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Casa del Sacerdos Amandus

Form of house

This house is on the south side of the Via dell'Abbondanza. It has only one entrance from the street and has a ground-floor area of c. 300 m2, belonging to Wallace-Hadrill's Quartile 3 (1994:81). It has a relatively standard front-hall/garden plan but with the garden to the side of the front hall.*

Excavation reports

Unpublished: GdSc A,VI,6 (May 1912﹣March 1929):318﹣19, 321﹣31 passim, 534﹣35.

Published: Maiuri 1927:18﹣31.

Excavation recording

The main excavations of this house were carried out between June and December 1924. The description of the excavation of the entranceway implies that it was done with considerable care. This contrasts with reports from other areas of the house where plaster fragments and possible artifacts were extracted from volcanic material after it was removed, indicating that excavation was rapid. The excavators might have been less rigorous in the recording of these areas because no further finds considered to be of interest were made.

Interpretation of whole house

An external wall inscription, "AMANDUS SACERDOS" and two graffiti "AMA" in the garden confirmed for Maiuri (1927:30) that this house belonged to a priest, Amandus (Della Corte 1965: No. 645).

There was a very full and precise documentation of material found in entranceway a and room I; yet contents in the rest of the house were scant. It is conceivable that the furnishings from the other areas had been almost entirely looted. This suggests that the kitchen and the entranceway were the only rooms in house not disturbed by intruders, implying that the intruders had all but denuded the house without disturbing the skeletons in the entrance corridor. This is curious, considering that the only breach observable in the house was precisely between the two areas with the most finds, entranceway a and room i. Even taking into account the possibility of looting, few remains were reported here in comparison to the Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali or House I 10,8, which had been disturbed after the eruption. This house, and notably storeroom g' and the front hall, seems therefore to have been largely empty at the time of the eruption. It might be concluded that the occupants had previously packed up and removed their belongings from all but the kitchen. The presence of cooking paraphernalia in situ the kitchen, and of skeletons in the entranceway suggest, however, that the final abandonment of the house had been relatively hasty, probably during the eruption. The occupants may have been living in the house in downgraded conditions or further occupants (conceivably squatters) may have moved in and used the kitchen after the previous occupants had packed up the rest of the house. It seems probable that the house was not functioning as intended before the eruption and after the repair in the garden was initiated and then abandoned. This suggestion might be confirmed by the lack of material from the upper-story areas of the house, whether or not they were part of the same habitation.

* The plan in PPM I:586 is inaccurate for the east wall of room o, room g', and the west wall of room c.