Information concerning the rooms in Casa di M. Lucretius Fronto

Jump to:
Entranceway 01
Front hall 02
Room 09
Stairway 22
Room 03
Room 04
Room 05
Room 06
Room 07
Corridor 08
Garden 10
Room 20
Area 11
Room 19
Room 18
Room 21
Room 12
Room 13
Room 14
Room 15
Entranceway 16
Room 17
Upper Levels

Entranceway 01 in Casa di M. Lucretius Fronto

Description of room:

This main entranceway led from the street to the west of this insula to front hall 02. The walls were decorated in the Third Style, consisting of a black geometric socle, a central zone of red fields separated by white ornamental bands, and a white upper zone with architecture and garlands (Peters et al. 1993: Figs. 114-16). The pavement was in cocciopesto with scattered fragments of marble.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Front hall 02 in Casa di M. Lucretius Fronto

Description of room:

Front hall 02 (figure D.169) was entered from entranceway 01, and provided access to the garden area via corridor 08. Rooms 03, 09, and 22 opened off its west side, rooms 04 and 05 off its south side, and rooms 06 and 07 and corridor 08 off its east side. The walls were decorated in the Third Style, consisting of a dark red socle, a central zone of black fields separated by yellow ornamental bands, and a black upper zone with architecture, griffins, and garlands (Peters et al. 1993: Figs. 118-19, 131) The pavement was in lavapesta decorated with white tesserae and squares, hexagons, and rhomboids of colored marble.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The central water-catchment pool (impluvium) was furbished in marble (Sogliano 1901:Fig. 4; Peters et al. 1993:Fig. 57). At its west end stood a rectangular marble table with lion's feet that was already broken at the time of excavation (Peters et al. 1993:Figs. 57, 259﹣60). Beside it were found seven iron nails, a terra-cotta support in the form of a fluted column, a large travertine weight, a bronze bucket, two ceramic jugs, a ceramic jar, and a ceramic vase.

The following finds were reported as having been removed from the volcanic deposit against the north wall of the front hall. It is therefore not absolutely certain that they had originally been from this lower room rather than the rooms above. However, it seems improbable that the recorders would have failed to mention that such a large assemblage had been found in the upper levels of the volcanic deposit (see those from the garden). In addition, no rooms were recorded above this part of this high front hall. These finds included a vase containing blue paint, two ceramic pots (one containing bird bones), two ceramic jugs, six ceramic bowls, two terra sigillata plates, four terra sigillata bowls, a bronze handle, three small glass bottles, an iron hoe, an iron hammer, a bronze anvil, a perforated bronze tube, and an iron lock.

Interpretations of room:

The finds, including those reported from against the north wall, are reminiscent of the domestic assemblages already encountered in the other front halls, but the anvil, travertine weight, and iron tools suggest a more utilitarian/industrial character, similar to that of the finds from the front halls of the Casa del Fabbro and House I 6,8-9. The presence of a pot containing blue paint hints at decoration work. F. L. Bastet noted (1975:196) that one of the supports of the marble table, as it now stands, differs from the rest but concluded that this might have been the result of restoration in 1900 (height of feet: 0.17 m, 0.13 m, 0.14 m, and 0.14 m). However, Eric Moormann, however, believed that the restoration was ancient (Peters et al. 1993:391﹣92).


Room 09 in Casa di M. Lucretius Fronto

Description of room:

Room 09 was in the northwest corner of front hall 02 and entered from it through a narrow doorway at the south end of the east wall. It also had an opening in the north wall leading to a space under stairway 22. The walls of this room were decorated in the Third Style, consisting of a black socle zone, a white central zone with central aedicula and side fields with garlands and small panels of hunt scenes, and a white upper zone with architecture and garlands (Peters et al. 1993: Figs. 139﹣42). The pavement consisted partly of a mosaic of star patterns in black and white tesserae and partly of cocciopesto and divided the room into two sections.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

This room had a recess in the west end of the south wall. An opening in the north wall led to a cupboard under stairway 22. No loose finds were recorded here.

Interpretations of room:

This room has been identified as a cubiculum (Bastet 1975:194; Peters et al. 1993:65﹣66) with the pavement and recess indicating the location of a bed.


