Information concerning the rooms in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

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Entranceway a
Room b
Room c
Front hall d
Room e
Room f
Room h
Stairway g
Room 06
Room q
Room i
Room l
Room 07
Room m
Room o
Corridor p
Garden r
Room n
Corridor 03
Room 04
Room z
Room y
Room x
Room w
Room v
Room u
Room t
Room s
Room s1
Garden 05
Room k
Garden 02
Corridor A
Courtyard B
Room C
Room E
Stairway I
Corridor D
Room F
Garden G
Room H
Upper Level

Entranceway a in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

This was a relatively wide entranceway and led from the south side of the street between Insula V 2 and Insula V 7 to front hall d. Rooms b and c also opened off it. The walls were furbished with a high yellow socle zone with white plaster above. The pavement was cocciopesto ornamented with a lattice of rhomboids in white tesserae.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The fittings from two doors were found in this entranceway. Just outside were found a ceramic vase containing stone pebbles, probably gaming pieces, and a glass inset from a ring.

Interpretations of room:

According to Archer (1994:137) the wall decoration had been repaired after AD 60. The collection of small finds may have either been played with in the street, been dropped by a fleeing fugitive, or fallen an upper-story room.


Room b in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Room b was on the west side of entranceway a and was entered from it through a narrow doorway in the center of the east wall. The walls had coarse pink plaster to 2 m above the floor with white plaster above. The pavement was probably a lime mortar with chips of limestone (calcestruzzo).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Modern patching in the south wall near the east end conceivably covered an intruder's breach.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

This room had a semicircular niche in the south wall and a small rustic fornello in the northeast corner (see room 03 of the Casa del Menandro). Other furnishing evidence consisted of a rectangular base from a slate table, four bone hinges, bronze ring handles, an iron band, a bronze lock plate, a bronze boss, and other bronze and iron fragments. An iron axe, two ceramic vessels, and a small bone vase were also reported.

Interpretations of room:

Mau suggested (1893:33) that this room had been a shop, but the presence of a fornello and the loose finds do not seem to confirm this interpretation. The combination of an axe and part of a marble table suggest rather makeshift deposition and conceivably the downgraded use of remains of a luxury table (see hall 41 in the Casa del Menandro).


Room c in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Room c was on the east side of entranceway a and was entered from it through a narrow doorway in the center of the west wall. The walls had pink plaster to 1.5 m above the floor, except in the southeast corner where a stairway would have been. Above was coarse white plaster. The pavement was probably lime mortar with fragments of limestone.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

There was reportedly a wooden stairway in the southeast corner of this room, evidenced by the first two masonry steps that are still extant. These steps seem too small and steep to be part of a stairway and are reminiscent of those in area I 11,7 in the Casa della Venere in Bikini, which do not seem to have been part of a stairway. However, there is a doorway in the upper north end of the east wall, to which such a steep stairway may have led. From the center of the room was reported an iron brazier on which was found a bronze cooking pot and a ceramic lamp. Two further ceramic lamps were found in this room.

Interpretations of room:

Mau also suggested (1893:33) that this room had been a shop. The finds imply that it had been used for cooking during its final occupancy, unless the brazier and pot were brought into the room during the eruption. In either case, this house may have been in use until the eruption, conceivably in a disrupted fashion. This room does not seem to be associated with an identified dining area.


Front hall d in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Front hall d (figure D.196) was entered through entranceway a from the north and provided access to rooms i, l, m and 07 on its east side; rooms e, f, h, and 06 on the west side; and rooms p and o on the south side. The walls were mainly decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a black socle zone with plants and a black central zone divided by red bands with vignettes of swans and small landscapes. Above was a Second-Style upper zone, consisting of rows of blue, purple, black, green, and yellow ashlar blocks and a green and yellow cornice. The columns around the impluvium were painted red in the lower part and white fluted in the upper part. The pavement was in cocciopesto with rows of white tesserae.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The central water-catchment pool (impluvium) was furbished in Nocera tufa. In it was found a stone basin on a stand with a bronze waterspout. At the south end were a marble base and a travertine puteal. Eight terra-cotta antefixes, one reported from near the impluvium, probably fell from the compluvium. A stairway in the east wall between rooms i and l led to an upper story, and door fittings were found in the entrance to room i. Two bronze disks each decorated with a ship's prow, were reportedly attached to the antae of room o. Numerous glass and ceramic vessels reported from near either room 06 or room 07 may indicate that a chest or cupboard stood in one of these locations. Seven bronze coins reported from outside room h or g could have originated from a similar, if not the same, container.

