Information concerning the rooms in Casa di Julius Polybius

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Entranceway 03
Area A
Room V
Room T
Room E
Room H
Front Hall O
Room M
Corridor R
Room S
Room U
Room Y
Room D
Room P
Room Q
Room TT
Room UU
Corridor SS
Room VV
Entranceway 01
Area C
Room F
Room B
Room G
Room I
Room L
Front Hall N
Room Nk
Room Z
Garden CC
Room AA
Room BB
Room EE
Room FF
Room II
Room GG
Room HH
Upper levels and Unprovenanced Finds
Room A'
Room B'
Room T'
Room F'
Room O'
Room SS'
Room VV'
Room D'
Room P'
Room Q'
Room E'
Room M'
Room L'
Roon I'
Room G'
Room N'
Room TT'
Room UU'
Room Z'
Room S', U'-Y'
Room AA'
Room BB'
Room CC'
Room FF'
Room II'
Room GG'
Room HH'

Entranceway 03 in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Entranceway 03 led from the north side of the street, the Via dell'Abbondanza, to area A and through to the west side of the house. The walls were plastered and painted. The lower part of the walls had been decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a high socle with panels of imitation marble. Above were traces of yellow and red ashlar blocks capped with a white architrave and denticulated cornice in the First Style. The pavement was of cocciopesto delineated in white tesserae and decorated with lozenges and a scale pattern in white tesserae (de Franciscis 1988:18).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Numerous iron door bosses and other fittings from the apparently closed doors were discovered in this entranceway (Della Corte 1913:60). Two bronze coins were also found on the threshold.

Interpretations of room:

The wall decoration was probably contemporary with that of area A.


Area A in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

This spacious area (figure D.1) was entered through entranceway 03 and led to hall O. A doorway in the west wall led to area C, and rooms V, T, E, and H open off it. As in entranceway 03, the upper decoration was predominantly in the First Style, consisting of a denticulated cornice above ashlar blocks; below, particularly on the east wall, was a later Fourth-Style decoration of a high black socle with coarse, unpainted plaster above (figure D.2). The high black socle was decorated in a simple diagonal striated pattern, forming a rough imitation marble decoration. A false door, plastered and painted (red and white) in the northwest corner, was of a later decorative phase than the original First-Style decoration in this area (de Franciscis 1988:20; Leach 1993:Fig. 1). The pavement consisted of crushed lava (de Franciscis 1988:18).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Oliva Auricchio observed that the volcanic deposit in the southeast corner of this court, some 2.5 m above the pavement and in an area approximately 3 x 3.5 m, had been disturbed by previous excavators (Oliva Auricchio I:33). The rest of the room was filled with lapilli, except the northeast corner where the volcanic deposit was cut by a layer of ash. Oliva Auricchio also noted that the wall of the upper floor had fallen into a bed of lapilli (Oliva Auricchio I:9), the burnt rafters having been deposited some 2 m above the pavement, 1.1 m from the north wall and 1.4 m from the east wall (Oliva Auricchio I:36). A carbonized wooden beam with iron nails was found in the northeast corner at socle height (approximately 1 m above the pavement) and in the lapilli. (Oliva Auricchio I:112). Five of the six amphorae found near the north wall was broken by the falling roof (Oliva Auricchio I:127). In the northwest corner, roof tiles were found in the lapilli, approximately 1 m above the pavement (Oliva Auricchio I:114). Other amphorae were found under the tiles (Oliva Auricchio I:122). Currently, the pavement is broken in a north-south line, from beside the west wall of entranceway 03 through room E to the cistern head in the southeast corner of the impluvium in hall O, suggesting some later adaptation, presumably related to the water supply. If so, the steps from A to E were put back after the cut had been made.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

There was a square cistern mouth on the north side of this room, between rooms E and H. A stone plinth was found against the entrance to room E and piles of pozzolana in the northwest, northeast, and southeast corners. With this material in the northwest corner amphorae were also found (Leach 1993:Fig. 1), and jugs, plates, and other diverse vessels were stacked on the floor in the southwest corner (see figure D.1). Other broken pottery was found in the center of the room and against the north wall. A wooden door had been placed against the east wall, presumed by de Franciscis (1988:20) to have been awaiting installation.

Interpretations of room:

De Franciscis identified this area as the principal atrium (1988:18). He argued that the area was in the process of being redecorated, presumably because there is no black socle on the west wall (1988:19). Also noting that the area had a roughly beaten floor and no impluvium, De Franciscis therefore concluded that it must have been a testudinate atrium, whose restoration, after the AD 62 earthquake, had not been completed by the time of the eruption (see also de Vos and de Vos 1982:119). He believed that this refurbishing was to convert it for some commercial activity (de Franciscis 1975:247). Conversely, Eleanor Leach has argued that the area had been a vestibulum where the clients of "politically powerful aristocrats...gathered each morning to await audiences with their patronus" (1993:23). She saw the First-Style decoration as pertinent to such a function and believed, as de Franciscis proposed, that this area was being slowly refurbished after the AD 62 earthquake for a more utilitarian purpose. Whatever the initial intended function, it is difficult to envisage earthquake repair that would have resulted in the Fourth Style in the lower decoration but would not have necessitated repair to the First Style decoration in the upper part of these walls. It is more probable that either wear and tear or change in use required the alteration, independent of any earthquake. The need to paint the walls at all, for change of use, implies that the area was at least intended to continue to serve some formal, though downgraded, function.

The fact that building material was found in the room has been used to suggest that alteration had been abandoned at or prior to the eruption. Some of the amphorae contained lime, and de Franciscis has argued that others contained water, suggesting they had been used in this repair (1988:20). There is, however, no apparent reason to bring water in amphorae to this house. Even if the aqueduct was not functioning, as Maiuri has argued (1942:91﹣4), the house was seemingly well supplied with cisterns. The numerous amphorae could point to some other industrial or commercial activity. Such a possibility might be substantiated by the variety of other vessel types found in this area. Any such activity would have been somewhat hampered by the associated building material, unless the material had also been commercial. Such a mixed activity would seem to belong to a later phase than redecoration in the Fourth Style.


Room V in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

This room was located west of entranceway 03. Its entire south side opened onto the street; the entire north side opened onto the southwest corner of area A. The east and west walls had been coarsely plastered. There was no evidence of a pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Remains of two sets of scales and a bronze cup, possibly from a lantern, were reported in the 1913 excavations. Another vessel of unidentified material, a bronze ladle, and a coin were reported from the later excavations.

Interpretations of room:

Because of the layout, Matteo Della Corte (1913:60) and de Franciscis (1988:19) have concluded that this area was a shop. Della Corte reported that the doors to the street had been open at the time of the eruption. De Franciscis argued that it had been transformed into a shop after the AD 62 earthquake (1988:20). The nature of the limited finds in this space suggest commercial activity prior to the eruption. Most probably the activity in this area was closely dependant on that in area A.


Room T in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

This room was located in the southeast corner of area A, and was entered through a narrow doorway in its north wall. Its north and west walls had been covered with unpainted coarse white plaster. The pavement was probably similar to that in area A.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Because most of the walls in this room have been heavily restored, there are no traces of breaches and therefore no evidence of disturbance to the volcanic deposit.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

The wall covering is of the type used in utilitarian rooms.


Room E in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room E opened from the center of the north side of area A and was essentially a wide corridor to hall O. The wall decoration consisted of a continuation of the later Fourth-Style decoration of area A and entranceway 03, with a high black imitation marble socle and an upper part of coarse plaster. The cocciopesto pavement was decorated with white tesserae.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

There is evidence of a breach, now patched, in the north end of the east wall of this corridor, which could have disturbed the volcanic deposit.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

Because de Franciscis identified area A as a testudinate atrium, he identified this room as a corridor where one would expect a tablinum (1988:19). De Franciscis noted that the decoration had been in the process of renovation and the capital of the southwest anta was missing (de Franciscis 1988:19). It has also been argued for area A that such redecoration had been halted prior to the final eruption and the area turned over to storage or commercial activity.


Room H in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room H was in the northeast corner of area A, entered through a narrow doorway in its southwest corner. Its walls once had coarse white plaster. There is also evidence of earlier red-painted plaster in the southwest corner (Oliva Auricchio I:97). The pavement was probably similar to that in area A.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Breaches in the north and east walls of this room suggest that its volcanic deposit had been disturbed.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Room H has a recess in the north wall, probably for a built-in cupboard. It had been a small window but was converted to a recess before being plastered. Cylindrical bone hinges found in the area may have been associated with the cupboard or possibly a second, free-standing one. In the same area were found one glass cup, fragments of a number of ceramic vessels, and a fragment of a small marble column, possibly a pedestal base. Other fragments of amphorae and vases were also found, possibly from the northeast corner.