Stairway 22 in Casa di M. Lucretius Fronto

Description of room:

This narrow area in the northwest corner of the front hall was entered from it through the east end. The walls of this space were covered with a coarse pink plaster. According to Thea Heres (Peters et al. 1993:71), the north and south walls had been restored after AD 62.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A wooden stairway with two initial masonry steps took up this entire space (Peters et al. 1993:69, Figs. 61-62).

Interpretations of room:

None.


Room 03 in Casa di M. Lucretius Fronto

Description of room:

This was a small narrow room in the southwest corner of the front hall and entered from it through the east side. The east wall was furbished with white service plaster, but at the west end, shelves had been made into a Third-Style decoration that consisted of a black socle and a central zone of red fields separated by white bands of rhomboids (Peters et al. 1993:Fig. 143). The pavement was lavapesta.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The north and west walls of this small room had shelves. No contents were recorded.

Interpretations of room:

This room must have been adapted as a storage area (Peters et al. 1993:67) after it had been decorated in the Third Style. A window is believed to have been added after AD 62 (Peters et al. 1993:139).


Room 04 in Casa di M. Lucretius Fronto

Description of room:

This fairly large room in the southwest corner of the front hall was entered from the latter through a narrow doorway at the east end of the north wall. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a black socle with panels and ornamental bands, a central zone of alternating red and yellow fields with ornamental borders and central panels, and a white upper zone (Peters et al. 1993:Figs. 209, 215). The pavement was in lavapesta decorated with a net pattern of squares in white tesserae (Peters et al. 1993:Fig. 64).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

This room had a recess at the west end of ech of the north and south walls. The only loose finds were a bronze boss and possibly three nails.

Interpretations of room:

This room has been identified as a triclinium (Bastet 1975:195; Peters et al. 1993:71, 405). The finds are inconclusive but might indicate that this room contained some furnishings at the time of the eruption (see Peters et al. 1993:393).


Room 05 in Casa di M. Lucretius Fronto

Description of room:

This relatively small room on the south side of front hall 02 was entered from it through a narrow doorway in the center of the north wall. The walls were decorated in the Third Style, consisting of a dark red socle zone with a black predella with still lifes, a central zone of yellow fields, and an upper zone with architecture and sphinxes (Peters et al. 1993: Figs. 144﹣46, 154, Pl. I). The pavement was in cocciopesto decorated with stars, rhomboids, and squares in white tesserae (Peters et al. 1993:Fig. 65).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Most of the south wall consisted of a modern reconstruction.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

This room has been identified as a cubiculum (Bastet 1975:195; Peters et al. 1993:74, 405).


Room 06 in Casa di M. Lucretius Fronto

Description of room:

Room 06 on the east side of front hall 02 was entered from it through a narrow doorway in the center of the west wall. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a dark red socle zone with panels and plants; a yellow central zone with central aedicula, central panels (Narcissus, Mykon and Pero), ornamental borders and vignettes; and a yellow upper zone with craters and garlands and a white lunette (Peters et al. 1993: Figs. 216﹣17, 222﹣23). The pavement was in cocciopesto with a carpet of rhomboids, octagons, and strips of marble and scattered white tesserae (Peters et al. 1993:Fig. 66).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A number of ceramic vessels were reported from this room. They consisted of five jugs and a plate.

Interpretations of room:

This room has been identified as a cubiculum (Bastet 1975:194; Peters et al. 1993:77, 405). The finds suggest that, during its final occupancy, it had a rather more utilitarian use than that implied by the painted decoration.


Room 07 in Casa di M. Lucretius Fronto

Description of room:

Room 07 on the east side of front hall 02 was open onto the latter for most of its west side. The east side was similarly open onto the garden area. The walls are decorated in the Third Style, consisting of a black socle with ornamental gardens; a predella; a central zone of alternating black and red fields with central panels (Mars and Venus, Dionysus), candelabra supporting vignettes, and separated by architectural openings and green floral borders; and a black, red, and yellow upper zone with fantastic architecture (Peters et al. 1993: Figs. 160-62, Pls. V-VII). The pavement was lavapesta with fragments of tile and marble.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The finds from this room were mostly fittings. Some of the bronze hinges (Peters et al. 1993: Figs. 262, 263) and iron nails were very probably door fittings, but two bone hinges, a bronze ring handle, another bronze ring, and a small lock plate would appear to indicate that there had been a chest in the room. The only other reported find is a small marble mortar.