Unprovenanced finds included a chest that was presumably small judging from its fittings, a small conical bone vase, a casseruola, a bronze seal, and a double-spouted ceramic lamp.

Interpretations of room:

Mau suggested (1893:31) that the columns had been restored with red plaster after the AD 62 earthquake, and Archer believed (1994:137) that the wall decoration belonged to the same phase as most of the rest of the Fourth-Style decoration in the house. The finds indicate that this front hall had been furnished for display in and around the impluvium but that it also contained chests and cupboards, as did other front halls in this sample. The decorated bronze disks were believed to have been for fastening back "portières" (Mau 1899:256) that hung between the pilasters of room o.


Room e in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Room e was on the west side of the front hall and was entered from it through a narrow doorway at the south end of the east wall. The north, south, and west walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a white socle zone with plants and splashes of red paint, a white central zone with fields separated by red lines, a white upper zone with black panels, and a white lunette. The east wall was decorated in the Third Style. The pavement was cocciopesto.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A number of small ceramic vessels were reported from this room. The largest vase contained three of the smaller ones, and another was reported to have been its lid.

Interpretations of room:

Mau believed (1893:34) that the rooms on either side of the front hall were cubicula but that some perhaps had served as pantries because there were no other suitable rooms in the house. The limited finds are inconclusive but hint at a utilitarian function, perhaps a pantry or storeroom, despite the painted wall decoration.


Room f in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Room f was on the west side of front hall d and was entered from it through a narrow doorway towards the center of the east wall. The walls were decorated in the Second Style, consisting of black lines on a white ground, indicating orthostats and ashlar blocks. The pavement was a lime mortar.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Fixtures and Finds and Fixtures.The cupboard under stairway g was accessible from this room and contained five amphorae.

Interpretations of room:

This room has been identified as a cubiculum (Sogliano 1896:426). The remaining wall plaster seems to have been preparatory work, suggesting unfinished decoration. The room may well have been out of use at the time of the eruption.


Room h in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Room h was on the west side of front hall d and was entered from it through a narrow doorway towards the center of the east wall. The walls were covered with coarse white plaster. The pavement was lavapesta with fragments of tile and limestone.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

There was a breach in the west end of the north wall of this room, leading under the stairs in g, and another in the west end of the south wall, both implying the passage of intruders.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

There was a recess in north end of the west wall, and shelving along the west and south walls. Stairway g was accessible from this room. No loose finds were reported from here.

Interpretations of room:

This room has also been identified as a cubiculum (Sogliano 1896:426). The shelving suggests that this had not been its final use. Post-eruption intruders might have been responsible of the lack of loose finds, but the same intruders had not removed the amphorae reported in the understair cupboard in room f. It is therefore conceivable that this room had been converted into a storeroom but had been empty at the time of the eruption.


Stairway g in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Stairway g was on the north side of room h and was entered from its northeast corner. The space under the stairway was accessible from room f through a narrow doorway in the latter's south wall. The decoration both under and above the stairway was in the First Style (Mau 1893:38), consisting of a dark red socle with a white molded cornice and central and upper zones of white plaster.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

A breach in the west end of the south wall of this space penetrated through to room h.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

This space is taken up by a stairway, under which were found five amphorae.

Interpretations of room:

The decoration under the stairway suggests that the area, apparently used for storage in its final occupancy, once had a less utilitarian purpose. This had probably once been the decoration of a larger room that included room f.


Room 06 in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Room 06 was on the west side of front hall d and was fully open onto it along its east side. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a red socle zone with plants and a black central zone of fields with ornamental borders and vignettes and separated by yellow candelabra. The pavement was in cocciopesto with a lattice of rhomboids in white tesserae.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The west wall of this area consists mainly of modern reconstruction.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A piece of bone furniture ornament and a bronze coin were recorded from here.

Interpretations of room:

This area has been identified as an ala (Sogliano 1896:426), which Archer believed (1994:137) had been decorated in the Fourth Style at the same time as most of the rest of the house. The bone ornament may have been from a cupboard or a couch, but one piece seems insufficient to substantiate the presence of a piece of furniture. It could conceivably have been part of a cupboard or chest in the front hall.


Room q in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Room q was on the south side of room 06 and was entered from it through a narrow doorway towards the center of the north wall. The walls were painted in the Fourth Style, consisting of a red socle with panels and plants and a white central zone of fields with cupids and central panels (seated Heracles) separated by columns and vegetal candelabra. The pavement was cocciopesto with a lattice pattern of hexagons in white tesserae.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

This room has been identified by Mau (1893:39) as a cubiculum. Archer argued (1994:137) that this was the only decorated room in the house that had been repaired and painted after AD 62.