Interpretations of room:

This room, with its coarse white plaster, was thought by de Franciscis (1988:19) to have been an apotheka (storeroom). The contents of the cupboard in the northwest corner seem for domestic purposes, although the presence of a marble fragment is curious (see hall 41 in the Casa del Menandro, room d in House I 6,8-9, and room D in the Casa degli Amorini Dorati). The remains of earlier, painted plaster in the southwest corner may indicate that the room had been downgraded for use as a storeroom.


Front Hall O in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Front hall O (figure D.3) was entered from area A through room E to the south (Leach 1993:Fig. 3). To the north, the hall led up to the higher level of the southeast corner of garden CC through corridor SS. It also had a corridor (R) leading to hall N to the west. Room M opened off its southwest corner. Rooms D, P, Q, and VV opened off the east side of this court; rooms S, U, and Y off the west side; and room TT to the north. In the center was an central water-catchment pool (impluvium). There were remains of a fine cornice above the doorway to room M and a second red one with a yellow ovolo approximately 1 m higher, between corridor R and room U. The lower walls had coarse white plaster. The pavement of this court consisted of cobbled pebbles but there were traces of an earlier cocciopesto pavement with white marble tesserae forming a lozenge pattern on the east side and in the center of the impluvium.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

This hall had an central water-catchment pool (impluvium). The base was in cocciopesto decorated with polychrome pieces of marble. At the south end stood a marble puteal over one of the cistern mouths. A slab of limestone acted as a cover for a cistern mouth in the northwest corner of this court. In the northeast corner was a large rectangular niche, inside which was a smaller semicircular niche. Numerous iron nails and bronze fittings were found in or near this niche, presumably from wooden doors. Glass and ceramic fragments, from vessels and lamps, and some unidentifiable bones were found inside. Above this niche was another small semicircular niche. Fragments of amphorae and other ceramic vessels were found in this area.

Interpretations of room:

According to de Franciscis (1988:28) this was the third atrium in the house. He suggested it may have been an atriolum. De Franciscis (1988:21) identified the remains of a cornice decoration as from the First Style. Remains of a coarse white plaster on the lower walls could have been from a later time and contemporary with the lower decoration in entranceway 03, area A, and room E. This refurbishing suggests a fairly utilitarian function, perhaps related to the commercial/industrial activity in and around area A. De Franciscis argued that the niches in the northeast corner were either a built-in cupboard or a lararium but remarked that no statues were found (de Franciscis 1988:21). The vessel fragments suggest that it was being used rather as a storage cupboard, possibly for food. It seems unlikely that a lararium would have been closed with wooden doors.


Room M in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

A small room in the southwest corner of hall O, room M (figure D.4) was entered through a narrow doorway in the northeast corner. The walls were painted in the Second Style except for areas of white plaster to a height of 1.56 m in the southwest corner on both the south and west walls. The painted decoration distinguished two areas of the room. It consisted of an imitation marble socle zone and a central zone of purple and yellow orthostats with a denticulated cornice and four rows of yellow ashlar blocks. The pavement was of cocciopesto, delineated and decorated with white tessarae in the form of a carpet with quadrangular and lozenge patterns. In the southwest corner the pavement was patched for an area of 0.86 x 1.10 m.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The pavement from the upper floor above had fallen onto a layer of ash (Oliva Auricchio I:97). Under the ash, at a depth of approximately 1 m above the floor, the volcanic deposit was mixed with fragments of plaster and tiles (Oliva Auricchio I:103). A rectangular cut in west wall has been made after excavation to remove graffiti.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

This room had three cupboards: two against the east wall (a wooden one in the southeast corner and a recess 0.7 m above the floor in the northeast corner) and one in the southwest corner. A low plastered structure of indeterminate function was located against the east wall (figure D.5). Iron nails and fragments of bone ornament found in the southeast corner must have been part of the fittings of that cupboard. Fragments of predominantly small ceramic vessels, including one jar, one jug and many lids, one glass cup, four lamps, a bronze ring, and glass counters, were also found in the southeast corner and must have constituted the cupboard contents. Other small ceramic vases in southwest corner were probably from the third cupboard.

Interpretations of room:

The patched pavement and white wall plaster in the southwest corner were assumed to indicate a cupboard in the corner. The white plaster was either contemporary with or later than the Second-Style decoration. The finds from the cupboard in the southeast corner are seemingly of a domestic nature. The small size and open character of many of the vessels imply that they were not for food storage. It is therefore conceivable that this room had been a dispensary or storage room, possibly for toilet or leisure goods. This type of storage would indicate a function other than that indicated by the Second-Style decoration. The low plastered structure appears to be a rustic or utilitarian addition, out of character with the decoration (see fornello in room 03 of the Casa del Menandro). This room would therefore seem to have been downgraded, at least during its final phase of use.


Corridor R in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Corridor R led from the middle of the west wall of hall O to hall N. The north wall seemed to have been of light construction with a wooden framework, so-called opus craticum. All walls had coarse white plaster to 2.03 m above the floor. Above, on the east wall, were remains of earlier Third-Style decoration consisting of a white upper zone with a frieze of garlands and metopes. The pavement was of lavapesta.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Iron nails, a beaker, two amphorae, and other ceramic vases were found in corridor R.

Interpretations of room:

Remains of Third-Style decoration on the east wall suggest that the corridor may once have been part of room U, at least during the Third-Style period. The north wall of the opus craticum must have been added later, converting this part into a corridor to hall N. The presence of pottery in this narrow corridor implies a makeshift situation rather than more habitual or normal storage.


Room S in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Small and narrow, room S opened from the southwest corner of hall O and had a window in the west wall overlooking hall N. There was a circular vent hole, 0.2 m in diameter, in the west corner of the north wall, through to corridor R. The walls had been decorated in the Fourth Style with a dark red socle zone, yellow central zone with ornamental borders, figured central panels and floating figures and an red upper zone with ornamental borders, garlands, and bucrania. De Franciscis (1988:21) identified this decoration as the Third Style. The pavement was cocciopesto delineated in white tesserae and decorated with lozenges, also in white tesserae, radiating from a central square of palmettes and dolphins.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Room S has a breach in the south wall, through from room L. However, the excavators were able to reconstitute the decoration in this area, suggesting that the volcanic deposit was relatively undisturbed. Further reconstitution carried out towards the east end of the south wall may have been necessary because of another breach in this area.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

The complete lack of finds reported from this room could indicate that it was not in use at the time of the eruption.


Room U in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room U opened off the west side of hall O, with a narrow doorway in its northeast corner. The walls were painted in the Fourth Style, consisting of a black socle zone and central zone of a white middle field with yellow ornamental borders and yellow side fields separated by twisted candelabra. The pavement was in lavapesta.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Most of the walls of this room, above c. 1.7 m, consist of modern restoration.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The only recorded finds were a lock and key in the window in the west wall.

Interpretations of room:

Room U was flimsily partitioned from room Y, in opus craticum, and subsequently decorated in the Fourth Style, which de Franciscis (1988:21) has again called the Third Style.* The complete lack of finds inside the room, and yet the key in situ in the window lock, suggests that this room had also been empty at the time of the eruption.

*According to de Franciscis (1988:21) this decoration consisted of red and white fields with a simple cornice.


Room Y in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room Y was a small narrow room with two doorways opening off the west side of hall O to the north of room U. The walls originally had a painted decoration consisting of a red central zone with yellow bands. It is not possible to determine whether it had been in the Third or Fourth Style but it may have been the same decoration as in room U. This painted decoration had subsequently been covered with white plaster. The pavement was in lavapesta.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

According to Oliva Auricchio the south wall of room Y was preserved only to a height of 0.5 m (Oliva Auricchio IV:106). Breaches have been cut in the north wall, in the northwest corner through to room UU and in the west wall through to room Z.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The only recorded finds were a ceramic lamp, a large oval bronze lid, presumably from an oval basin, and a pile of had beenhed pebbles, possibly to make a pavement as in hall O.

Interpretations of room:

As mentioned above, room Y was flimsily partitioned from room U. According to de Franciscis (1988:21), the traces of earlier decoration are in the Third Style. The pile of stones suggests that building material, possibly to make a pavement such as that in hall O, was kept in this room prior to the eruption. This seems a change of use from that intended by the white plaster, which postdated the decoration. The vessels might belong to a separate, possibly later, deposit unrelated to this building material.


Room D in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

The entire west side of room D was open onto hall O. It walls were covered with a white plaster. On the north and south walls there were traces of a cornice and a white upper zone painted with a horizontal red garland belonging to an earlier painted decoration of indeterminate style or date. The pavement was in cocciopesto, decorated in rows of white tesserae.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Burnt wood from the architrave of the entrance was found near pavement level (Oliva Auricchio II:[21.1.70]). Two breaches are found in the north and south walls of the room.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

There were two rows of shelving on each of the north and east walls of this room. Apart from fittings in the doorway, the main contents were remains of amphorae, in the northwest corner.

