Information concerning the rooms in Casa degli Amanti

Jump to:
Entranceway a
Front hall 01
Room 02
Stairway 03
Room 04
Room 05
Room 06
Room 07
Room 08
Garden 09
Room 10
Room 11
Room 12
Room 13
Room 14
Room 15
Room 16
Room 17
Room 18
Room 19
Area I 10,10
Upper Levels

Entranceway a in Casa degli Amanti

Description of room:

This was the only entranceway to the house. It led from the street on the west side of this insula and provided access to front hall 01. It was decorated in the Second Style (Elia 1934:323; Ling 1983a:45), consisting of a mauve socle zone, a central zone of black orthostats with yellow borders, a yellow molded cornice, mauve ashlar blocks, then a white molded cornice, and a red upper zone with imitation marble pilasters. The pavement was lavapesta inset with white tesserae in a rosette pattern (Ling 1997:299).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The excavators removed volcanic material mixed with plaster and roof tiles from this entranceway (GdSc A,VI,7:305).

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The only finds in this entranceway apparently fell from the upper floor.

Interpretations of room:

According to Ling (1983a:53; 1997:209), damage to this entranceway had been caused by the AD 62 earthquake. He argued that damage to the upper part of the doorway and a lesion on the façade had been repaired only provisionally (1995:204) because the wall paintings had not been repaired at the time of the eruption. While damaged decoration in the entrance may have been left unrepaired and damage on the façade repaired, no evidence definitively dates this damage to AD 62.


Front hall 01 in Casa degli Amanti

Description of room:

This front hall (figure D. 79) was entered from the west side through entranceway a and provided access to rooms 02 and 04 at its west end; rooms 05, 06, and 07 along its south side; I 10,10, and room 8 on the north side; and garden 09 to the east. The walls of this area were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a black socle zone with compartments, ornamental bands, and plants; a central zone of red fields with ornamental borders, medallions depicting landscapes, and central panels, separated by architectural elements against a black ground; and a white upper zone with flat architectonic elements. The pavement was lavapesta decorated with white tesserae similar to that in the entranceway (Ling 1997:299).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The recorders noted that the volcanic material in the front hall presented constant signs of disturbance, such that nothing was preserved of the stratigraphy (GdSc A,VI,7:306, 308).

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

This front hall had a central water-catchment pool (impluvium) furbished in signinum that was bordered with a cross pattern of black and white tesserae and decorated in the basin with fragments of white stone (Ling 1997:299). A small marble flask and various bronze fragments were found at the east end of the front hall. Near the entrance to room 08 in the northeast corner were found part of an amphora, and a glass unguentarium. A stone weight and a ceramic vase were found in the volcanic deposit on the south side. Other finds in the deposit included two bronze coins, both Julio-Claudian. Because of the recorded disturbance, it is not certain that these finds were from the front hall. However, they probably originated from this part of the house.

Interpretations of room:

Elia assigned (1934:325) the Fourth-Style decoration of this front hall to the phase after the earthquake of AD 62 (see also Ling 1997:211), using the analogous decoration of the Temple of Isis and the Casa di Siricus as a terminus post quem. Ling agreed (1983a:53; 1997:210) that the walls of the front hall had been completely redecorated in the Fourth Style after the AD 62 earthquake and possibly the pavements repaired. The lack of finds here is reminiscent of the front halls of the Casa di Julius Polybius and the Casa del Menandro. The few finds had conceivably been in cupboards (as in the Casa della Venere in Bikini, Casa del Fabbro and House I 10,8), but fugitives of the final eruption or survivors returning afterwards would probably not have removed almost every trace of furnishings and their fittings. Thus, like the Casa del Menandro, either this front hall never had such furnishings, its function was never fully realized again after the Fourth-Style decoration, or it had been abandoned and the owners had packed up their cupboards and chests and moved them elsewhere. Such thorough abandonment is unlikely during the throes of the eruption. Some other disruption might have caused a change of plan after the introduction of the Fourth-Style decoration.