Room i in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Room i was in the northeast corner of front hall d and was entered from it through a narrow entrance in the south end of the west wall. The walls were covered with a white plaster. The pavement consisted of chips of colored stone in mortar veneziana, as in room l.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

This room had a breach near the west end of the south wall.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

One and possibly two rows of shelving had been put up along all the walls of this room. The finds here included one complete ceramic jug and fragments of amphorae, pots, and a bronze handled vessel. It is not possible to ascertain whether the remains of bronze locks and numerous bronze nails were part of the door fittings or indicate the presence of a chest or box. A small bronze coin was also found here.

Interpretations of room:

The white plaster on the walls was of the type frequently found in service rooms. The storage appears to have been utilitarian during the last activity phase, as in rooms h and possibly e.


Room l in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Room l was on the east side of front hall d and was entered from it through a narrow doorway in the center of the west side. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a dark red compartmentalized socle zone with garlands and ornamental motifs and a white central zone with ornamental borders, central medallions with busts, and architectural elements that extended into the upper zone (Archer 1994:Fig. 7). The pavement was veneziana.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No traces of breaches could be found in this room.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

Mau believed (1893:38) that the wall decoration was contemporary with that of the front hall. It is conceivable that the lack of finds was not the result of post-eruption intruders but the state of the room prior to the eruption. Decorated but empty rooms are frequently found around the front hall.


Room 07 in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

This room was on the east side of front hall d and was fully open onto it on its west side. It also provided access to the upper floor. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, matching that in room 06 and the front hall (Sogliano 1896:425) and consisting of a red socle zone with plants and a black central zone with ornamental borders. The pavement was in white mosaic with black decorated borders and a central black and white emblema of squares and triangles.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Most of the walls in this room have been reconstructed in modern times.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A wooden stairway led above room m from the northeast corner. Finds reported from a corner of this room consisted of a marble mortar; nine ceramic vessels, being two small amphorae and seven jars; and a terra-cotta antefix. Other finds consisted of five glass vessels, mainly storage flasks; and a wooden vessel reportedly for measuring grain.

Interpretations of room:

This area has also been identified as an ala (Sogliano 1896:426). Mau suggested (1893:31) that the north wall was built after the AD 62 earthquake, but Archer argued that the decoration predated AD 60. The finds suggest that this room had been used for domestic storage, possibly of food and food-preparing utensils, which is seemingly out of keeping with its Fourth-Style decoration or the traditional view of activity in an ala (see Tamm 1973:55). It may therefore have been downgraded after it received its Fourth-Style decoration.


Room m in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Room m was to the north of room 07 and was entered from it through a narrow doorway at the east end of the south wall. The walls of this room were furbished with coarse pink plaster. The pavement was of lime mortar.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

This room had one row of shelving along the north and east walls and two along the west wall. It contained a large alabaster vase; ten cups and one flask in glass; a bronze cooking pot; a ceramic plate, a fine ceramic vase, and a ceramic jug; three strigils and a small spherical glass bottle attached to a semicircular iron carrier; a small bronze container; and two bronze handles.

Interpretations of room:

Mau (1893:38) identified this room as a dispensa. It is apparent that it had been a storeroom, but the finds indicate a mixture ranging from a large luxury stone vase to bathing equipment to cooking pots and other containers. It is difficult to assess whether this mixed type of storage was characteristic or represented uncertain times.


Room o in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Room o was at the south end of front hall d and was fully open onto it on its north side. It was also fully open on its south side to garden r and therefore provided access to it from front hall d. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a socle zone of yellow panels divided by red bands, a black predella with hippocampi and cupids, and a central zone with yellow middle fields and red side fields with ornamental borders and small central panels. The pavement was white mosaic with a simple black border.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No loose finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

Parts of the wooden doors, which had a bronze lock and closed the southern side, were reportedly preserved ajar. Wolfgang Ehrhardt (email correspondence with author 1997) observed that the wall decoration had been completed but that the central area of the mosaic was missing.