Interpretations of room:

White plaster, shelving, and amphorae indicate that this room had been used as a storeroom. The traces of earlier decoration on the north and south walls suggest that this room once had a less utilitarian function.


Room P in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room P was relatively large, with a doorway at the south end of the west wall and a window in the north end of the west wall overlooking hall O. The walls were covered with white plaster and it had had a coarse cocciopesto pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Room P has a breach from room D, at floor level in the south end of the south wall. There may be another breach in the north wall at the east end but modern restoration makes it difficult to be certain.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

There are two rows of shelving on each of the north, east, and south walls. Fragments of ceramic vessels, amphorae, a jug, and other vases were found. Some were recorded around 1 m above the floor and probably stood on shelves. Two ceramic lamps were found in the southeast corner.

Interpretations of room:

White plastered walls and traces of shelving indicate that this large area served as a storeroom. The containers found suggest that this had been its final function prior to the eruption.


Room Q in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room Q (figure D.6) was small and narrow, fully open on its west side onto the east side of hall O. Its walls were covered with white plaster, and the pavement was lavapesta.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

As in room P, there may have been a breach at the east end of the south wall of this room, disturbing any volcanic deposit.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

There were two rows of shelving along each of the north, south, and east walls. A rectangular niche built into the northwest corner had two wooden shelves inside containing ceramic fragments, of amphorae, jugs and other vessels, and a bird skeleton. Iron nails found in this corner were probably part of the fittings. Except for one jug in the center of the room, all the recorded loose finds were from the northwest area. Seven amphorae were found, one leaning against the recess; two large ceramic vases were also found nearby.

Interpretations of room:

As with room P, white plastered walls and shelving indicate that this room had been furbished as a storeroom; however, there is no evidence that anything was stored on the shelves as the finds had either been in or near the niche in the northwest corner. Either this storeroom was partially empty or it contained organic material. Given the attention paid to other organic material in this house, the former seems more likely.


Room TT in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room TT was fully open across its south side onto the north end of hall O. Because it was at a lower level than garden CC, its fully open north wall side comprised a window looking out onto this garden. The walls had coarse white plaster similar to that in hall O and the other rooms in this area. The pavement is cocciopesto with scattered chips of limestone.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Both flat and curved roof tiles were found stacked against the north wall of this room. A hand mill and a ceramic amphora were also found near the north wall.

Interpretations of room:

It is apparent from the finds that this room had been used for storing building material, presumably for repair to the roof in another part of the building. The presence of a grinding stone implies that repair work had also been carried out here.


Room UU in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room UU was located in the northwest corner of hall O but opened off room TT through a narrow door in its east wall. Most of the north side consisted of a window looking onto the higher level of garden CC. The walls were painted in a simple Fourth-Style decoration consisting of a black socle zone with plants; a black central zone with floating figures, red medallions, and vignettes; and a black upper zone with architecture and garlands. The pavement was of cocciopesto decorated with fragments of limestone and glass paste.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

There is a breach in the west end of the south wall, showing disturbance from room Y.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

There is a recess in the west end of the south wall, near which were found numerous strips of bone and two iron feet threaded with bone disks, likely to be the remains of a decorated bed or couch. Also found near the south wall were fragments from a glass jar, a ceramic plate, an amphora, and a dolium, and a type of bone strigil, a bronze ring, and two ceramic lamps. A bronze vessel and fragments of a second plate were found on the windowsill in the north wall.

Interpretations of room:

The remains of a bed and other scattered finds suggest that a bed had been placed in the recess and the room used during its final occupancy for sleeping, resting, or dining. Only two decorated legs were found for the bed (see also room a in House I 7,19 and room 43 in the Casa del Menandro). A dolium, being a large storage vessel, seems an unlikely find for such a room. The room is accessible only through room TT, used to store building material and possibly even for building work. Although this room may have been intended as a bedroom, the final occupancy seems somewhat haphazard.


Corridor SS in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Corridor SS provided access from hall O to garden CC. It also had a stairway along its east side, from the north end to the upper-story rooms around halls N and O. It had once been coarsely plastered similar to room TT and other previously mentioned rooms in this area (rooms 3, A, and E). It probably had a mortar pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Except for a lock from the door to the garden, the finds from this corridor came from the stairway landing on the east side. They consisted of an iron brazier, two bronze jugs, and, under the brazier, an amphora fragment and a ceramic plate.

Interpretations of room:

The location of amphorae and other vessels on the stairway would seem to hinder its use as a passageway. Possibly they were placed there temporarily while transporting water upstairs (see also stairway ST in the Casa del Sacerdos Amandus and room 3 in the Casa degli Amanti). The brazier and bronze jugs might represent a similar activity or, conversely, might have been left in transit, during either the eruption or an earlier period of rearrangement.


Room VV in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room VV was located in the northeast corner of hall O, with a low entrance under stairway SS. It had white plaster painted in red on the north wall with garlands and basins, possibly in the Fourth Style. The pavement seems to have been destroyed.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The excavators found undisturbed lapilli on the north side of the room, which they noted was different from that on the south (Oliva Auricchio V:75).

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A marble pedana with traces of ash and carbon was found in the southeast corner. Fragments from a number of ceramic vessels (including amphorae), a lamp, and a marble plate found in the lapilli could have fallen from the upper floor.

Interpretations of room:

The presence of a pedana suggests either cooking, heating, or storage of cooking vessels there. Neither activity seems to be related to the painted decoration of the room. In general, a storeroom is unlikely to have been painted (see Strocka 1975:101-6). The function of this room might therefore have been changed after decoration


Entranceway 01 in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Entranceway 01 led from Via dell'Abbonandanza to area C and the rooms on the west side of the house. The walls were covered with a coarse white plaster. The pavement was probably of lime mortar.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The discovery of a horse or donkey skeleton, lying on its side in a stratum of ash overlaying lapilli, suggests that the entranceway was undisturbed after the eruption.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Thirty bronze bosses found here were reportedly from open doors (Della Corte 1913:60). An equid skeleton, wearing a bronze and iron bridle, was found 2 m above the floor. A bronze coin was discovered nearby.

Interpretations of room:

Della Corte (1913:60) thought the doors of the house were open to let the horse out but it would seem more probable from the evident slope of the lapilli (Della Corte 1913:57, Fig. 2) that the animal had sheltered from the deluge of volcanic debris in the street.


Area C in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Area C was entered through entranceway 01. It also had a doorway in the east wall leading to area A and rooms B, F, G, I, and L, which opened off it. In the west wall were two small windows with iron grills opening onto a street that ran up this side of the house. The west, north, and east walls were covered with a coarse white plaster. The pavement seems to have been of lime mortar.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Towards the southwest corner, remains of the roof lay on an ash stratum some 3 m above the floor (Oliva Auricchio I:11, 23). A bank of ash was found in the northwest corner c. 2 m above the floor (Oliva Auricchio I:26).

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A layer of pozzolana was found to a depth of c. 0.5 m above the floor. A large ceramic dolium stood against the center of the west wall, in which were found fragments of amphorae. Three further amphorae were found in the northwest corner, and lamp fragments were found on the floor near the west wall.

Interpretations of room:

Although there is no trace of an impluvium, de Franciscis (1988: 24) identified this room as an atrium because a lion-head gargoyle was found among the roof tiles. The plaster on the west, north, and east walls is either earlier than or contemporary with the painting on the jambs to room I. The finds in this room are reminiscent of those in room A, indicating construction and storage activity of either an industrial or commercial nature but seemingly not domestic.


Room F in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room F opened off the southwest corner of area C with two doorways in its north side. The east and west walls had once been furbished with white plaster. There does not seem to have been a pavement here.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Room F had been excavated in the 1913 excavations, but the fill was not completely removed. Oliva Auricchio reported that ash from 2.2 m above the pavement was undisturbed by previous excavators (Oliva Auricchio I:147).

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

The plaster on the west wall of this room is earlier than the blocking of a door in the northwest corner of the north wall. According to de Franciscis (1988:24), this room was used as a shop for a time, and then the entrance to the street was closed.


Room B in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room B consisted of a stairway leading from the southeast corner of area C, in a southerly direction, to the upper-story rooms across the front of the house. The walls were covered with white plaster with traces of pinkish color near the ground.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The imprint of a wooden stairway was found along the east wall. Against the south wall a pile of lime was found, probably for restoration work.

Interpretations of room:

The walls of the room were furbished as for a storage or utilitarian area. Grooves in the first step to the north and west indicate that the stairway could be closed off.


Room G in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room G was a corridor connected the northwest corner of area C to hall N. The walls had once been covered with white plaster. The pavement seems to have been of lime mortar.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Oliva Auricchio reported (Oliva Auricchio I:26) that the volcanic deposit in room G was disturbed.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

Traces of white plaster on the walls suggest room G had been a storage or utilitarian space.