Room 02 in Casa degli Amanti

Description of room:

This was a relatively small room in the southwest corner of front hall 01 entered from the latter through a narrow doorway in the north end of the east wall. The stairway running along the south wall seems to have been inaccessible from this room. The walls were covered with a rough render, and the pavement was of a rough mortar (Ling 1997:300).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

A breach in the south wall under the stairway does not penetrate the wall. Survivors returning to collect their belongings after the eruption are unlikely to have made such a breach.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

This room contained a small terra-cotta arula, two ceramic jugs and two lids, and four ceramic lamps, all found a few centimeters above the floor.

Interpretations of room:

According to Elia (1934:325), this was a rustic room. Ling identified it as a workroom or storeroom (1997:211). The excavators reported finding signs of activity related to the last days prior to the eruption. The finds could represent normal domestic storage in a coarsely plastered room, although the placement of an arula in a coarsely plastered room might conceivably have been part of last-minute salvaging during a disruption. The lack of further finds could have been the result of post-eruption disturbance, although this room contained little specific evidence of that. In fact, as in the front hall, little activity appears to have occurred here immediately prior to the eruption.


Stairway 03 in Casa degli Amanti

Description of room:

This stairway (figure D. 80) led from the southeast corner of front hall 01 east of room 02 and ran along the south wall of the latter room.The walls were covered with coarse plaster.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

A small round breach was made through the east wall just above the landing.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

An amphora was recorded from this stairway, probably from the southeast corner on the landing, where an impression in volcanic material still exists today.

Interpretations of room:

The placement of an amphora, probably leaning in the corner on the landing, is reminiscent of the finds on stairway SS of the Casa di Julius Polybius and might have been a usual practice.


Room 04 in Casa degli Amanti

Description of room:

This small, narrow room in the northwest corner of front hall 01 was entered from the latter through a narrow doorway in the center of the east wall. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a black socle zone with plants; a central zone of alternating red and yellow fields with ornamental borders, central panels, and vignettes of birds and landscapes; and a white upper zone with ornamental and architectural elements. The pavement was of lavapesta inset with fragments of colored stones (Ling 1997:300).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The lack of breaches in this room and the well-preserved decoration suggest that it may not have been disturbed.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A ceramic pot and part of a spindle were found here.

Interpretations of room:

According to Elia (1934:325), this was a cubiculum (see also Ling 1997:197). The scant finds here are in keeping with those in this area of the house.


Room 05 in Casa degli Amanti

Description of room:

This was a small room on the south side of front hall 01 and was entered from the hall through a narrow doorway towards the east end of the north wall. The walls were covered with white plaster, and the pavement was of mortar (Ling 1997:301).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

A breach in the west wall of this room led to the landing of stairway 03.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The east, west, and south walls have evidence of shelves, but no loose finds were recorded from this room (figure D. 81).

Interpretations of room:

Elia's identification of this room (1934:325) as a storeroom with plain white plastered walls seems appropriate (see also Ling 1997:199). The proficiency of recording of the houses in this insula was such that any organic material stored here would probably have been reported. Therefore, the room was most likely empty at the time of the eruption, again in keeping with the other evidence from this part of the house.


Room 06 in Casa degli Amanti

Description of room:

This small area on the south side of front hall 01 was open onto the latter for all of its north wall. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style (Ling 1997:199), consisting of a black socle zone with ornamental bands and garlands, a central zone of white fields with ornamental borders and central panels with landscapes separated by architectural elements against a red background, and an upper zone with central aediculae, ornamental bands, and garlands. The pavement was of cocciopesto decorated with white tesserae in a rhomboid lattice pattern.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported here.

