Information concerning the rooms in Casa dei Vettii

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Entranceway a-b
Front hall c
Room d
Room k
Room e
Corridor 03
Room f
Room h
Room g
Room i
Garden m
Room n
Room o
Room p
Room q
Room r
Garden s
Room t
Room u
Courtyard v
Room 08
Room z
Room y
Room x
Room w
Room x'
Area 02
Room 01
Room 04
Upper Level

Entranceway a-b in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

This was the main entranceway to the house from the street on the east side of this insula (figure D.183). It provided access to front hall c. The walls were mainly decorated in the Fourth Style on a black ground with swans in the socle zone, fields in the central zone with ornamental borders and vignettes of griffins and separated by yellow candelabra, and ornamental bands and compartments in the upper zone. In the northwest corner was a panel with a Priapus painted separately from the rest of the wall decoration. The east end of the south wall was furbished with a high pink socle with white plaster above. The pavement was in lavapesta with scattered white tesserae.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

There is a breach in the east end of the north wall of area b.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

According to Schefold (1957a:139), the Priapus painting was older than the rest of the decoration in this entranceway, presumably dating to before AD 62. Strocka noted (1975:105) that the entire entranceway decoration including the Priapus painting must have been executed after AD 62. Fröhlich (1991:101) therefore dated it to the later Fourth Style.


Front hall c in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

Front hall c was entered through entranceway a-b from the east and provided access to the garden area to the west. Rooms d and k opened off its east side; area v and rooms g and i opened off its north side; garden m off its west side; and rooms e, 03, f, and h off its south side. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a yellow socle zone with dark red panels, a predella with black panels depicting cupids, and a central zone with elaborate twisted columns and candelabra against a red background (Peters 1977: Pls. 62﹣64, Figs. 6﹣15). The pavement was in lavapesta with rows of white tesserae.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Mau observed (1896:27) that the area around the front hall had been subjected to the searches of ancient excavators.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Only a small part of the marble furbishing of the central water-catchment pool (impluvium) remained in place in the northwest corner (Mau 1896:11). One large bronze chest stood on a masonry base against the north wall between room g and the entrance to courtyard v (figure D.184). Lock remains and nails from this chest were reported, as well as a finger ring inscribed "AVC." A second bronze large chest stood against the south wall between room f and corridor 03 (figure D.185). Sixteen bone hinges were reported from this chest as well as a stick of bone and two bronze seals. One of the seals is inscribed "A VETTI RES+V+" and the other "A VETTI CONVIVAES." Remains of two amphorae were also found in this front hall.

Interpretations of room:

Mau (1896:6) dated the wall decoration before AD 62. He also noted evidence of an apparently earlier Fourth-Style socle decoration behind the southern chest that must also be dated to before AD 62. Maiuri argued (1942:111) that the main decoration was later than AD 62. The relatively poor state of preservation of the north chest and the lack of finds might be attributable to post-eruption intruders. However, the front hall of the Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali, however, showed disturbance evidence but still produced a wealth of finds. The lack of mundane finds unattractive to later intruders or of more movable furniture conceivably suggests that this front hall, like that of the Casa degli Amanti, had not been as well stocked prior to the eruption as were many of the other houses in this study.


Room d in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

Room d was on the east side of front hall c 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 an imitation marble socle zone and a central zone with white central aediculae, central panels (Ariadne abandoned, Hera and Leandros) and yellow fields with vignettes and ornamental borders, a frieze of fish, and a white upper zone with still lifes (Peters 1977: Pl. 93 Fig. 74﹣75). The central panel on the east wall had been fixed in place with iron brackets. The pavement was cocciopesto ornamented with white tesserae and a central pattern consisting of a rosette inside two circles inside two squares.

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 cubiculum (Peters 1977:118; de Vos and de Vos 1982:169). The central panel on the east wall does not appear to have been inserted into the decoration separately, because the top corner was not so fixed. Rather, it seems to have been repaired.


Room k in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

Room k was on the east side of front hall c and was entered from the latter through a narrow doorway at the south end of the east wall. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a red socle zone and white central and upper zones with central aediculae. The pavement consisted of a mortar with crushed travertine chips.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

This room had a breach in the east end of the south wall.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

According to Peters (1977:116), this was a cubiculum.