Corridor p in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Corridor p was on the south side of front hall d and provided access from it to garden r. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a black socle with plants and a yellow frieze, a red central zone with ornamental borders and small panels, and a white upper zone with ornamental bands, garlands, and decorative elements. The pavement was of lavapesta.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Garden r in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

This fully colonnaded garden (figure D.197) was to the south of front hall d and was accessible from it through either corridor p or room o. Rooms opened off all sides of it. The walls of the ambulatories were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a black socle zone with plants, a central zone of black fields with small central vignettes separated by white openings with architecture and twisted candelabra, and a white upper zone with small panels of animals. The north ambulatory had a central zone of red fields with ornamental borders separated by architectural openings against a yellow ground (Archer 1994:Figs. 1﹣2). The columns in the north ambulatory were fluted white in the upper part and painted yellow in the lower part. In the other ambulatories, they were red in the lower part with a white hexagonal upper part. On the entablature of the colonnade were hunt scenes. The pavement was veneziana (that is, lavapesta with chips of marble and colored limestone).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A bronze lock from a chest was found in the southwest corner. Ten bone hinges from the west ambulatory also indicate the presence of a chest or cupboard. From the same area were reported the remains of four amphorae, a decorated ceramic basin, a bronze needle, a folding iron trident, a small terra-cotta altar, a ceramic lamp, ten ceramic counterweights, a bronze bracelet, a small bronze receptacle, and three bronze coins. These may have been in the chest or cupboard, although the counterweights point to the presence of a loom.

From the center of the garden were reported a glass flask, a ceramic lamp, a small bronze counterweight, two bronze coins, and four small, green-glazed, high-relief figures of animals. The latter appear to have been display sculpture (see Dwyer 1982:40﹣48). Ceramic vessels were found at the east end of the south ambulatory: a large coarse three-handled vase, two jugs, and three amphorae. Two bronze hinges and a bronze coin were found in the same area and another bronze coin was found in the east ambulatory.

Unprovenanced finds included an amphora, a coarse ceramic vase, a small colored marble base, and six terra-cotta antefixes. It is unclear whether three other amphorae and a lead receptacle were also from this garden.

Interpretations of room:

A graffito scratched into the plaster of one of the columns has been dated to AD 60 (Mau 1893:31) because it refers to that date and correlates the dates of different calendars. It has thus been used to indicate that this Fourth-Style decoration had been executed before that date (for further references see Archer 1994:129; Strocka 1995:177). Maiuri argued (1942:116) that this inscription only dated the decoration in the north ambulatory and that the black-ground decoration in the other ambulatories had been executed after the AD 62 earthquake. Archer (1994:131), however, used stylistic analysis and the correlation of their compositions to argue that both types of decoration were contemporary and therefore before AD 60. He posited that the precise calendrical references in the inscription must indicate its purpose to record the date at which it had been written. However, this still does not explain why it had been written. As Andrew Wallace-Hadrill has pointed out (1986:433), the use of such a graffito to provide a terminus ante quem for decoration is insecure because it could easily have been written at a subsequent date (see Allison 1999c).

The finds in the ambulatories of this garden are reminiscent of those in many other ambulatories in this study. Notable are the number of amphorae, mainly in the ambulatories, a phenomenon also witnessed in formal garden areas in other houses in this study (for example, in the Casa del Menandro, Casa degli Amorini Dorati, Casa del Prinicipe di Napoli). They are therefore likely to represent normal deposition in a garden area that also had display sculpture in situ in the garden proper (for example, the Casa degli Amorini Dorati, Casa dei Vettii, and House VI 15,5). However, while three of them are clearly losable, the other loose finds from the central garden area do not conform to traditional perspectives of the activities in colonnaded gardens.


Room n in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

This room was on the north side of garden r and was accessible from it through a wide opening in the south wall. The walls were covered with base plaster from an unfinished decoration, the surface striated to take the next layer (figure D.198). The pavement was mosaic, consisting of a lattice of colored tesserae on a black ground.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

From this room were recorded the remains of an iron lock bolt, a small glass bottle, a glass rod, two gold rings, and a ceramic abbeveratoio, reportedly to have been for birds.

Interpretations of room:

According to Mau (1893:49), the room was a triclinium, which had been waiting to be redecorated at the time of the eruption. The finds would seem out of place in such a room unless its refurbishing had been abandoned at some stage prior to the eruption. It seems improbable that the finds would have been put here for safekeeping during the eruption when the garden ornaments had been left out.


Corridor 03 in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Corridor 03 was on the east side of garden r and may have provided access from it to the street to the east of the insula. The walls were furbished with a high pink socle with coarse white plaster above. The pavement was probably a lime mortar.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

This corridor had an intruders' breach in the east end of the south wall through to room 04.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

The plaster remains on the walls imply that this corridor had been furbished as a service area.


