late nineteenth-century excavations but identifying it precisely in the earlier excavation reports is not possible.