Room I in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room I was fully open across its south side onto area C and had a large window in the north side looking onto hall N. The walls were decorated with a red socle zone with plants, a red central zone with a central aedicula and ornamental borders around the side fields with small vignettes of birds, and a red upper zone. The ceiling was flat and decorated with a white ground. The pavement was lavapesta.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The excavators found humic material 3.85 m below the modern surface, implying that the room had been disturbed fairly recently (Oliva Auricchio I:26). The material found could have been the spoil from Spinazzola's earlier excavations.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

De Franciscis has identified this room as a tablinum (1988:24). Although he identified the decoration as in the Third Style, the walls are in fact decorated in the Fourth Style. The complete lack of finds might indicate that the room was not used as intended by its decoration. Given the evident white plastering of the surrounding rooms, it is probable that the area was downgraded after the Fourth-Style decoration of room I.


Room L in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room L opened off the northeast corner of area C through a narrow doorway. It had a low barrel vault ceiling and its walls were covered with plain white plaster. The pavement was cocciopesto.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The north wall has a breach through to room S.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

The low ceiling and position of the room suggest it once had a more formal function than indicated by the plain white plaster. It seems to have been converted into a storage or utilitarian room. The lack of recorded finds may be the result of post-eruption disturbance or Spinazzola's earlier excavations. However, the complete dearth of even fragmentary material suggests that the room, having already been downgraded, was not utilized during the final occupation of the house.


Front Hall N in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Hall N was entered from area C to the south via corridor G (figure D.7). It can also be entered from hall O to the east, via corridor R. The only rooms that opened off of it were room Nk, at its west side, and room Z to the north. A stairway in the northwest corner provided access to rooms AA' and BB' and to the other rooms in the upper story around halls N and O. The main walls had a red painted socle (height 1.26 m), which had been cut away under the windows to rooms S and U, with white plaster above. The cocciopesto pavement was delineated and decorated with white tesserae.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The excavators noted they did not find an ash stratum in this area, some 4 m above the pavement level, as they had expected (Oliva Auricchio I:54). Again, they recorded digging only lapilli 2.5 m from pavement level, the level at which they encountered a room above room G.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

In the center of hall N was a central water-catchment pool (impluvium) with rounded corners. A travertine puteal stands over the cistern mouth in the northeast corner. There is a lararium painting on the west wall, in the southwest corner of the hall (Fröhlich 1991:Fig. 14.2). In front of this lararium was found a graffito, reportedly greeting a C. JULIUS PHILIPPUS (de Vos and de Vos 1982:118). In the northwest corner were found numerous amphorae, smaller ceramic vases, and a glass bottle, some between 1.5 and 3.5 m above pavement level. In this same corner a stairway led to rooms above AA and BB.

Interpretations of room:

The red painted socle in this hall is contemporary with the Fourth-Style decoration in room Z. The cutting away of this decoration under the windows to rooms S and U suggests alterations to this area after decoration. Fröhlich (1991:88) dates the lararium painting in the southwest corner to the Third Style. According to de Franciscis (1988:24), this area was a service hall.


Room Nk in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

The central area of the west ambulatory of hall N had been closed off to form this small room. Its walls were covered with a coarse plaster and the pavement was cocciopesto.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

See discussion for hall N.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Room NK has a terra-cotta skylight in the roof and benches along its north and west walls. A clay lamp was found on the roof. To the south end of the west bench is a drain with a tufa mouth (diameter 0.6 m). Evidence of suspension nails was found in the west wall. Two iron tripods, an iron grate, and traces of charcoal were found on the bench, as were a quantity of ceramic vessels, small bowls, and vases and amphora bases. Under the bench were four jugs, two small jars, and a small bowl, all ceramic, and amphora bases. Fragments of bronze were also found.

Interpretations of room:

The outer face of the east wall of this small room had a similar coarse plaster. De Franciscis identified this small room as a kitchen (de Franciscis 1988:24), which he argued (1988:33) was functioning as such at the time of the eruption. The installation of a kitchen off this hall suggests a functional alteration prior to the current decoration in the hall. The finds suggest it had been a cooking area immediately prior to the eruption, but none of the vessels can actually be identified as cooking vessels (see room n in the Casa del Sacello Iliaco or rooms h and i in the Casa del Sacerdos Amandus). The complete lack of bronze cooking vessels is also notable. It might be explained as the result of post-eruption disturbance, but the state of preservation of the area and the lack of apparent disturbance seems to exclude that possibility (Oliva Auricchio II:10﹣15). It would therefore seem that while many of the condiments holders might still have been stored here, the cooking vessels had already been removed for use elsewhere.


Room Z in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room Z opens off the north side of hall N, through a doorway in the southeast corner. Much of the rest of the south wall was taken up by a window looking onto hall N. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, with a red socle and a white central zone, with central aedicula, ornamental borders, central panels with still-life scenes, and medallions in the side fields. The pavement was cocciopesto delineated and decorated in white tesserae in a pattern of tangential circles.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Below the cornice of room Z the excavators found mixed lapilli and ash (Oliva Auricchio IV:100, 103). Post-eruption disturbance is implied by a breach in the east wall in the northeast corner, through to room Y, and another in the north wall towards the northwest corner, through to room BB.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A bone hinge was found towards the northwest corner and a cup was found 0.2 m above the floor, towards the northeast corner. Near the entrance were found remains of ceramic vessels (a lid, three plates, a basin, and a vase), numerous iron nails, glass fragments, a bronze ring, a perforated strip of bronze, and fragments of other ceramic vessels. Other finds, on the pavement, included a small glass toilet bottle, an amphora neck, two ceramic vases, a (probably large) decorated bronze basin, a bone awl and reel, a ceramic coffetta, a marble bead or possibly an amulet, and the bones and teeth of an animal. Fragments of ceramic vessels were also found in the disturbed volcanic deposit of this room.

Interpretations of room:

The Fourth-Style decoration of this room is contemporary with that in hall N. It is conceivable that the finds near the entrance were held in a chest or cupboard that had been disturbed by intruders, possibly causing the other finds to be scattered. The assemblage appears to have been domestic and, while diverse, utilitarian. Such storage could indicate the multifunctional character of the room that opened off what appears to have been a utilitarian hall. The room may have been downgraded after its Fourth-Style decoration.

A piece of graffito (around 0.9 m x 1 m) seems to have been removed from the south end of the east wall.


Garden CC in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Garden CC was the main courtyard and light source for the northern end of the house (figure D.9). It had colonnaded ambulatories along its north, east, and south sides and a pseudo-colonnade along the west side. It was entered from the south of the house through corridor SS in the southeast corner. Rooms AA and BB opened off its south side and rooms TT and UU had windows looking onto it. Rooms EE, FF, GG, HH, and II opened off its north side. The walls of the ambulatories were decorated in the Third Style with a black socle with white central and upper zones and small vignettes of landscapes, birds, animals, fruit, and Dionysiac masks (figure D.11). This decoration was unfinished on the jambs to the doorways of rooms FF and EE, with evidence of an earlier decoration on the east jamb of the doorway to room FF. The decoration of the columns and the west wall of the garden proper consisted of yellow painted plaster in the lower part and white plaster in the upper. The pavement was coarse cocciopesto.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The fixtures here include a rectangular recess at floor level at the north end of the east wall. A recess was found in the northeast corner; the associated finds indicate it may have held a wooden container. A ceramic lamp, a ceramic loom weight, and numerous glass fragments found in the vicinity may have constituted its contents, although they are not recorded as such by Oliva Auricchio. A wooden arch was found attached to the east wall, towards the northeast corner. Against the east wall of this ambulatory, towards the north end and 0.25 m above the pavement, a wooden sgabello, was found; 0.2 m away, at the same height above the pavement, the cavity of another wooden object had been found (Oliva Auricchio V:46). Five cupboards had been found in the east ambulatory against the east wall (figure D.10).

Cupboard V was closest to the northeast corner. It had horizontal hinges in the upper part suggesting it opened laterally. Four ceramic vessels were recorded from this cupboard. Cupboard IV was decorated with lozenges and stars of ivory (or bone). Glass vessels (a cup and three flasks) were found towards the bottom of the cupboard. Further up, presumably on another shelf, were found a ceramic cup; a ceramic vase; a glass flask; one bronze and two silver spoons; two bronze angolare; two bronze rings, one with chains attached and possibly from a lantern; two bronze handles; five bronze chains; a bronze ornament; and a slab of slate. Higher up, possibly on another shelf, were found glass vessels: five flasks, two small bottles, one plate, and four cups. This cupboard also contained two ceramic cups; one glass plate; fragments of a glass phial; a number of small glass bottles; a bronze plate; one gold finger-ring and one bronze seal, the latter bearing the inscription "C IULI PHILIPPI" (de Franciscis 1988:21); nine bone dice; a bronze rod; and twenty small silver and six bronze coins. The majority of the contents of this cupboard seem of a more delicate nature, particularly on the upper shelves, than those in the other four cupboards.