Interpretations of room:

This room has been identified as the tablinum (Sogliano 1900:147; Peters et al. 1993:76). The presence of a chest is reminiscent of rooms of this type in other houses (for example, the Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali, Casa del Sacello Iliaco, Casa dei Ceii), although a small mortar seems a curious find for such a location.


Corridor 08 in Casa di M. Lucretius Fronto

Description of room:

Corridor 08 was in the northeast corner of front hall 02 and led from it to the garden area. The walls were furbished with a coarse white plaster. The pavement was probably a gray mortar.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

Heres believed (Peters et al. 1993:81) that cracks in the east and north walls of this corridor may have been repaired after AD 62, and Eric Moormann (Peters et al. 1993:378) implied that the decoration had not been completed. If the plaster on the walls of this corridor was its final intended furbishing, then the downgrading of a passage from the decorated rooms in and around the front hall to the decorated garden and its surrounding rooms is suggested. While such passages could be painted in other houses (for example, in the Casa del Menandro and Casa dei Ceii), there are cases where they were not (for example, in the Casa di Trebius Valens and Casa del Sacello Iliaco). Moormann identified this corridor as that leading to the service area (Peters et al. 1993:405).


Garden 10 in Casa di M. Lucretius Fronto

Description of room:

This garden area (figure D. 170) was of a slightly irregular form. It consisted of a large garden area proper in the northeast corner of the house, a colonnade and ambulatory along the south side, and an L-shaped passageway at the west end. Rooms 11 and 20 opened off either side of the passsageway. Rooms 18, 19, and 21 were at the west end of the garden proper. Rooms 12, 13, 14, and 15 opened off the south ambulatory, and corridor 16 and room 17 opened off the east end. The walls of the garden area were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a black socle zone with plants; a central zone of large landscapes, mainly with animals, separated by red borders; and an upper zone of white, red, green, and yellow ashlar blocks (Peters et al. 1993:Figs. 247-54) (figure D.171). The south wall of the ambulatory was also decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a red socle zone with plants, a black central zone, and a black upper zone with plants (Peters et al. 1993:Fig. 225). The pavement in the ambulatory had a mosaic in black tesserae (Peters et al. 1993:107).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The excavators noted (GdSc A,VI,4:40) that the north wall had been broken and penetrated by intruders, reportedly to form a tunnel. There is a patched breach in the south wall of the garden area 1.75 m from the east end.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

As one entered the garden area from the west end of the house, a stone stairway led to the north. A terra-cotta puteal with a terra-cotta cover stood in the center of the garden proper, presumably over the cistern head. At least five, and possibly as many as twenty-two, ceramic vessels were reported from along the north wall of the garden (Wynia 1982:333; Peters et al. 1993:3, 35). The five that can be identified are believed to have been planter pots.

Interpretations of room:

According to Hendrik Brunsting (1975:199), there were two cisterns in the garden and both had collapsed in the AD 62 earthquake. S. L. Wynia reported (1982:332) that fragments of Third-Style decoration were found in them. Heres identified either two or three phases of repair to the walls of the garden proper after AD 62 (Peters et al. 1993:106). Pots similar to those found here were reported along the garden walls of the Casa della Nave Europa and the Casa di Julius Polybius (Jashemski 1979b:598,604). Thus, all the finds were of types that are likely to have been left in situ, even if the garden was no longer functioning as normal.