Interpretations of room:

According to Elia (1934:326), this room was an exedra that functioned as an ala (see Ling 1997:199). There is no evidence that it was being used in any particular capacity at the time of the eruption, but it is not possible to assess whether this is because of disturbance, pre-eruption abandonment, as in the front hall, or its normal state.


Room 07 in Casa degli Amanti

Description of room:

This room was in the southeast corner of front hall 01 and was entered from it through a narrow doorway in the center of the north wall. It had a simple Fourth-Style decoration consisting of a black socle zone; a white central zone with fields, ornamental borders, and animal vignettes separated by architectonic elements; and a white upper zone with compartments and ornamental bands. The pavement was of mortar (Ling 1997:301).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

A breach in the east wall of this room reached to the top of the preserved wall.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A large number of finds was made in the northeast corner: bronze fittings suggesting the presence of a wooden chest or cupboard; bone fragments, possibly decoration from this container; four complete iron knives, two axes and other fragments of further tools; five marble weights, two lead weights, and one counterweight (possibly from a loom); a set of bronze scales; and a bronze cylindrical pyxis. This assemblage, which was probably inside the container, was conceivably a specialist tool kit concerned with weighing. The imprint of a modius was also found near the east wall.

Interpretations of room:

According to Elia (1934:326), this room was a modest cubiculum (see also Ling 1997:199), but the finds do not seem appropriate for a so-called bedroom.It seems unlikely that this type of equipment would have been packed up by fugitives during the eruption. It might therefore have been deposited in this small decorated room at an earlier stage. Like the finds in House I 10,8, these perhaps indicate the downgrading of the house after this room and the front hall had been decorated in the Fourth Style, which has been dated between AD 62 and AD 79 (Ling 1997:211), but before the damage in the entranceway had been repaired. This suggests that the damage was caused by an event other than that which might have instigated the Fourth-Style decoration.


Room 08 in Casa degli Amanti

Description of room:

This was the largest covered room in the house. It was entered from front hall 01 through a narrow doorway in the east end of the south wall. It was also open for much of its east wall onto garden 09. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a black socle zone with compartments and ornamental bands; a central zone of yellow side fields with ornamental borders and floating figures and blue middle fields with central aediculae and central panels, depicting Ariadne, Dionysus, and Dido abandoned, separated by architectural elements against a white ground; and a white upper zone with architectural elements. The ceiling was also decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of ornamental bands with panels and medallions depicting busts and marine creatures on a white ground. The pavement was of lavapesta inset with colored stone (Ling 1997:301).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

A small breach in the west wall seems to have been cut from this side into area I 10,10. The excavators noted (GdSc A,VI,7:310) that the room had disturbed volcanic deposit from an "epoca remota" (distant past).

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Two human skeletons and a bronze coin found in the volcanic deposit could have originated from the upper levels of the deposit that had possibly been disturbed.

Interpretations of room:

Elia (1934:329) identified this room as a finely decorated triclinium. Ling (1997:197) referred to it as an oecus or dining room. If the skeletons were not from the Casa del Menandro or of those who had disturbed the volcanic deposit, then perhaps the house had been inhabited at the time of the eruption. The dearth of other finds suggests, however, that this room had been empty and unused prior to the eruption.


Garden 09 in Casa degli Amanti

Description of room:

This fully colonnaded garden (figure D. 82) was entered from front hall 01 to the west. Rooms 10 to 13 opened off its east side, rooms 14 to 19 opened off its south side, and room 08 opened off its northwest corner. The columns were unfluted and were black in the lower part and white in the upper part. Between them had been a fence. The decoration of the ambulatories consisted of a number of different types (Elia 1934:328) and probably phases. The south wall had a signinum socle with coarse plaster above. The west wall had a red socle zone with plants and a white upper zone with garlands and vignettes. The east wall was similar except with a black socle zone, and the north wall had a red socle with coarse plaster above. Ling (1997:302) identified the decoration on the west and east walls as a late Third- or early Fourth-Style decoration. The pavement was cocciopesto with a variety of ornamental borders in white tesserae (meanders, rhomboid net pattern, etc. - see Ling 1997:302).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The excavators noted (GdSc A,VI,7:323) that the strata of lapilli in the garden were undisturbed.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A wooden stairway ascended along the north wall of the north ambulatory from the northeast end. Under it were found two wooden cupboards. In cupboard no. 1, the larger bone-decorated cupboard, were found seven ceramic vessels (three jugs, one small pot, two abbeveratoi, and an amphoretta) and other fragments; a bronze forma di pasticceria; a small iron hammer; one bronze cone; bronze tweezers; a bone spindle; bronze lamp remains, a bronze fitting; and two coins. This cupboard appears to have been for domestic storage, principally of ceramic vessels-mainly jugs and possibly their contents. Two amphora bases containing colored earth, possibly mineral paint powder, were found next to this cupboard.* In the second, smaller cupboard (or chest), no. 2, towards the northwest corner were found one alabaster and one glass plate, and two wooden pommels. Nearby were found a ceramic lamp and a decorated terra-cotta fragment. In comparison with cupboard 1, this container appears to have been fairly empty.

A bronze brazier was found near the northwest corner of the ambulatories and a small wooden chest in the west ambulatory. The fittings of the latter included three guardispigoli, and it contained eight quadrangular glass flasks for storage, presumably of considerable quantities of liquids. In the south ambulatory in the southeast intercolumniation a large terra-cotta basin was attached to the stylobate (Ling 1997:201 Fig. 13). Beside it was a terra-cotta puteal covering a cistern mouth. In the basin was found a bronze bucket and beside it a bronze jug, a bronze jar, a ceramic amphora, and a coin. As Elia has observed (1934:323), two slots in the stylobate of the west ambulatory in front of room 08 were probably for a marble table or basin.

Interpretations of room:

The finds along the north ambulatory resemble the orderly storage in the east ambulatory of garden CC of the Casa di Julius Polybius. The chest of glass flasks is reminiscent of that found in the ambulatories of garden c of the Casa del Menandro. Braziers were also found in the garden areas of these other houses. The bronze bucket found in the southeast corner was probably used to carry water from the cistern to the large basin. The other vessels found here were perhaps for carrying water. As such, they had been left in their place of final use, which suggests rather rapid abandonment. However, people fleeing the final eruption are unlikely to have removed a table or basin that had been shifted from the northwest corner. Although it was conceivably looted, this also seems unlikely, particularly as the excavators noted the undisturbed nature of the volcanic deposit here. It seems that it had been removed prior to the final eruption.

Cupboards containing domestic goods were found in the ambulatories of the gardens of the Casa di Julius Polybius, Casa del Menandro, and Casa del Fabbro. The removal of what was possibly a marble table and the presence of glass storage jars and other domestic utensils suggest that this garden area had a particularly utilitarian rather than formal function, at least in its final use. The three possible different phases of wall decoration here imply a number of changes of plan or disruptions to the living conditions in this house. This is not consistent with the evidence from the front hall area which seems to have been largely decorated in the Fourth Style. Amphora bases with colored mineral contents and the removal of what was possibly a table hint at refurbishing activity, but the concentration of domestic activity here suggests that restoration had not been in progress at the time of the eruption. It had been either abandoned or left incomplete at some stage prior to the eruption. The coarse plastering on the south wall points to a downgrading of this garden area prior to the final eruption.

* Amphorae containing a red material and small pots containing other colors were found near unfinished paintings in the large room in the southeast corner of the Casa dei Casti Amanti (IX 12, 6-7). My thanks to Cinzia Iorio for showing this to me (see also Varone 1995:29).