Cupboard III contained nine ceramic vessels, mainly fairly large storage vessels, and an unidentified iron object. Cupboard II had been painted and had five shelves. It contained an iron weight, an iron rod or pugnaletto, a fan-shaped shell, and three small ceramic and glass vessels. Cupboard I, in the southeast corner, stood some 0.5 m above the pavement (Oliva Auricchio V:36). It was decorated with bone and seems to have contained wooden boards, possibly shelves; a small wooden trunk; the wooden screw from a press; seven lead weights of various sizes; a wooden container or box; a bronze split pin; and numerous bronze fragments. Two other wooden trunks were found in the vicinity. This cupboard also contained numerous vessels, mostly containers and mostly of glass, up to 0.28 m in height; three bone awls; a ceramic lamp; bronze fragments, some ornamental; eggshells; and one tooth. The glass vessels appear to have been on a higher shelf than the other contents. Two vessels, one glass and one ceramic, and a bronze handle were found under this cupboard. Fragments of numerous other ceramic vessels were reported from the east ambulatory.

A lead puteal was found in the northeast corner of the colonnade and a marble puteal in the south east corner, covering a cistern mouth. Inside the cistern (presumably the one in the southeast corner) were found a ceramic fragment, a bronze lock fragment, one oyster shell, a bronze coin, and numerous iron fragments. Most of these finds were small and easily lost objects. In the south ambulatory, towards the west end, were found an iron brazier, a marble mortar, the neck of a small ceramic vase, a bronze lock, and numerous bronze fragments including a bronze ring. In the garden proper, Wilhelmina Jashemski (1979a:27﹣8; 1979b:604﹣5) recognized five large trees in the central area, at least one of which was a fig tree and the others also were predominantly fruit trees. She also identified smaller trees, possibly citrus, against the west wall and the roots of smaller plants, some probably in pots and others forming ornamental borders along the east and south sides. In the soil in the garden was found the vague imprint of a very long ladder, which Jashemski suggested (1979a:28; 1979b:605) was of a type often used today for picking fruit, particularly cherries and pears. Oliva Auricchio concluded (VI:6) that the ladder must have lain in this position for some time but that it was no longer there at the time of the eruption because no carbonized wood remains were found. Jashemski also identified carbonized remains of almonds and pine in this garden area. The skeleton of a tortoise was also found here. Towards the southern end were found a piece of coral, possibly an amulet; a ceramic vase; an iron nail; a travertine weight; and an iron key.

Interpretations of room:

The wall decoration in this garden area has been dated to the Third Style (de Vos and de Vos 1982:118; de Franciscis 1988:21), although de Franciscis had previously identified it as in the Fourth Style (1975-76). The discovery of wooden furniture c. 0.2 m above the pavement towards the north end of the east ambulatory seems incomprehensible but may suggest that it was stacked here or standing on a base. With cupboards still extant to a height of at least 1.34 m at the time of excavation, this furniture seems too close to the pavement to have fallen from the upper floor. Most of the finds in the cupboards along the east ambulatory appear to have been packed away in a fairly orderly fashion. Cupboard IV seems to have been filled with domestic utensils, some glass storage vessels, and some of delicate and even luxury quality. Cupboards III and V contained only ceramic vessels, mainly storage vessels, implying that they may have been filled with food or other substances. Cupboards I and II, nearer the apparently more utilitarian area of hall O, contained both domestic material, including food, and objects that seem to be of an industrial or agricultural quality. The latter combination suggests casual storage, possibly makeshift, reminiscent of the horse harness in room BB. Almost no bronze vessels were found in these cupboards. The brazier in the southwest corner, and its association with a mortar, suggest food preparation. Such an activity might seem rather unusual for a garden area (however, see two braziers in garden c of the Casa del Menandro).

The discovery of a tortoise skeleton in the garden is reminiscent of one found in the Casa dei Ceii. Jashemski (1979a:103﹣4) believed these animals were kept as pets (see Wiedemann 1989:146).

There seems to have been no attempt to complete the decoration in the north ambulatory. From a traditional perspective, cupboards in the ambulatories of the garden would appear out of place. In an area reputed to allow for easy circulation (see Corlàita Scagliarini 1974﹣76:19), such cupboards and storage would have been a hindrance. The activity in the southwest corner and the storage of industrial/agricultural material seems makeshift and might be consistent with downgrading, as noted in rooms AA and BB. The removal of the fruit-gathering ladder that had apparently been left in this position for some time might indicate changed circumstances, possibly related to escape attempts during the final eruption.


Room AA in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room AA was entered from the southwest corner of garden CC, through a doorway in the center of its north wall. It also had an opening to room BB, in the north end of the east wall. The wall decoration appeared to be in the transitional Third-Fourth Style. It had a black socle zone with plants and garden motifs. The central zone consisted of white middle fields with central panels with mythological scenes (only one with Minerva and a serpent is preserved) and yellow side fields, separated by architecture against a black background. The large upper zone had a white background with figures of divinities (Mars, possibly Minerva, and Venus) and candelabra-like architecture. The colors of these wall paintings were very fresh. The ceiling consisted of a low barrel vault and had white plaster with some traces of decoration and a stuccoed cornice. The pavement was cocciopesto with a pattern of interlocking circles and a delineation of white marble tesserae.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Oliva Auricchio noted a breach in the east wall which she interpreted as the excavation work of the Bourbons (Oliva Auricchio IV:75).

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The opening in the north end of the east wall between rooms AA and BB had evidence of three shelves and has been identified as a cupboard (Oliva Auricchio V:85). A wicker basket was found in the north entrance and near it a 'tuono'. Beneath the latter were three small glass vessels, an iron hinge, two nails, and parts of the lid to the basket. A bronze coin was found 0.2 m above the floor in the southwest corner. A number of other unprovenanced finds from 0.9 m above the floor were conceivably been in a container or on a piece of wooden furniture in this room. They included ceramic fragments, a bronze needle, an iron hinge, a loom weight, and numerous nails. In the northwest corner, a ceramic plate was found 1.4 m above the floor. It is unclear whether the finds, and hence the container, were also in this corner.

Interpretations of room:

The decoration of this room was identified as in the Third Style by Kockel (1986:520) and de Vos and de Vos (1982:118.), but de Franciscis (1988:29) vacillated between calling it Neronian or Vespasianic Fourth Style. Beam sockets in the west, south, and east walls, 1.8 m above pavement and corresponding to the top of the central zone, suggest that the room had been transformed, possibly downgraded, after it had been decorated, or that it had needed stabilizing, perhaps as a result of seismic activity. Oliva Auricchio argued that the cupboard on the west wall was a display case and ceramic objects that would have been in it had been removed in a previous excavation (Oliva Auricchio V:85). This argument is based on assumptions that this type of furniture in such a room would have held such display items and that the room had indeed been infiltrated by looters. The absence of any display material might indicate instead that the assumption is unvalidated or that the room had been downgraded. The ceramic and other objects found 0.9 m above the pavement could have been from this area, but they do not seem to be display items


Room BB in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room BB opened off the south side of garden CC through a narrow doorway. It also had an opening in the north end of the west wall to room AA. The walls were covered with coarse plaster. It had a cocciopesto pavement delineated and decorated in a semicircular pattern with white marble tesserae.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Oliva Auricchio reported that the volcanic material in this room had been disturbed at a level 1.4 m from the pavement of garden CC (Oliva Auricchio V:79). She attributed the breach in the west wall to Bourbon excavations (Oliva Auricchio IV:75).

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

As noted, there had been a cupboard in the opening in the west wall between rooms AA and BB. It had been closed on the side of room BB with a wooden board but had been open on the side of room AA, with three shelves (Oliva Auricchio V:85, 90). A recess in the east wall, in the northeast corner, could have been used as a cupboard. Other finds, mainly from this corner, included a number of fittings, possibly from the door, as well as a ceramic jar and two bronze objects with buckles, nails, and leather identified either as a horse harness or parts of a set of scales. The presence of buckles makes a harness more probable. A pile of nails found in the southeast corner could have been from a piece of wooden furniture or a wooden container. As only nails and no other fittings were recorded it seems to have been a fairly utilitarian piece. A bronze coin was found nearby. A small ceramic cup was found in the southwest corner. Other finds included two amphorae, an iron lock, further bronze objects that appeared to be from a horse harness, a ceramic cup and a coin.

Interpretations of room:

The recess in the northeast corner is the result of the blocking of a door to room UU prior to decoration of room UU, although the pavement of room UU is 0.55 m below that of room BB. The coarse plaster on the walls of this room implies utilitarian use. Horse equipment seems unexpected for a room off the garden where other rooms had been lavishly decorated and appear to have had fairly formal functions. Perhaps this room had been downgraded, as argued for room AA.