Room e in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

Room e was in the southeast corner of front hall c and was entered from it through a narrow doorway in the west end of the north wall. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a yellow socle zone with compartments and griffins, garlands, and hippocampi; a white central zone with central panels (Eros and Pan, Kyparissos), architectural elements, and garlands; and a white upper zone with an architectural façade and seated and standing figures (Peters 1977: Pl. 70, Fig. 22). Both the central panel of the east wall and the tondo at the east end of the north wall may have been cut out. The pavement was in cocciopesto with a central medallion in white marble and scattered square, circular, and rectangular slabs of colored marble.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Three patched breaches were observable in the walls of this room, one in the east end and one in the west end of the south wall, and one near the south end of the west wall.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

This room has been identified as a oecus (de Vos and de Vos 1982:169). The rough edges around the vacant spaces resulting from the removal of the central panel of the east wall and the tondo at the east end of the north wall indicate that they had been removed with little regard for the remaining decoration. It is conceivable that post-eruption intruders were responsible for this damage and possibly for the lack of finds. However, the complete dearth of recorded finds is curious.


Corridor 03 in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

Corridor 03 was on the south side of front hall c and provided access from the latter to the second entrance to the house, area 02. The wall covering consisted of a high pink socle to 1.6 m from the floor with white plaster above. The pavement was in lavapesta with scattered chips of colored stones.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A stairway ascended from the northwest corner along the west wall of this corridor. Underneath was a large semicircular recess. Inside the latter were found numerous bronze pieces, including a silvered peltate one (see pendants from room 35, the Casa del Menandro), a ring handle, a buckle, a ring, studs, and other ornaments. These have been identified as horse harness. Two bronze bridles were also reported from here, one with a bit and the other without but inscribed "PILONIUS FELIX."* One bronze patera was also reported from this corridor.

Interpretations of room:

The storage of horse equipment in an understair cupboard easily accessible from the secondary entrance to the house through room 02 seems logical, particularly if room 04 had been a stable. Silvered ornaments decorating the harness conceivably suggest the high status of the animals.

* According to Mau (1896:28), this was a maker's inscription. Another horse harness with inscription "PILONUS FEC" was found in the Casa di Epidius Primus, I 8,14, (Castiglione Morelli del Franco and Vitale 1989:203).


Room f in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

Room f was on the south side of front hall c and was entered from it through a narrow doorway in the center of the north wall. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a red socle zone with compartments and plants; a white central zone with central aediculae, candelabra, bronze elements, and figures of Victory; and a white upper zone with compartments and garlands (Peters 1977: Pl. 91 Figs. 66﹣67). The pavement consisted of a mortar of crushed travertine chips.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

There were two breaches in the southwest corner of this room, one in the west wall and one in the south.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

According to Peters, this was a cubiculum (Peters 1977:115). Again, it is conceivable that post-eruption intruders had been responsible for the lack of finds in this room, but few houses in this study had substantial assemblages in the small rooms of the front hall.


Room h in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

Room h (figure D.186) was on the south side of front hall c and was fully open onto it at the time of the eruption. The decoration on the east and south walls and the socle zone of the west wall was in the Fourth Style, consisting of a black socle zone with plants, a central zone of yellow curtains with small panels of birds against red fields with white architectural openings, and a white upper zone with yellow candelabra, garlands, ornamental bands, and grotesques (Peters 1977: Pl. 60 Figs. 3﹣4). The north wall had been built against this decoration to a height of 0.75 m. The west wall had been plastered with white plaster above the original black socle zone (figure D.187). Later, the northwest jamb was built around the low north wall. The pavement was in cocciopesto with rows of white tesserae.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

There was a patched area in the west end of the south wall and another patched breach in the south end of the east wall.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

This room has been identified as an ala (for example, Peters 1977:97). The painted decoration on the east, south, and west walls is identical to that of the opposite room i. The chronology of the walls and decoration in this room has been much debated (see Peters 1977:95﹣97). According to Mau (1896:11), this had been an ala decorated in the early Fourth Style and transformed into a large armadio before AD 62 (see also Strocka 1995:176). Mau argued that, also before the AD 62 earthquake but presumably later than this decoration, a small door that had communicated with room n had been closed off and the large window onto garden m had been blocked and covered with simple white plaster. He argued that part of the wall between this room and the garden had fallen down during the AD 62 earthquake and had subsequently been reconstructed with alternating bricks and yellow tufa blocks.