Room 20 in Casa di M. Lucretius Fronto

Description of room:

This room on the north side of the western passageway of garden 10 was entered from the latter through a narrow doorway towards the east end of the south wall. The walls were furbished with a simple Fourth-Style decoration (Mau 1901:355), consisting of a red socle zone with compartments delineated with black or green bands. There is no record or evidence of a pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The finds from this room included an elliptical bronze basin, a two-handled spherical bronze basin, a bronze jug, a bronze cooking pot, an iron axe, a bone handle, a bronze hook, a bronze tube, a bronze lock plate, a terra-cotta altar, four shells, one ceramic lamp, a bronze lantern (Peters et al. 1993:Fig. 265), a marble capital, and a marble lion's foot, possibly from a table (Warscher 1948: 4, No. 267).*

Interpretations of room:

According to Moormann (Peters et al. 1993:405), this room may have been a cubiculum. Many of the vessels might have been kitchen utensils, but the rest of the assemblage seems very mixed: tools, religious apparatus, lighting equipment, and pieces of broken furniture and architectural decoration (see also room d in House I 6,8-9, room 12 in House I 10,8, room D in the Casa degli Amorini Dorati). This makeshift storage or activities postdated the Fourth-Style decoration and might seem to have been unrelated to any function intended by that decoration or to Moormann's interpretation of the function of this room. It would also seem to have been unrelated to activity during the final eruption.

* It is conceivable that this was the marble foot that had been used to restore the table in the front hall, which Bastet observed was different from the other three supports.


Area 11 in Casa di M. Lucretius Fronto

Description of room:

This open area was to the south of the L-shaped passageway at the western end of garden 10. It was fully open onto this passageway along its north side. The walls were furbished with coarse gray plaster. There is no record or evidence of the pavement except for cocciopesto channels along the east, south, and west walls (Peters et al. 1993:85).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

This area has been identified as a light well and a location for the collection of rainwater (Mau 1901:352; Peters et al. 1993:405). According to Heres (Peters et al. 1993:86), it had been restored after AD 62. It is difficult to ascertain whether the plaster on the walls had been an unfinished decoration or a coarse furbishing.


Room 19 in Casa di M. Lucretius Fronto

Description of room:

This room was in the northwest corner of garden 10 and was entered from the passageway at the western end of this area through a narrow entranceway in the west end of the south wall. The walls were furbished with pink plaster. The pavement was of beaten earth (Peters et al. 1993:93).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

According to Heres, this was an anteroom to the kitchen that had been restored after AD 62 (Peters et al. 1993:92, 97).


Room 18 in Casa di M. Lucretius Fronto

Description of room:

This room was in the northwest corner of the garden area and was entered from room 19 through a narrow doorway in the center of the south wall. The walls were furbished with fine plaster (Peters et al. 1993:97). The pavement was of beaten earth (Peters et al. 1993:97).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

There was a bench along the north wall of this room (Peters et al. 1993: Figs. 83,85), and a lararium painting on the west wall (Peters et al. 1993:349). The loose finds included an amphora, a jug, two pots and a basin, all ceramic; a small iron shovel; and two ceramic lamps. Four amphora bases found on the bench had reportedly been used as tripods (Mau 1901:355﹣56).

Interpretations of room:

This room has been identified as a kitchen (Sogliano 1900:410) that had been restored after AD 62 (Peters et al. 1993:97, 99). The loose finds suggest that it had been operative at the time of the eruption. Mau (1901:356) also recorded the presence of ash on the bench. According to Bastet (1975:196), the lararium painting was well preserved at the time of excavation.


Room 21 in Casa di M. Lucretius Fronto

Description of room:

This very small room was to the east of room 18 and was entered from it through a narrow doorway in the west end of the south wall. It is divided into two sections: the walls in the northern section were furbished with coarse plaster and a high pink socle; those in the southern section with a high white plaster socle. The northern section had a laterizio pavement (Peters et al.1993:Fig. 83), and the remains of a bluish-black surface were reported in the southern section (Peters et al. 1993:103).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were recorded from this area specifically. It may have been included with room 18 in the excavation reports.

Interpretations of room:

The southern part has been identified as a cupboard (Mau 1901:356; Peters et al. 1993:102) and the northern part as a latrine (Peters et al. 1993:99). Both sections had reportedly been restored after AD 62 (Peters 1993 et al.:102) and the southern section again a little later.