Room EE in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room EE was a large room with a wide opening in its south wall to garden CC and a narrow doorway in the southeast corner to room FF. The ceiling was vaulted for the north part, with elaborate black and purple decoration. The decoration on the east and west walls showed a division in the design. This decoration in the Third Style consisted of a black socle zone and a central zone with red fields and black motifs but only one large central panel on the east wall, showing the punishment of Dirce. In the northwest area the walls were covered with coarse gray plaster. The cocciopesto pavement was decorated with various marble fragments, in the form of a carpet in the north section.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The first sign of wall decoration during excavation of this room was 4.3 m above the floor (Oliva Auricchio VII:45). Mixed lapilli and ash encountered 4.3 m and 3.2 m above the floor was interpreted by Oliva Auricchio (Oliva Auricchio VIII:4, 24) as evidence of previous excavations. A drawing of the stratigraphy of the southwest part (Oliva Auricchio IX:24) indicates undisturbed lapilli and ash for at least 1.5 m above the pavement.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Bed fittings found in this room indicated one wooden bed with bronze decoration along the east wall 1.2 m from the north wall, one bed with bone and bronze decoration along the north wall 1.6 m from the west wall, and one wooden bed with bronze and silvered decoration along the west wall, 1.6 m from the north wall. Further fragments of bone lamina found in the southeast corner may have been associated with the numerous bronze hinges also found in this area, suggesting the presence of a cupboard or chest. A bronze statuette of a puppy and the remains of at least eight ceramic vessels, most appearing to be jars and lids, may have been inside the container. A bronze male statue had been found towards the southwest corner (figure D.12). Other finds in this room included a bronze sgabello, the remains of three bronze lamps, at least four bronze lampstands, four bronze bases and a worn slab of marble, and at least fifteen bronze vessels, mainly large containers (possibly for liquids) and pouring vessels, as well as three plates, two cups, and two forme di pasticceria (De Caro 1978:230).

Interpretations of room:

De Franciscis (1988:30) saw the elaborate pavement as evidence that this room had been the most important in the house. According to Oliva Auricchio (Oliva Auricchio IX:5) this room was very high and did not have a room above it on the upper floor. The division in the design of the decoration on the east and west is of the type thought to indicate an antechamber (for example, Barbet 1985:58﹣66). The coarse gray plaster in the northwest area and only one central panel suggest that the Third-Style decoration in this room had been left unfinished (de Franciscis 1988:21; de Vos and de Vos 1982:118). De Franciscis believed (1988:22) it had been unfinished because of the AD 62 earthquake and that, while some of the finds may have been pertinent to this room's use as a dining room, others had probably belonged to other parts of the house and had been collected and deposited here after the AD 62 earthquake, when house repairs started. The position of the beds suggests the room had been used as a dining room after the decoration had been only partially finished. Use as a dining room must either have continued or the decorated beds had been used for sleeping in a partially decorated dining room. The storage of bronze and ceramic vessels and sculpture in this room either belonged to such makeshift activity or represents later storage during further disruption. Such storage seems unrelated to the installation or reinstallation of the beds against unfinished decoration. At least two alterations seem likely: one necessitated refurbishing followed by installation of the beds and a second necessitated collecting of largely luxury household apparatus, possibly no longer in use. Such storage could have been the result of hoarding during the final eruption. Some of these vessels may have been in the empty cupboards II, III, and V in the garden and removed to this room for safety. Pieces, such as a worn marble slab and bronze bases, suggest salvaging of potentially useful, recyclable objects rather than hoarding during a disaster. If, as de Franciscis argued, abandonment of the decoration had been brought about by the AD 62 earthquake, there seem to have been further disruptions or alterations to the occupancy of this house between AD 62 and AD 79.


Room FF in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room FF was fully open along its south side onto garden CC (figure D.13). It also had a narrow doorway in the east and west walls leading to rooms EE and GG and a wide doorway in the north wall leading to room II. The wall decoration was a simple Third-Style (de Franciscis 1988:22) with a black socle and central zone decorated with candelabra and garlands. The upper zone was white with light architectural motifs and voluted acroteria. The ceiling was vaulted and had a white ground decoration. The pavement was of cocciopesto delineated and decorated, in rectangular patterns, with black and white marble tesserae.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

As in room EE, the pavement for the north wall was reached 6.7 m below the modern surface (Oliva Auricchio VIII:52).

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

Plaster casts of the doors to room II indicate that they were half ajar at the time of the eruption.


Room II in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

This was a small and narrow room entered from room FF through a wide doorway in the south wall (figure D.14). The walls were decorated in the Third Style (de Franciscis 1988:22) with a black geometric socle zone and light geometric partitioning in white. In the southern part of the room the main decoration consisted of yellow fields with cupids at the center. In the northern part, the north wall had white central and upper zones. The central zone had a central panel with a woman and slave seated between aediculae and side fields with vignettes containing landscapes. The east and west walls were decorated with garden scenes containing birds, sphinxes, palmettes, and garlands. The ceiling was vaulted and decorated in the white Third Style. The pavement in the southern part of the room was cocciopesto, delineated and decorated with black and white marble tesserae to form a rectangular bordered carpet. The pavement in the northern part was undecorated.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The excavators recorded disturbed volcanic deposit at pavement level in this room (Oliva Auricchio VIII:86).

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Room II had two high decorated recesses (over 3 m high) in the northern ends of the east and west wall, making the total length of the north wall 2.32 m. In the south corner of each recess were traces of jambs (height 1.18 m, width 0.15 m). A curved roof tile has been left on the pavement against the east wall. Cavities from eight unidentifiable wooden forms were found in the northeast corner. The four nearest the wall have left circular imprints and the other four oblong imprints. These wooden objects had been relatively small (no measurements provided) and probably solid. They did not seem to have been individual items of furniture or parts of a bed. Human bones were found near the pavement in the disturbed volcanic deposit. The remains of door fittings on the south side must have belonged to the doors to room FF. Strips of iron found 0.3 m above the floor may have furnished these doors or could have been bed fittings. A ring handle found in the entranceway hints at the existence of a chest or cupboard in the vicinity.

Interpretations of room:

According to Oliva Auricchio, the recesses were for beds (Oliva Auricchio VIII:10). Despite the iron strips, the finds recorded here-the unidentified wooden objects and a roof tile (which did not appear to have fallen during the eruption)-suggest that even if beds were present, other objects may have been stored underneath.


Room GG in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

This room had a wide opening in its south wall onto the north side of garden CC. Narrow doorways in the west and east walls led to rooms FF and HH, respectively. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, in an arrangement which divided the room into two parts. The decoration in the southern part was on a white ground and consisted of light architectural motifs with a aedicula in the central zone, corresponding with the architectural motifs in the upper zone. The wall decoration of the northern part consisted of a socle zone with animal panels, a central zone with central panels containing mythological scenes (Apollo and Daphne, Hermaphrodite and Eros) and side fields with scenes of still life, and an upper zone with architectural motifs and figures in the central aediculae. The ceiling, also decorated with white background, was vaulted in the northern section, with still-life scenes in the lunette but flat at the southern end. The pavement was of cocciopesto with geometric motifs in white tesserae (de Franciscis 1988:23).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Finds were reported from a mixed volcanic deposit 0.7 m above the floor. A breach in the west end of the north wall presumably related to the mixing of this deposit. Any disturbance cannot have been very extensive. Although one skeleton along the north wall was disturbed (Oliva Auricchio VIII:80), the other three found in this room seem to have remained intact.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Bronze hinges found near the southern entrance presumably belonged to the doors that, as evidenced by their plaster casts, were ajar at the time of the eruption. Four skeletons found along the north, east, and south walls of this room appear to have been lying on the floor. Four bronze coins were found with skeleton 3, along the north wall. Near the northeast corner, a marble guttus, fragments of amphorae, and other ceramic vessels were found. A bronze amphoretta was found near the southeast corner. Ceramic fragments from plates, amphorae, and dolii; fragments of glass (possibly vessels); nails; and a marble weight were reported from the disturbed volcanic deposit.

Interpretations of room:

The arrangement of the decoration of this room suggests that it had been an antechamber (de Franciscis 1988:23). As with room AA, de Franciscis seems undecided whether the wall decoration is in the Third Style (1988:23), the Neronian, or the Vespasianic Fourth Style (1988:29).* The skeletons appear to have fallen on the floor and were not associated with furniture, as in room HH. Hence, the individuals were likely to have fled to the room for shelter during the eruption. Because these rooms are farthest from the street entrance and hence the least accessible from outside, they were likely to have been in the house at the time of the eruption and may have been its occupants.