Maiuri argued (1942:112) that the closing of the window in the west wall and the construction of a large armadio occurred after the AD 62 earthquake. He noted that the masonry of the western anta was similar to that of the rest of the antae around the front hall. He also noted that it was not consistent with the other restoration throughout the house, which had resulted from damage and which he considered had been caused by seismic activity in AD 62. He believed that the plastering of the west wall and the building of the low north wall were characteristic of activity after the AD 62 earthquake, not before it.

Conversely, Schefold argued (1957b:152) that the Fourth-Style decoration in both rooms h and i had been painted during the Vespasianic period and that a later earthquake had necessitated the alterations. Peters (1977:98) rejected Schefold's argument and concluded (1977:120) on stylistic grounds that this room had been decorated prior to the AD 62 earthquake. He argued that similarity of motif and color scheme showed that it was contemporary with the earlier Fourth-Style decoration behind the south chest in the front hall, but Peters provides no illustration of the latter to verify this dating.

More recently, William Archer (1990) also argued that this decoration should be dated to before AD 62. His argument was also based on stylistic analysis of the decoration and the construction of what he described as a two-step staircase. He apparently rejected the suggestion that this room had been converted into a cupboard or storage area. Similar constructions have been found in this room type in the House VIII 2,29-30, the Casa di Giuseppe II, and Casa dei Capitelli Figurati. The latter, which was most similar in that it stretches across the whole room, was identified by Margareta Staub Gierow (1994:57) as a cupboard. Accepting Archer's stylistic chronology is difficult largely because it is based on an assumption that the damage of AD 62 resulted in this alteration and because his method of analysis is contradictory.*

Based on the visible evidence, it is possible to conclude that this room had been transformed into a large cupboard after it had been painted in Fourth Style. It had then been further altered because the northwest jamb had been built over this construction. The white plastering of the west wall and the blocking of the door to room n were also later than the Fourth-Style decoration, the former conceivably earlier than the construction of the northwest jamb. In addition, this room seems to have been empty at the time of the eruption. The general impression is, therefore, that it had gone through at least two alterations or changes of use after the inception of its Fourth-Style decoration. Whether any of these relate to damage caused by seismic activity is not clear, but they appear to indicate downgrading.

* As evidence for his dating of the painting in this room to the early Fourth Style, Archer drew attention to its affinity with the late Third Style (Archer 1990:95). At the same time, he states that "Fourth Style outside this early group suggests that the diversity and non-developmental character of the style before 62 were maintained until the eruption of 79." Accepting any of his assignments to the early Fourth Style based on style alone is difficult with this type of logic.


Room g in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

This room was on the north side of front hall c and was entered from it through a narrow doorway in the south wall. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a red socle zone with panels and plants; a white central zone with garlands, small panels of still lifes, and vegetal candelabra; and an upper zone with aediculae, garlands, and ornamental bands (Peters 1977: Pl. 89, Figs. 60﹣61). The pavement consisted of mortar with crushed travertine chips and fragments of colored limestone.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

This room had a breach in the east wall near the north end and another one in the north wall near the west end.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A low masonry platform along the north wall was reportedly for a bed. The loose finds included a small bronze amphora, a small two-handled ceramic vase, and two bronze lamps.

Interpretations of room:

This room has been identified as a cubiculum (Anonymous 1895:207; Peters 1977:114). The finds are not incommensurate with its possible use as a sleeping room.


Room i in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

Room i was on the north side of front hall c and was fully open onto it on its south side. A large window in the west wall overlooked garden m. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, the same as room h, consisting of a black socle zone with plants, a central zone with yellow curtains and small panels against red fields separated by white architectural openings, and a white upper zone with architectural elements. The pavement was of lavapesta ornamented with rows of white tesserae as in the front hall.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

There was a breach in the north wall of this room towards the east end.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

This room has been identified as an ala (Peters 1977:97). As already mentioned, the decoration is identical to that of room h and undoubtedly of the same date.