Room 12 in Casa di M. Lucretius Fronto

Description of room:

Room 12 was on the south side of garden 10 and was entered from it through a narrow doorway in the center of the north wall. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style that divided the room into two sections and consisted of a black socle zone, a central zone of alternating green and red fields, and a white upper zone (Peters et al. 1993:Figs. 231﹣36, Pl. XIII). The pavement was in cocciopesto.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

One bronze lock plate, two nails, and two bronze hinges (Peters et al. 1993:Fig. 262) were found in this room. Moormann (Peters et al. 1993:396) identified the latter two as chest or cupboard fittings. This was probably the case for the other pieces as well.

Interpretations of room:

This room has been identified as a small triclinium or biclinium (Bastet 1975:196; Peters et al. 1993:109, 409). Heres believed that it might have had two phases of reconstruction and repair after AD 62 (Peters et al. 1993:112). The finds are inconclusive but suggest some type of storage here (see room 11 in the Casa del Menandro, room e in House I 7,19, and room G in the Casa degli Amorini Dorati). Shortage might not seem to be in keeping with the traditional concept of a dining room, containing little other than dining couches and possibly a table (Richardson 1983:65-67; Foss 1994:105﹣6, 140). Either it was not being used as such at the time of the eruption, or current perspectives on dining-room furnishings need revising.


Room 13 in Casa di M. Lucretius Fronto

Description of room:

This large room was on the south side of garden 10 and entered from it through a wide opening which constituted most of the north wall. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a black socle zone of compartments and ornamental bands and a central zone of red middle fields and yellow side fields with dark red borders and separated by architectural openings. The central panels on the east and west walls and possibly the upper zones were incomplete (Peters et al. 1993:322﹣23 Figs. 238-39). The pavement was in cocciopesto with a central emblema in opus sectile (c. 1.75 m from the east, south, and west walls and c. 2.2 m from the north wall; Peters et al. 1993:Fig. 98).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The finds from this room included two silvered bronze feet, reportedly from a bed or couch (Peters et al. 1993:Fig. 269); a cylindrical iron piece and a turned bone knob, probably also furniture pieces; a glass vase; a bronze oinochoe (Peters et al. 1993:Fig. 266); a small bronze amphora (Peters et al. 1993:Fig. 261); a bronze jug; three iron nails; and a slab of colored marble.*

Interpretations of room:

This room has been identified as a summer triclinium (Peters et al. 1993:406) that had been reconstructed after AD 62 (Peters et al. 1993:115) but with the decoration incomplete. However, the finds suggest that this room had been in use at the time of the eruption. This situation is similar to that in room EE in the Casa di Julius Polybius and possibly room c in the Casa del Sacello Iliaco, where the furniture appears to have been put against unfinished decoration and then the rooms used for storage, during either the final eruption or some previous period of disruption.

Moormann also recorded a glass rod (Peters et al. 1993:397), reportedly for preparing cosmetics.


Room 14 in Casa di M. Lucretius Fronto

Description of room:

This room on the south side of garden 10 was entered from it through a narrow doorway at the west end of the north wall. The walls were decorated in a black Fourth Style, consisting of a socle zone with plants and a central zone of fields with ornamental borders separated by yellow candelabra (Peters et al. 1993:Fig. 325). The upper zone seems to have had only coarse plaster applied separately from the rest of the decoration (Peters et al. 1993:324). There is no record or evidence of a pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

In the northeast corner of this room were found eight skeletons, apparently of five adults and three children (Mau 1901:358). According to Mau, they had been killed when the east wall had collapsed. With them were found a silver earring, a bronze ring, a bronze belt buckle, a bronze fibula (Peters et al. 1993:Fig. 270), and three bronze coins. Other finds from this corner included fragments of bronze lamina reportedly from a casket; a bone stilus; a small bone spoon; a bronze support for a lamp or brazier; a bronze lamp (Peters et al. 1993:Fig. 268); two ceramic lamps; an amphora, under which were found a glass flask and the bones of a chicken; another glass flask; two bronze disks with iron rods, probably from furniture legs; and two iron keys.