While some of the finds were disturbed, it seems they had been in the room at the time of the eruption, because the pavement of the upper floor had been found 3 m higher (see below). There seem to have been a variety of vessels among them, but most notable are fragments of amphorae and dolii, suggesting that the room had been used for storage. The presence of a marble weight also suggests that the ultimate use of this room had been more utilitarian than indicated by its decoration and location in the house plan. Thus the room may have been downgraded after its Fourth-Style decoration.

*This indecision might be the consequence of this article having been completed by De Franciscis's students after his death in 1989 (M. de Vos: 1993) or of the difficulty of assigning all Pompeian paintings to Mau's categories.


Room HH in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

This room was in the northeast corner of garden CC and opened onto it through a wide central opening in the south wall. It also had a narrow opening to room GG in the south end of the west wall. The decoration had been in the Fourth Style on a black ground and consisted of a socle zone with vegetal motifs, a central zone with elaborate architecture, and an upper zone with similar architectural motifs. Again, its scheme served to divide the room into two parts. The shallow vaulted ceiling also had an elaborate decoration on black background with the scheme divided to align with the wall decoration. The pavement was probably of lime mortar.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Fragments of tiles and cocciopesto pavement, presumably from the upper-story room HH', were found 4.4 m above the floor in a layer of mixed lapilli and ash (Oliva Auricchio VIII:17). The excavators also found a deposit of disturbed volcanic material and wall and decorated plaster fragments below this level (Oliva Auricchio VIII:19, 20). A breach in the west wall, made from room GG, seems too small to have allowed a person through. There is possibly a breach through a window at the west end of the north wall.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Fittings for the doors were found in the entranceway to the south of the room. The position and the dimensions of impressions of broad planks indicated to Oliva Auricchio (VIII:2) that there were low wooden beds along the north and west walls of this room.

At least six skeletons were found lying on or near these beds (figure D.15 and figure D.16): one against the north wall, on top of three tiles (figure D.17); a second in the northwest corner, believed to be a young female wearing gold jewelry, carrying a cloth bag with approximately thirty silver and bronze coins, and possibly with a baby; two near the west wall, one female and one male adult; and two others towards the center of the room. The discovery of skeleton no. 1 lying face upward on three tiles and above fragments of the ceiling led Oliva Auricchio to conclude that the skeleton had fallen from the roof (VIII:68-9).

A few remains of glass, ceramic, and bronze vessels were found near the north wall, three with the second skeleton and one glass cruet in the hand of the fourth skeleton. A lamp was found near the west wall, and lead strips were reported from near the south wall, possibly attached to a tile. The tile may have been part of the roof of the room.

Interpretations of room:

According to de Franciscis (1988:22), this room was also decorated in the Third Style, the scheme suggesting an antechamber at the southern end. Oliva Auricchio believed the skeletons represented an entire family (VIII:65-6): skeleton no. 4 the father and skeleton no. 3 the mother. Cerulli-Irelli identified them as the family of Philippus (1977b:759). Whoever they had been, they had all, with the possible exception of skeleton no. 1, taken shelter in this room during the eruption. The presumed daughter of the family, skeleton no. 2, had been carrying a considerable quantity of money. Identification of the gender of this skeleton appears to be based on its jewelry (Castiglione Morelli del Franco 1982:789). If the room had been entered after the eruption, the intruders did not cause much disturbance to the lower part of the volcanic deposit. The beds in this room were simple wooden slats joined with nails (Oliva Auricchio VIII:58, 69; see Maiuri 1958:417, Fig. 355) and had been less elaborate than those in room EE. Hence, the more luxurious beds are found in the room with unfinished decoration while simpler beds or benches were found in a room that had been fully refurbished in the Fourth Style, adding to the impression of makeshift or random occupancy after the Fourth-Style decoration.


Upper levels and Unprovenanced Finds in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Today most of the extant walls in the upper story consist of modern reconstruction. Finds have been assigned to the upper floor if they cannot be argued to have been the contents of the rooms on the ground floor. It is therefore conceivable that some originated from ground-floor rooms and had been disturbed by post-eruption intruders.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No precise stratigraphical information

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A quantity of finds was made above the northern end of the house, in the area of garden CC, before the walls of the lower rooms were identified so they were not assignable to any of the specific upper-story areas. They consisted mainly of amphora fragments, but other ceramic vessels included a vase, a basin, two plates, and terra sigillata cup. Glass vessels included, among other fragments, a large plate, a cup, and a cruet. Three ceramic lamps were found and numerous unidentified fragments of bronze, iron, and silver. Two human skulls were found, one near the northernmost bulk of the excavations and one 8 m from it. The former had been found with other related bones and fragments of Third-Style decoration. Numerous fragments of amphorae and other ceramic vessels, a ceramic lamp, and a ceramic weight were found above room EE where Oliva Auricchio observed that there had not been an upper-story room (IX:5).

Interpretations of room:

The presence of vessels and other fragments in the upper layers of the deposit could be the result of post-eruption activity. The skeletons are either those of intruders or fugitives who tried to escape the eruption. The discovery of one of the skeletons in room HH on roof tiles suggests that the latter is highly likely. Finds from the upper levels of the volcanic deposit consisted predominantly of ceramic vessels with occasional glass ones and some nails. The lack of bronze or objects of other precious materials implies that these are what remained after the area had been looted.


Room A' in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

This refers to the upper levels of the volcanic deposit above area A.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

As the area below was a court and some of the finds were reported from disturbed volcanic deposit, they could have been from area A.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Most finds were from 1.5 m to 2.3 m above the pavement of area A. They included numerous fragments of ceramic, amphorae, and other vessels; wooden boards; and small domestic finds. Of the wooden boards, found near the northeast corner, one was semicircular. They may have been part of a small piece of furniture or container (as found in room B in the Casa del Menandro: Allison 1999b:71). The other finds included numerous fragments of amphorae and other ceramic vessels, a loom weight, a glass button, a ceramic lamp, and (reportedly) a phallus, possibly all kept in the container.

Interpretations of room:

The small finds seem out of character with the contents of area A. They may have been in a container that fell from the upper floor. The large quantity of ceramic fragments, particularly the amphorae, may indicate storage in the upper floor.


Room B' in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

This refers to the upper levels of the volcanic deposit above stairway B, which gave access to the upper-story rooms across the front of the house.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The only find reported from room B' was a small ceramic vase found on the pavement.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Room T' in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

This refers to the room above room T, which was accessible from stairway B, and the rooms above entranceway 03 and room V to the west.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

The maximum preserved height of the west wall of this room was 6.06 m above the pavement of hall N (Oliva Auricchio II:96).


Room F' in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

This refers to the room above room F, accessible from stairway B through the room above entranceway 01.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

This area was probably previously excavated by Spinazzola.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A small glass bottle found here must have been overlooked during the earlier excavation.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Room O' in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room O' refers to the upper levels of the volcanic deposit above hall O.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Fragments of ceramic amphorae and other vases were also recorded here, continuing the finds distribution pattern in this area of the upper floor.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Room SS' in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room SS' refers to the area reached from the stairway SS. The north wall, at least, had once been furbished with white plaster.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The remains of a number of ceramic vessels were found in the northeast corner of this area. They included a small bowl, the base of a dolium, a basin, fragments of terra sigillata, the base of a small vase containing lime, and another containing 'creta con uova'. Also found in this corner were a miniature altar and a small bronze statue base. Fragments of an amphora were found in the northwest corner.

Interpretations of room:

The finds, almost exclusively ceramic, seem mixed, from an apparently religious object to storage vessels to what might be evidence of redecoration work. These items seem to have been stored here rather than have been in use together. They could have been part of the apparently makeshift or temporary collection of finds recorded from stairway SS.


Room VV' in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room VV' was reached by stairway SS on the west side. A doorway in the south wall led to the long room above rooms Q, P, and D. The east wall, at least, was once furbished with white plaster.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Sockets in the walls of room VV, 2.62 m above the pavement of hall O, indicate the support for the pavement of this room (Oliva Auricchio V:3).

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Amphora fragments and the remains of two unidentified animal skeletons were found in the northeast corner.

Interpretations of room:

The amphorae suggest the room was being used for storage. It is not currently possible to assess whether the bones represent food, domestic animals, or strays.


Room D' in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room D' refers to the area above room D, the southern end of a long room above the rooms on the east side of hall O. The latter had a doorway at the south end above room H and one at the north end above room VV. The walls had had a predominantly green decoration surmounted with a small cornice.*

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The finds included amphorae, other small ceramic vases, and the base of a glass plate.

Interpretations of room:

The finds are consistent with those from the other upper-story areas.

*This was evident from fragments of painted wall plaster and stucco which were found between 2.6 to 3 m above the pavement of the lower room (Oliva Auricchio I:10).