Garden m in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

This fully colonnaded garden area (figure D.188) was on the west side of the house and directly accessible from the west side of front hall c. Rooms n and o opened off its southeast corner, room p off the northeast corner, and rooms r and q and courtyard s off the north side. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a black socle zone with plants and vases; a central zone with black fields surrounded by ornament bands, with central panels and floating figures, separated by white architectural openings; and a white upper zone with garlands, ornamental bands, masks, and griffins (Peters 1977: Pl. 75, Fig. 28). The pavement was in lavapesta decorated with rows of white tesserae.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

According to Mau (1896:31), post-eruption excavators had penetrated into the garden area and had taken the piping from the southeast area.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

In the east ambulatory, a large circular marble table stood in the second intercolumniation from the north. Another stood in the west ambulatory in the first intercolumniation from the north. In the latter ambulatory, in the first intercolumniation from the south, stood a rectangular travertine table. In the north ambulatory a marble puteal covered with a decorated disk stood near the northwest column.

The garden proper was filled with statuary, basins, and fountains, most of which contained or spouted water (Sogliano 1898a:Fig. 26; Warscher 1948:4, Nos 213-14). Masonry statue bases were built against each corner column and against those in the center of the north and south ends. Along the east and west side, statue bases were built against those columns visible from the front hall. Each statue base was connected to lead piping and held a statue that must have acted as a fountain. At the north end were two bronze statues of cupids, each holding a goose and a bunch of grapes (Sogliano 1898a:Fig. 19). The rest of the statues were of marble; in the northeast corner was a statue of a satyr carrying an amphora (Sogliano 1898a:Fig. 20), in the northwest corner, a statue of Paris carrying a lamb (Sogliano 1898a:Fig. 21), in the southwest corner, a statue of a satyr with a shell to his ear (Sogliano 1898a:Fig. 22), at the south end a statue of Bacchus and one of a satyr carrying a wineskin (Sogliano 1898a: Fig. 23), and on the west side, two cupids.* No statues were found on the east side or in the southeast corner. Around the edge of the garden stood rectangular marble basins: on the north side in the central intercolumniation, on the east side in the third intercolumniation from the north, on the south side in the central intercolumniation, and on the west side in the third intercolumniation from the north. Circular basins stood in the northeast, the northwest, and the southwest corners. That from the southeast corner was missing. In the middle of the garden was another circular marble basin. Towards the northern end were a rectangular basin in the form of a shell, a fountain in the form of an unguentarium, and two herms (Sogliano 1898a:Figs. 24,25). Towards the south was a low marble base, presumably a fountain and pool.

Interpretations of room:

The garden appears to have been carefully and symmetrically laid out for an elaborate water display. Sogliano noted (1898a:283) that all the statues were marble except for two in bronze in the central intercolumniation at the north end. He argued that this was because the more valuable material had been used in the more important position. He also noted (1898a:283) that two statues from the east portico and one from the southeast corner were missing. It is conceivable that post-eruption intruders had removed these.

If Mau were correct about post-eruption disturbance, then these statues and the basin from the southeast corner had probably been removed by these intruders. However, at least some of the statuary was found elsewhere in the house. This suggests that the pipes themselves had also been removed prior to the eruption and that the water display had not been functioning. Mau noted (1896:31) that no rainwater was being collected during the final occupancy but that it was being channeled away to the street.

* Inv. nos 706, a marble statuette of a satyr, and 707, a circular basin, were reported in the inventories as being from the northwest corner, as were nos 701 and 702, but this must be a mistake (see Sogliano 1898a:284).


Room n in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

Room n (figure D.189) was on the east side of the garden at the south end. It was fully open onto the latter along its west side. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a red socle zone with garlands, ornamental bands, and panels of dolphins and palmettes; a yellow central zone with elaborate architectural openings and central panels depicting the infant Heracles, Oleanos, and the punishment of Dirce; and a yellow upper zone with panels, garlands, and ornamental bands. The pavement was a mortar of crushed limestone chips and fragments of colored stones.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

There was a breach at the east end of the north wall and in the southeast corner of the east wall. A large area of patching at the west end of the north wall may have covered another breach.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

This room has been identified as an oecus (Anonymous 1895:33) and a triclinium (Peters 1977:106). There is a notable the lack of recorded finds in it, however.