Room 04 in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

This room (figure D.199) was on the east side of garden r and was entered from it through a wide opening in the west wall. It was also accessible from corridor 03 through a narrow doorway at the west end of the north wall. At the east end of the room are four dark red hexagonal columns on square podia painted in imitation marble (Spano 1910:Fig. 2). The walls were decorated with a black Fourth-Style socle zone with garlands and ornamental bands. The central and upper zones above were in the Second Style, consisting of red and dark red orthostats with garlands and ribbons and an elegant frieze with architectural openings in the upper zone. The ceiling was decorated in the Second Style, imitating coffering with stars, circles, and rhomboids. The wall and ceiling painting schemes divided the room into two sections corresponding to the colonnaded and noncolonnaded sections of the room (Spano 1910:Fig. 3). The pavement was black and white mosaic with a large central pattern of interlocking circles surrounded by borders of meanders and triangles.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Breaches in both the east and north walls indicated to the excavators (GdSc A,VI,5:69) that this room had been ransacked after the eruption.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

This room has been identified as an oecus with an antechamber (Spano 1910:319﹣21). Maiuri argued (1942:116) that the columns and the ceiling decoration were restored after AD 62. Archer argued (1994:137) that the Fourth-Style socle zone predated AD 60 but made no reference to the columns and ceiling decoration. It is difficult to conceive of conditions that would have necessitated such a repair sequence. A complete lack of finds is probably not attributable to post-eruption intruders. Unless the excavators chose not to search for material in an obviously disturbed room, the complete lack of finds could suggest lack of activity in this room during the final occupancy of the house, despite its frequent repair.


Room z in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Room z was on the south side of garden r and was entered from it through a relatively wide opening in the north wall. The walls were decorated in the Second Style, consisting of a yellow socle zone, a central zone of red and purple orthostats and white pilasters, and an upper zone of rows of green, yellow, and purple ashlar blocks. The pavement was black and white mosaic with a carpet pattern of a lattice of rhomboids in the northern part of the room and a colored mosaic vegetal pattern at the threshold. The wall decoration and pavement scheme divided the room into two sections.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Again breaches in the east and west walls of this room suggest the passage of post-eruption intruders.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

Sogliano has identified this room as a cubiculum (1896:431).


Room y in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

This room was on the south side of garden r and opened onto it for all of its north side. The walls were decorated in the Second Style, consisting of a monochrome yellow façade divided by pilasters with garlands of fruit and openings in the upper zone. The pavement was lavapesta with chips of colored limestone and with a black and white meander mosaic on the threshold area.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Two breaches in the east and west walls suggest that intruders traversed this room.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

Sogliano (1896:431) also referred to this room as a cubiculum, but Ehrhardt (email correspondence with author 1997) identified it as an exedra.


Room x in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Room x was on the south side of garden r and was entered from it through a narrow doorway in the north wall or a small entrance in the north end of the west wall. The walls were decorated in the Second Style with a large green podium in the socle zone, on which stood elaborate Corinthian columns; a central zone of yellow, green, and purple orthostats; a pink and green frieze; and an upper zone of green, purple, and yellow ashlar blocks. The pavement was black and white mosaic with a carpet pattern of triangles in the northern section and a red, black, and white rhomboid pattern on the threshold. The wall decoration and pavement divide the room into two sections.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

There was evidence of a breach in the south end of the east wall.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

Sogliano (1896:431) called this room an exedra, but Ehrhardt (email correspondence with author 1997) identified it as a cubiculum.


Room w in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Room w was on the west side of garden r and was entered from it through a wide opening in the east wall. It also provided access to room v through a narrow doorway in the east end of the north wall. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a black socle zone with plants and vases, a central zone of black fields with ornamental borders and floating figures and separated by architectural elements, and a black upper zone with architectural elements. The pavement was mainly white mosaic with a black border and a black and white emblema of rhomboids at the western end (c. 1.3 m from the north, west, and south walls and 6 m from the east wall). The arrangement of the wall decoration and pavement divided the room into an eastern and a western section.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

This room had a breach near the south end of the west wall.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A ceramic lamp and a bronze lamp holder were reported from this room.

Interpretations of room:

According to Mau (1893:50﹣51), this had been a triclinium with the floor mosaic indicating the position of the beds. Unfortunately, as in room 04, no finds were made that would support this identification. The lamp and its holder could conceivable have been used by diners but equally by fugitives during the eruption.