Room P' in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room P' refers to the area above room P, part of the same room as room D' and Q'.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Room Q' in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room Q' refers to the area above room Q which was part of the same room as rooms D' and P'.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Finds of amphorae and other ceramic and glass vessels are consistent with finds from the other upper-story rooms in this area.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Room E' in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room E' refers to the room above room E, which was entered from either the room above room M to the west or that above room H to the east. It had a cocciopesto pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Traces of plaster but no paint are visible in lower areas of E' and M'.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Numerous fragments of amphorae and other ceramic vessels as well as the remains of two lamps were found here, some of them on the pavement (Oliva Auricchio I:43).

Interpretations of room:

These finds are comparable to those above area A. The apparent lack of painted decoration and the numerous amphorae suggest that it was being used as a storage area.


Room M' in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room M' refers to the room above room M, which was entered through a narrow doorway either from room E' to the east or from room L' to the west.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Fragments of ceramic amphorae were recorded.

Interpretations of room:

These finds again imply that the upper-story rooms in the front part of the house were being used for storage.


Room L' in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room L' refers to the room above room L which was entered from the east through room M' and led to room I' to the west.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Fragments of ceramic vases and unidentifiable bronze fragments were found c. 2 m above the pavement of room L.

Interpretations of room:

As it is improbable that these pieces were from room L, they may indicate occupation activity in the upper room.


Roon I' in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room I' refers to the area above room I.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The excavators (Oliva Auricchio I:26) found only humic material 2.65 m above the pavement of the lower room, indicating disturbance.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Remains of what had possibly been a set of scales and two small ceramic vase fragments were found in the ash near the east wall.

Interpretations of room:

The recorded disturbance makes it difficult to attribute these finds with any certainty to a room above room I.


Room G' in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room G' refers to the area above corridor G, which does not appear to have been an upper-story room.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The finds from this area included more amphora fragments, remains of a ceramic lid, pieces of tufa, and eight parts of a tufa column.

Interpretations of room:

The finds of amphora fragments are again consistent with finds in other upper-story rooms at the front of the house. The column fragments hint at there having once been a colonnaded room on the upper floor in this part of the house.


Room N' in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room N' refers to the area above hall N. It is improbable (from stratigraphical information on hall N) that there could have been a room above this area.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Disturbed volcanic deposit was found to the north of room I, 2.1 m below the modern surface (Oliva Auricchio I:49). A bank of lapilli in the northwest corner (Oliva Auricchio II:7), 1.4 m below the modern surface, seems undisturbed. At this depth the excavators found fragments of tiles and carbonized wood.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A bronze finger-ring and fragments of amphorae were found in disturbed volcanic deposit near the south wall.

Interpretations of room:

These finds must either have been from the lower hall or the upper-story rooms around it.


Room TT' in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room TT' refers to the room above room TT, accessible from stairway SS and with a door in the west side leading to room UU'. The west wall had once been furbished with white plaster.*

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

None.

*A lump of plastered masonry from a corner is currently located in this room but not attached to a wall. It has traces of Third-Style decoration, consisting of a black upper zone and white (or possibly pink) central zone with remains of a linear design.


Room UU' in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room UU' refers to the room above room UU, which had doorways leading to the rooms above room TT and room BB. This room was decorated in the Third Style, consisting of a black geometric socle with green bands and ornamented white bands and a central zone of red panels, preserved to a height of 0.95 m.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Room Z' in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

Room Z' refers to the room above room Z, which was entered from the stairway in the northwest corner of hall N and led to the rooms above rooms AA and BB to the north and to rooms S', U', and Y'. The walls were covered with white plaster.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The excavators reached ash layers in the northwest corner of this room after excavating 0.6 m of humic material (Oliva Auricchio II:94).

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A built-in cupboard was found in the southwest corner under the stairway and a rectangular niche in west wall that seems to have been a latrine (see de Franciscis 1988:26). It is uncertain whether fragments of amphorae, a plate, and a smoke-blackened bowl found 2.5 m above the ground floor pavement, were from this room or from the disturbed volcanic deposit of the lower one.

Interpretations of room:

The imprecise provenances of the finds limits their value in assessing the use of this room, which may once have had a latrine.


Room S', U'-Y' in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

This was a long room above rooms on the west side of hall O, which could be entered from the room above room Z and which opened onto the balcony overlooking hall N. The walls had a yellow decoration with red bands.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

In this room were found fragments of ceramic vessels, one small white-painted cup, one lamp, and a door hinge.

Interpretations of room:

The finds are comparable with those in the other upper-story rooms in this area.


Room AA' in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

This room, above room AA, was entered through a doorway in the south side to room Z'. The walls of this area were decorated in white plaster.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The discovery of ceramic fragments up to 2.5 m above the floor of room AA and with fragments of wall and ceiling plaster (Oliva Auricchio III:136) indicates post-eruption disturbance.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The finds consisted of ceramic fragments, some from a terra sigillata plate.

Interpretations of room:

The wall decoration is preserved to c. 1.65 m above the floor, presumably indicating the extent to which the walls were preserved. The finds are sparse but suggest storage or possibly dining.


Room BB' in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

This room above room BB was entered from the south through room Z' and from the east through room UU'. The walls of this room were covered with white plaster similar to that in room AA'.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The walls were preserved to a maximum height of 1.10 m.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The only finds recorded were fragments of amphorae from near the north wall.

Interpretations of room:

These finds repeat the pattern of storage seen in other upper-story areas.


Room CC' in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

This refers to the upper levels of the volcanic deposit around garden CC.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The majority of the finds above garden CC were from above the north ambulatory. They consisted of fittings, either architectural or from furniture; two ceramic lamps; a number of small ceramic and glass vessels; and amphora fragments. Another ceramic lamp was found on a roof tile in the eastern ambulatory.

Interpretations of room:

These finds suggest lighting and possibly toilet activities in rooms above the north side of the garden, as paralleled in the upper stories of many of the other houses in the sample. The isolated lamp above the eastern ambulatory could have been carried here by a fugitive.


Room FF' in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

This refers to the upper levels of the volcanic deposit above room FF.*

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The finds from this area included numerous fragments of amphorae and ceramic plates as well as a glass fragment; numerous bronze and iron nails; a weight, possibly ceramic; and a large pumice stone reportedly used for polishing.

Interpretations of room:

It is difficult to ascertain whether these finds represented an upper-story room with storage and industrial activity or whether they were deposited here by post-eruption activity.

* Oliva Auricchio noted that there was no upper story above room EE (Oliva Auricchio IX:5), although finds were made in the upper levels of the volcanic deposit (see below).


Room II' in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

This refers to the upper levels of the volcanic deposit above room II

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The disturbance recorded to a level of 6.1 m below the modern surface (Oliva Auricchio VIII:86) indicates that any room that may have existed above room II would have been thoroughly disturbed.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Many fragments from a glass mirror were recorded near the north wall.

Interpretations of room:

If no room existed above II, the fragments may have been from the lower room.


Room GG' in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

This refers to the area above room GG.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Fragments of the cocciopesto floor from the upper-story room were found 3.75 m above the pavement of room GG (Oliva Auricchio VIII:80). Oliva Auricchio noted a layer of ash mixed with lapilli, at a level 4.4 m above the lower pavement (Oliva Auricchio VIII:11).

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

From 5.7 to 6 m above the pavement of the lower room were found fragments of ceramic and glass vessels (including amphorae), iron nails, and a lamp. At 2.1 m above the lower pavement were found further fragments of large and small ceramic and glass vessels, which could conceivably have originated from the room below.

Interpretations of room:

While there seems to be evidence of an upper-story room here, it is possible the finds had been carried from the room below by post-eruption intruders. They are similar in character to those from room GG.


Room HH' in Casa di Julius Polybius

Description of room:

This refers to the upper levels of the volcanic deposit above room HH.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The excavators found mixed ash and lapilli, as well as pavement and roof tile fragments, from 4.4 m above the pavement of room HH (Oliva Auricchio VIII:17, 19, 20).

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

In this disturbed stratum were found a fragment of a puteal and a hypocaust support, a small marble herm, two bronze spoons, two bronze coins, a small travertine weight, fragments of lamps and other unidentifiable ceramic objects, one vertebrae and numerous fragments of a variety of glass and ceramic vessels. The latter are apparently predominantly from amphorae although other small ceramic vases, cups, and plates, some fragments of terra sigillata, and small glass bottles were also recorded.

Interpretations of room:

Oliva Auricchio noted the remains of white stucco attached to masonry found in the disturbed volcanic deposit (VIII:19). As the decoration of the lower room had been completely black it is possible that there had been a room on the first floor with decoration on a white ground. The recorded disturbance of the volcanic deposit makes it impossible to assign any of the material to this room. The bone vertebrae most probably belonged to one of the skeletons in room HH. A hypocaust support and part of a puteal were also found. It seems improbable that they were carried there by post-eruption intruders. Possibly they had been stored in the room above room HH. Lack of disturbance to the finds on the pavement of the lower room seems to preclude the amphorae having been deposited there. They too may have been stored in the upper-story room. Similar storage had been already noted in other upper-story rooms of the house.