Room 10 in Casa degli Amanti

Description of room:

This room in the northeast corner of the garden area had a narrow doorway to the latter towards the north end of the west wall and a small window at the south end. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a black socle zone, a red central zone with central aedicula, and a white upper zone with vegetal motifs (Ling 1997:303). The pavement was cocciopesto decorated with a circular pattern of white tesserae at the center.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Breaches in both the north and south walls (Ling 1997: Pl. 120) imply that a tunnel had been cut through this room (figure D. 83). The breach in the north wall, 0.95 m above the floor, would only have led under room 22 of the Casa del Menandro. Therefore, anyone who knew the terrain in this region, such as occupants returning to collect their possessions, would probably not have cut it. Similarly, fugitives from the final eruption are likely to have made these breaches around the east and south sides of the garden area.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The contents of this room included two ceramic lamps, a bronze stud, and two iron rods, at least one of which was cylindrical (figure D. 84).

Interpretations of room:

According to Elia (1934:333), this was a small oecus, although Ling believed (1997:202) that it was a cubiculum. The iron fragments are comparable to finds from rooms 15 and 18 in the Casa del Menandro, which suggests that this room might have had couches.


Room 11 in Casa degli Amanti

Description of room:

This room was on the east side of garden 09 to the south of room 10. It was entered from the garden area through a narrow doorway in the center of the west wall. It was decorated in the Fourth Style consisting of a black socle zone; a central zone of red and yellow fields, with ornamental borders, vignettes of animals and birds and small landscape panels, separated by columns; and a white upper zone with central aediculae, ornamental bands, garlands, and other architectural elements. The pavement was of cocciopesto with an allover rectangular pattern made up of lines of white tesserae with rhomboids and stars between the lines.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

This room had breaches in the north and south walls similar to those in room 10, presumably indicating the continuation of the same tunnel.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The single find from this room is probably a door fitting.

Interpretations of room:

According to Elia (1934:333), this was also an oecus. It seems improbable that looters or salvagers would have removed all traces of the contents of the room. It is therefore conceivable that it had been empty at the time of the eruption.


Room 12 in Casa degli Amanti

Description of room:

This room was also on the east side of the garden, to the south of room 11. It was likewise entered through a narrow doorway towards the center of the west wall. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of: a purple-red socle zone with compartments, ornamental bands, and plants; a central zone of yellow fields with ornamental borders, medallions with busts, and vignettes of animals separated by architectural elements and twisted candelabra against a white background; and a white upper zone with compartments, garlands and ornamental bands. The ceiling was also decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a large central medallion depicting a winged figure and surrounded by a rectangular design with ornamental bands, garlands, candelabra, and panels with landscapes and animals. The pavement was of lavapesta (Ling 1997:303).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Again, breaches in the north and south walls of this room indicate the continued path of intruders (figure D. 85).

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

Again Elia (1934:333) identified this room as an oecus. Foss (1994:301) suggested that these three rooms (10, 11 and 12) had been used for small gatherings, whereas Ling proposed (1997:202) that at least 11 and 12 functioned as cubicula and had been decorated in the Fourth Style between AD 62 and AD 79. Like room 11, this room seems to have been empty at the time of the eruption.


Room 13 in Casa degli Amanti

Description of room:

Room 13 was a narrow space in the southeast corner of the garden area. It was completely open on its west side and provided access to room 14 through a narrow doorway in the east end of the south wall. The walls had plain plaster, and the pavement was of mortar (Ling 1997:304).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Breaches in the north and south walls imply that the tunneling through rooms 10 to 12 continued through this corridor.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

None


Room 14 in Casa degli Amanti

Description of room:

This room in the southeast corner of the house was accessible from room 13 to the north. The walls had been roughly rendered (Ling 1997:304).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The walls of this small room had no breaches.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Tiles sloping from north to south suggest that a latrine had been here (Ling 1997:304).

Interpretations of room:

According to Elia (1934:334), this was a latrine.