Room v in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Room v was on the west side of garden r and to the north of room w. It could be entered from room w through a narrow doorway at the east end of the north wall or from garden r through an opening in the center of the east wall. A doorway at the east end of the north wall led to room u and another, towards the western end of the north wall, led to areas 01 and 02. The walls of this room had a simple Second-Style decoration at the eastern end consisting of a socle zone of black and purple orthostats, a central zone of yellow orthostats with black borders, and an upper zone of rows of black, blue, purple, and yellow ashlar blocks. At the eastern end the decoration was in the Fourth Style, consisting of a red socle zone with plants; a yellow central zone with central aediculae, central medallions, and ornamental borders; and a yellow upper zone (Archer 1994:Fig. 9). The pavement consisted of a carpet of scattered rectangular colored tesserae in the east section and of a black and white mosaic in the western section with a carpet of black, white, green, red, and yellow triangles in its east end.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

This room has been identified as a apodyterium (Sogliano 1896:430).


Room u in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Room u was on the west side of garden r to the north of room v. It was entered from the latter through a doorway in the east end of the south wall and had another doorway towards the west end of the north wall leading to room t. It had a hypercaust tiled floor, and the walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a red socle of panels and garlands and a central zone of yellow fields with ornamental borders and central vignettes separated by candelabra. The south wall had evidence of coarse plastering over this decoration, and no pavement remained (figure D.200).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

According to Mau (1893:53), this had been a tepidarium, but he was uncertain whether it had been operating as such at the time of the eruption. Thus, it either went out of use or had never been used after its Fourth-Style decoration. Archer dated its decoration before AD 60.


Room t in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Room t was on the west side of garden r and to the north of room u. It was entered from the latter through a narrow doorway in the west end of the south wall (figure D.202). The walls were plastered, and there was once a hypercaust floor.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The west wall of this room had an apse (figure D.201). The room's contents consisted of a large metal tub.

Interpretations of room:

According to Mau (1893:53), this room had beem a caldarium, heated from room s, but he was again uncertain whether it had been operational at the time of the eruption. Maiuri argued (1942:116) that it had been in a ruined state. The poor preservation of the floor, decoration, and balcony today, despite the fact that it is currently roofed, seem to provide testimony to its having gone out of use prior to the eruption.


Room s in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Room s (figure D.203) was on the west side of garden r to the north of room t. It was entered from the north end from the corridor leading to area 02. Room s1 opened off its southwest corner. The walls were furbished with coarse pink plaster to at least 2.15 m above the floor. There is no record or visible evidence of the pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

In the center of the south wall was the furnace to heat room t. Along the west wall was a bench or hearth above which was a lararium painting. In the southeast corner was a high podium of uncertain function. A stone puteal in the form of a Doric column was found towards the center of the east wall. Near it were bronze remains, reportedly from a chest, an elliptical bronze basin, a terra sigillata plate, three coarse ceramic jugs, a bone spoon, and a small marble base. It is conceivable that some or all of the latter had been held in the chest.

Interpretations of room:

According to Mau (1893:29, 54), this was the cucina, the entrance to which had been a quite recent adaptation. The fixtures and some of the furnishings, particularly the ceramic jugs and marble stand that was possibly for vessels, suggest that it may have been functioning as a kitchen in its last activity phase. However, the puteal has not been shown to cover a cistern mouth, suggesting that it had been stored here or had been reused (see room 45 in the Casa del Menandro; room 16 in the Casa degli Amanti). Both these possibilities imply disrupted conditions.


Room s1 in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Room s1 (figure D.204) was on the west side of room s and was entered from it through a narrow doorway in the center of the east wall. The walls and ceiling were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a red socle, a white central zone with red bands, and a white vaulted ceiling with a hippocampus at the center with a circular ornamental border and surrounded by decorative elements. The pavement was of lime mortar.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

This room was furnished with a latrine along the west wall and a bronze tap at the east end of the south wall. A bronze basin was found here.

Interpretations of room:

Mau identified this room as a latrine (1893:55).


Garden 05 in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Garden 05 was a large garden to the east of the house. It was entered from garden r through a narrow doorway towards the south end of the west wall, in the northeast corner of garden r. Room k opened off its west side. The walls were decorated with a black compartmentalized socle zone, black fields separated by blue columns and containing decorative motifs, and a purple frieze with festoons.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Spano recorded (1910:327) a large quantity of spoil from other excavations in this garden, but whether this refers to actual disturbance of the stratigraphy is unclear.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

There was a pool in the center of the garden. Behind it, on the west side, had been a masonry triclinium, built against the columns of the colonnade (Mau 1895:147) (figure D.205). In front was the support for a table that had a circular white marble top into which was inserted a waterspout, decorated with a lion's head. Other finds from this garden included two bronze disks from a furniture leg, two bronze bosses, a ceramic lamp, and a bronze coin.