Interpretations of room:

Moormann suggested that this room was intended for habitation rather than storage (Peters et al. 1993:406). Heres believed that it had been reconstructed after AD 62 (Peters et al. 1993:117). Many of the finds consisted of human apparel and objects that could conceivably have been gathered up by fugitives who had been trapped here. Others, in particular the furniture legs, could equally have been the remains of furniture that had stood in this room at the time of the eruption. If so, then this furniture had either been stored here, as was conceivably the case in room 13, or this room had been used for sleeping, dining, or both. In either case, this activity seems to have occurred before the decoration had been completed.


Room 15 in Casa di M. Lucretius Fronto

Description of room:

This room in the southeast corner of the house was entered from corridor 16 through a narrow doorway in the west end of the north wall. The walls were furbished with plaster with traces of white paint on the south wall (Peters et al. 1993:118). There is no record or evidence of a pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The finds from this room included four iron nails, an iron ring, and a pyramidal marble fragment.

Interpretations of room:

Moormann identified this room as a service area (Peters et al. 1993:406). According to Heres (Peters et al. 1993:118), its walls received two phases of repair after AD 62. The finds again imply that either this room had been furnished or that it had been used for storage.


Entranceway 16 in Casa di M. Lucretius Fronto

Description of room:

Entranceway 16 provided access from the street to the east of this insula to garden 10. Rooms 15 and 17 opened off either side of it. The walls were decorated with a red socle, with plants and compartments delineated by white lines, and with white plaster above (which may originally have been painted red or black). This decoration might have been similar to that in the south ambulatory of garden 10. There is no record or evidence of a pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Room 17 in Casa di M. Lucretius Fronto

Description of room:

This room was on the north side of entranceway 16 and entered from it through a narrow doorway in the west end of the south wall. The walls were furbished with a pink socle with white plaster above. There is no record or evidence of a pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The west end of the north wall had a niche, and the east end of the south wall possibly had a recess. An unidentifiable masonry structure stood in the northeast corner. The skeleton of a quadruped, possibly a dog, and the bones of a chicken were found in this room. Other finds included a pot and a ceramic lamp.

Interpretations of room:

Moormann identified this room as a service area (Peters et al. 1993:406). According to Heres (Peters et al. 1993:122), it may have had two phases of repair after AD 62. No doubt the presence of animal skeletons caused this room to be identified as a stable (Sogliano 1900:641). If it were, one wonders whether such a room would have originally been plastered or whether it had been downgraded to this function. Alternatively, it is conceivable that these animals had strayed here during the eruption. The same might also have been true for the chicken whose bones were reported in room 14, unless it had been part of a meal.


Upper Levels in Casa di M. Lucretius Fronto

Description of room:

Stairways in room 22 and the western end of garden 10 indicate that these areas had upper-story rooms. Bastet (1975:193) and Heres (Peters et al. 1993:81) have recorded rooms above the front of the house. Mau (1901:352) recorded a large room above rooms 06 and 07 with remains of a pavement and simply decorated in the Third Style on a black ground (see also Peters et al. 1993:83, Fig. 191). He also noted further rooms above the kitchen area (Mau 1901:352).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

In the upper levels of the volcanic deposit in garden 10 were found three bronze pieces, possibly from furniture; a bronze ring handle; a fluted marble table leg; a marble mortar; an iron hammer; two iron hinges and three bronze locks; an iron hook; an iron nail; a piece from a bronze lamp-stand; and two rhomboid slabs of marble. Near the north wall of the garden were also found a bronze jug and the bronze handle of another vase; the bronze base of a lamp-stand; two bronze nails; a bronze ring; a double-spouted ceramic lamp; a circle of bone; and two bronze coins. Above room 07 were found three ceramic jugs and an amphora. Other unprovenanced finds included two bronze scale plates and an unidentified triangular bronze piece.

Interpretations of room:

The vessels above room 07 might have originated from the large room above rooms 06 and 07, which Moormann suggested was a triclinium (Peters et al. 1993:405). It is conceivable that the finds above the garden were carried there by fugitives or post-eruption intruders, since there is recorded evidence of upper-story rooms in this area. As an assemblage, these latter finds are reminiscent of those in rooms 13 and 14 and could have originated from one or both. The iron hammer was reportedly a stonemason's and might have been used to get in or out of the house.