Room 15 in Casa degli Amanti

Description of room:

This room in the southeast corner of the garden area was entered from room 16 through a narrow doorway in the north end of the west wall. The walls were furbished with pink plaster in the lower part and coarse plaster above. The pavement was of mortar (Ling 1997:304).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Breaches in the north and west walls in this room indicate the continuation of the tunneling from corridor 13 into room 16.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

According to Elia (1934:334), this was a storeroom, and to Ling (1997:202) it was a pantry. Unless it was entirely looted, it must have been empty at the time of the eruption.


Room 16 in Casa degli Amanti

Description of room:

This room (figure D. 86) was on the south side of garden 09 and was entered from it through a narrow doorway in the middle of the north wall. Another doorway in the north end of the east wall provided access to room 15. The walls had plain plaster, and the pavement was of mortar (Ling 1997:304).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Breaches in the east and west walls of this room imply the continued tunneling of intruders.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The fixtures include a lararium niche on the east wall with a painted snake below (Ling 1997:304) and a large bench along the south wall. At the western end of the latter is a basin. A terra-cotta puteal, two amphorae, and two ceramic jugs were found in the northwest corner. A bronze jug was found on the bench.

Interpretations of room:

According to Elia (1934:334), this was a rustic kitchen (see also Ling 1997:202). The lararium painting has been dated to the Fourth Style (Fröhlich 1991:104). While post-eruption intruders could conceivably have removed all trace of cooking activity here, the remaining vessels seem more likely to have been used for storage and pouring (see room Nk in the Casa di Julius Polybius). A terra-cotta puteal also seems an unlikely find for a kitchen, although one was also reported in room 45 of the Casa del Menandro. This one would not seem to fit the cistern mouth in the front hall, which was only 0.45 m in diameter, and there was already a puteal in situ in the garden area. Wherever it came from, it would not have been useful in the kitchen and might have restricted any food-preparation activities here. If so and if this kitchen had been operative at the time of the eruption, then it must have functioned in a restricted fashion.


Room 17 in Casa degli Amanti

Description of room:

Room 17 on the south side of the garden was entered from the latter through a narrow doorway in the east end of the north wall. The walls were furbished with pink plaster with coarse plaster above, and the pavement was of mortar (Ling 1997:305).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Breaches in the east and west walls were reportedly made in antiquity (GdSc A,VI,7:328). As noted above, however, there is no evidence to date these breaches except that they are unlikely to have been made by fugitives or by owners salvaging their possessions.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

All the finds from this room were discovered a few centimeters above the floor. They consisted of two ceramic jugs, two terra sigillata bowls, fragments of an immanicatura, a ceramic lamp, and a small cylindrical marble base.

Interpretations of room:

According to Elia (1934:334), this was another storeroom. Though limited, possibly because of disturbance, the finds are commensurate with domestic storage. The marble base was perhaps a vessel support (see room n of the Casa del Sacello Iliaco).


Room 18 in Casa degli Amanti

Description of room:

This room on the south side of the garden was entered through a narrow doorway in the west end of the north wall. The walls of this room had a high cocciopesto socle with white plaster above, and the pavement was of mortar (Ling 1997:305).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The deposit removed from this room consisted of ash and collapse from the upper floor (GdSc A,VI,7:324). Breaches in the east and west walls indicate continued tunneling.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

One bronze ring handle found here could have been off a cupboard or chest, in this room or the one above.

Interpretations of room:

Elia suggested (1934:335) that the wall covering indicated that this room had a utilitarian function. Ling suggested (1997:305) that it was a cubiculum. The finds do not offer information on its use.


Room 19 in Casa degli Amanti

Description of room:

This room was at the west end of the south side of garden 09. It was entered from the latter through a narrow doorway in the east end of the north wall. The walls were decorated with a red socle zone with plain white plaster above, with a stucco cornice, and the pavement was of cocciopesto decorated with a pattern of crosses in white and black tesserae (Ling 1997:305).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The tunneling around the garden area ends in this room with a breach in the east wall only.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Near the west wall 0.5 m above the floor were found: a bronze lamp lid; the fragmentary remains of a set of scales; a fragment of bone, possibly decorative; a large iron knife; and forceps. These might have been the remains of an assemblage similar to that found in room 07.