Interpretations of room:

According to Mau (1895:146), this was a colonnaded garden but the portico had been demolished prior to the eruption. Spano thought (1910:324) that it had been demolished after the AD 62 earthquake and noted its poorly preserved wall decoration. The triclinium arrangement with a central table with a waterspout is reminiscent of garden 23 of the Casa dell'Efebo. Because it invaded the position of the former portico, Spano argued (1910:326) that it had been constructed later (see also Richardson 1988b:308). Soprano noted (1950, 298) that at the time of excavation, the three beds of the triclinium were completely rough with remains of signinum on the upper surface and painted plaster on the side walls. This suggests that it too had been damaged or demolished prior to the eruption. Although meager, the fittings suggest the presence of mobile furniture in this garden. It therefore seems that after the portico had been removed, this area had functioned as an entertainment area but it had later been altered yet again. Maiuri argued (1942:116) that after damage in AD 62, this garden had remained largely in a ruined and abandoned state until the time of the eruption.


Room k in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

This was a relatively small room entered from garden 05 through a narrow doorway towards the center of the east wall. The walls were covered with white plaster. The pavement was veneziana.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

This small room had an understair cupboard in the southeast corner and a lararium painting covering the west wall. A small iron shovel and what may have been door fittings were found here.

Interpretations of room:

The lararium painting has been dated to the Fourth Style after the AD 62 earthquake (Fröhlich 1991:86). The association of a shovel with a shrine might seem incongruous except when it is considered that this room faces onto garden 05, which had reportedly served as a fruit garden and in a dilapidated state at the time of the eruption. Given the reported state of the garden, it is conceivable that this room was not functioning as intended by its painting at the time of the eruption.


Garden 02 in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Garden 02 (figure D.206) to the west of garden r and the rooms along the latter's west side. It was entered from garden r through a narrow corridor in the northeast corner. A narrow doorway in the southeast area led to room v. The walls were decorated in the First Style (Anonymous 1892:29). There is no record or visible evidence of the pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

There is a breach in the north end of the west wall, implying post-eruption disturbance.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The southeast part of this area was taken up by a pool, the west side of which had a descending stairway (this pool is referred to as room 01 in PPP). At the top center of the latter stood a white marble fountain with a lion protome and bronze waterspout. Other finds included a travertine mortar, one amphora, one dolium, and one stamped roof tile.

Interpretations of room:

The pool and its fittings imply that this area served as a formal garden associated with the bath suite. The loose finds, particularly the mortar, suggest a more utilitarian purpose, at least in its final phase.


Corridor A in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

This was a long corridor towards the center of the west side of garden 02 and leading from it to courtyard B, through a narrow doorway at the west end of the north wall. There is no record or visible evidence of the wall covering or pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The remains of a bed fitting and three ceramic amphorae were found here.

Interpretations of room:

This corridor led to a dependent dwelling to the west of the main house. A bed fitting seems an unlikely find for such a location but there is insufficient evidence from which to draw conclusions.


Courtyard B in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

This small courtyard was to the west of the main house on the north side of corridor A. It was entered from the latter through a narrow doorway in the west end of the south wall. Room C opens off its east side and rooms E and I and corridor D off its north side. The walls were furbished with white plaster and a coarse pink socle to 1.73 m above the floor. There was probably no pavement here at the time of the eruption.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A terra-cotta puteal was found over the cistern head in the northwest corner of this courtyard. Amphorae listed as found in room E could conceivably have been from the same corner.

Interpretations of room:

Little evidence exists to assess its occupancy, but the in situ puteal points to its final use having been commensurate with its design.


Room C in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Room C was to the east of courtyard B and was entered from it through a wide opening in the west wall. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a red socle zone and a central zone with panels on a white ground with ornamental borders and vignettes of cupids and goats. There is no record or visible evidence of the pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The north wall had a breach near its east end.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Room E in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Room E was in the northwest corner of courtyard B and was entered from the latter through a narrow doorway in the center of the south wall. The walls had a coarse pink socle to 1.5 m above the floor and white plaster above. There is no record or visible evidence of the pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

There was a breach in the center of the north wall of this room and another in the southeast corner of the south side.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The finds included the remains of thirty-five amphorae, an iron axe, three glass flasks, a small glass bottle and a glass cup, a terra sigillata plate and another ceramic cup, a bronze jug, a bronze bottle, two bronze inkpots and remains of another bronze vessel, three ceramic lamps, five bronze coins (two Vespasianic), and a small bronze key, presumably from a chest or cupboard.

Interpretations of room:

The coarse wall furbishing covered an earlier red-painted plaster that was evident in the northwest corner. The excavation report does not make clear whether the amphorae had actually been in this room or just outside it (that is, in courtyard B). Nevertheless, their quantity suggests that this section of this vast establishment had been used for bulk distribution activities, either domestic or commercial (see courtyard 34 in the Casa del Menandro). In contrast, the other finds that were definitively from here are of a more domestic nature, including some tableware and writing equipment. It is possible that at least some of these finds had been held in a container, the presence of which is evidenced by the key. These finds suggest a multifunctional area, further evidenced by the presence of an iron axe that appears to have been unrelated to any of the above activities. This is reminiscent of the situation around hall 41 in the Casa del Menandro, for which it is suggested that this area indicated living activities separate from the rest of the house. It is unclear whether this would have been the case when this establishment had been fully functioning or whether it indicated disrupted conditions. The wall furbishing implies that the room had been downgraded at some stage, conceivably when this section had been annexed to the main house.


Stairway I in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Stairway I was on the north side of courtyard B and led from it, presumably to an upper story in this area. The walls were plastered.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

This was a masonry stairway on which were found an inscribed ceramic basin and a small inscribed amphora.

Interpretations of room:

Since finds of such ceramics on stairways also occurred in the Casa del Sacerdos Amandus, Casa degli Amanti, and Casa di Julius Polybius, such placement might have been a quite usual activity.


Corridor D in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Corridor D was on the north side of courtyard B and led from it to room F and garden G. The walls had a coarse pink socle to 1.7 m above the floor. There is no record or visible evidence of the pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The recess under stairway I in the west wall of this corridor was reportedly fitted with a small oven (figure D.207). A bronze strigil and a bronze seal were reported from this house, but it is unclear whether they had been in the corridor or in room F, to the east.

Interpretations of room:

If the fixture under the stairs had indeed been an oven, this seems a curious location for heating or cooking activity. Perhaps it indicated activities similar to those associated with the fornelli in rooms 03, 20, courtyard 34, and room 54 in the Casa del Menandro. The loose finds are seemingly out of place in a corridor but may have been appropriate furnishings for the room off of it.


Room F in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Room F was on the east side of corridor D and was entered from it through a narrow doorway in the south end of the west wall. The walls were furbished with a pink socle to 1.8 m above the floor with white plaster above. The pavement was of cocciopesto.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds, except possibly those mentioned for Corridor D, were recorded from this area.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Garden G in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Garden G was to the north of corridor D and was entered from it through a narrow doorway in the west end of the south wall. Room H opened off its west side. The walls were plastered. A cocciopesto channel ran along the west, south, and east walls.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

One inscribed amphora was recorded from this garden. It is likely that others had also been present here.

Interpretations of room:

Amphorae are familiar finds in garden contexts. However, it is still unclear whether they had habitually been used or stored in gardens, whether their presence here indicated abnormal storage, or whether repair work was being carried out.


Room H in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Room H was to the west of garden G and was entered from it through a narrow doorway in the center of the east wall. The walls were plastered. There is no record or visible evidence of the pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A bench was recorded along the north wall of this room, next to which was a latrine. The finds included three complete ceramic vessels, one a large basin, one glass flask, and fragments of numerous other ceramic vessels.

Interpretations of room:

The fixtures indicate that this was a kitchen (Anonymous 1892:121). The finds are reminiscent of those in the apparently undisturbed kitchen area off hall N in the Casa di Julius Polybius. The lack of bronze vessels could conceivably been a result of post-eruption disturbance. This room could have been functioning as a kitchen at the time of the eruption, the large basin being a probable kitchen utensil.


Upper Level in Casa delle Nozze d'Argento

Description of room:

Stairways in rooms g and k indicate upper-story rooms around front hall d that were connected with this house. Stairway I also indicates an upper floor in the dependent house to the west.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

In the ash above room 07 were found a ceramic lamp, a marble statuette of a duck, and numerous bronze fittings and ornaments, some silvered, which were reported to have been parts of a horse harness. A number of finds from the dependent house, rooms A to I, cannot be definitively assigned to the ground floor. They include seven ceramic vessels, one bronze vessel, and a bronze seal from the area of courtyard B, and seven amphorae and a bronze lamp-stand, which were unprovenanced. Twenty silver coins and a number of other items were found during the clearing of this house.

Interpretations of room:

The collection from room 07 was remarkably similar to the contents of the box found in room 35 of the Casa del Menandro. It is conceivable that this assemblage, as in the Casa del Menandro, had fallen from the upper floor. It is also conceivable that the finds from the dependent house were part of the assemblage found in the entrance of room E