Interpretations of room:

Ling suggested that this room may have been a modest cubiculum (1997:202), decorated between AD 62 and AD 79 (1997:211). The finds are comparable to those of the chest of tools and weights found in room 07 and hint at a similar activity. This implies that both decorated and utilitarian rooms were given over to similar activities during the final occupancy of the house.


Area I 10,10 in Casa degli Amanti

Description of room:

This was a relatively large area to the north of room 04. It was entered directly from the street to the west of this insula or from the northwest corner of front hall 01 through a narrow doorway in the east end of the south wall. The walls were coarsely plastered in the lower parts and roughly rendered above. The pavement was cocciopesto (Ling 1997:298).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

As in entranceway a, the excavators removed volcanic material mixed with plaster that was particularly disturbed in the southeast corner (GdSc A,VI,7:305). A breach in the east wall of this corner provided a passage to room 08.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Apart from possible door fittings, the contents of this room consisted of a small ceramic amphora, a clay loom weight, a bronze brooch, and a small travertine base, possibly with a function similar to that of the base found in room 17.

Interpretations of room:

According to the Giornali degli Scavi (A,VI,7:305), this area seems to have been a coarse-plastered shop (see also Elia 134:323). Ling believed (1997:205) that it had been a service room. He argued (1997:211) that it had been converted from a dining room in the mid first century AD. The limited finds might be considered quite domestic in character, suggesting that any commercial or utilitarian activity ceased prior to the final eruption.


Upper Levels in Casa degli Amanti

Description of room:

The stairways in room 03 and along the north ambulatory of garden 09 indicate that this house had rooms in the upper story. The stairway along the north ambulatory reportedly led to a covered loggia along the north and west sides of the garden area and rooms above rooms 10 to 12 (Elia 1934:335). At the time of excavation the latter room was well preserved with remains of a cocciopesto pavement and some of the wall decoration (GdSc A,VI,7:319). According to Elia (1934:326), there were also upper-story rooms on the south side of the front hall and along the front of the house. Ling (1997:202﹣3) identified an apartment above rooms 02, 04, and entranceway a, upper-story rooms above the north ambulatory of garden 09, room 10, rooms 11 and 12, room 13 and rooms 14 to 19, and another apartment above rooms 03 and 05 to 07 but accessible from the garden area.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

It is not possible to determine whether the finds in the disturbed volcanic deposits in the area around the front hall were from the ground floor or rooms above and accessible by stairway 03. Those from the deposit in the front hall are listed above. Others from this area included: a bone hinge, a bone fitting and a ceramic vase, found a few centimeters above the pavement in entranceway a; fragments of an alabaster vessel and bronze fittings to the east of the front hall; and a ceramic jug, remains of an amphora and a clay lamp 1m above the pavement in room 07.. Finds made in the upper levels of the garden area consisted of a marble pestle, a travertine weight near the columns, and three amphorae from a room above room 18. Other unprovenanced finds included a marble support found near the south wall of the house, and a ceramic base and ceramic pot found to the south of the Casa del Menandro. Nothing was reported specifically from above rooms 10 to 12.

Interpretations of room:

Elia concluded (1934:335) that the room above rooms 10 to 12 was a triclinium, but observed that nothing remained of its decoration. According to Elia (1934:326), there were also upper-story rooms on the south side of the front hall and along the front of the house. On the basis of the structural remains and the lack of furnishings, she deduced that these were storerooms or slaves' quarters. Ling (1997:211) dated the construction of the second story to the mid first century AD. It seems that the formal area of the upper story was no longer in use at the time of the eruption. The finds to the south of the garden are utilitarian (see upper-story rooms in the Casa di Julius Polybius).