Room o in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

Room o was in the southeast corner of the garden area and was entered from it through a narrow doorway in the west wall. The walls were covered with white plaster, and the pavement was cocciopesto.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

This room had evidence of three rows of shelving on each of the north and south walls. Four inscribed amphorae were reported from this room. The inscriptions appear to read: "GVSTATICIUM," "XV K ILN DESARIANO[?]DOL XV," "DE TVR///TIANO DOL XXV, " and "M[?]UF[?] MLER" (Anonymous 1895:33, 84).

Interpretations of room:

The report of four amphorae with inscriptions does not exclude the possibility that other uninscribed and fragmentary vessels were also found but went unrecorded. This room appears to have been used for storage consisting of, or at least including, bulk materials (see room 14 off garden c of the Casa del Menandro).


Room p in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

Room p (figure D.190) was in the northeast corner of garden m and was open onto the latter for most of its west side. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of an imitation marble socle zone; a central zone of red fields with central panels (Daedalus and Pasiphae, the punishment of Ixion, and Ariadne abandoned) and floating groups, separated by architectural openings; and an upper zone of an elaborate façade with seated figures (Peters 1977: Pl. 73, Fig. 26). The pavement was probably of mortar.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

There were two breaches in the south wall of this room, one near the doorway at the west end and one towards the northeast corner.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

This room has been identified as a triclinium (for example, Peters 1977:105; de Vos and de Vos 1982:171). There was again, however, a notable lack of recorded finds here.


Room q in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

This large room (figure D.191) was on the north side of garden m and was almost fully open onto it on its south side. A narrow doorway in the south end of the west wall provided access to room r. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a black and red socle zone with garlands, standing figures, and motifs; a predella with cupids engaged in a variety of activities; a central zone of red fields with floating figures and ornamental borders and divided by candelabra against a black background, but with only coarse plaster in the place of the central panels; and an upper zone of an elaborate architectural façade with figures (Sogliano 1898a:Fig. 38; Peters 1977:Pls. 65﹣69, Figs. 16﹣21). The pavement was of white mosaic with a black border and a black meander pattern at the threshold.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

There appears to have been a large breach in the north wall above the area intended for a central panel painting.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The only reported find was a bronze spoon found in a disturbed volcanic deposit.

Interpretations of room:

This room has been referred to as an oecus (de Vos and de Vos 1982:171). Mau believed (1896:63) that the missing central panels had been removed by the occupants of the house. He noted that the panel from the north wall had been fixed with iron brackets, as in room d, and suggested that it was perhaps a panel from an older decoration. As noted above, the panel in room d was not a separate insertion; this was probably not the case here, either. The assumption that these panels had been removed implies that the Pompeians prized them highly, above the rest of the decoration. Such an assumption would be assigning to them the values of the Bourbon excavators.


Room r in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

This large room was in the northwest corner of the garden area. It had a wide opening onto the garden on its south side and a narrow doorway to room q in the south end of the east wall. The walls were covered with white plaster. The pavement consisted of a mortar of crushed limestone with chips of colored stones.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Marks in the plaster indicate that a structure 1.1 m high, 1.9 m long, and probably of wood occupied the southwest corner of this room. The loose finds included two small glass bottles; a ceramic cup; a bronze handle; the left arm of a bronze fountain statue holding a goose; a marble phallus, a marble head; marble support from a statue; eight hinges, reportedly from a chest; a decorated marble block; and an inscribed marble fragment.

Interpretations of room:

Mau suggested (1896:88) that this room had once been a triclinium but that it had served as a repository in the last phase. It is an unusually large room to have been used in this manner, implying that the owners no longer had a need for so many entertainment areas and that the house had been downgraded. The finds indicate that it had been used to deposit pieces of broken statuary. The pieces are comparable to those found in the garden and probably originated from there (see Sogliano 1898a:284), rather than from a similar context outside the house. In either case, the storage appears to be for repair or reuse of broken material. Either some disaster had damaged part of the garden display and necessitated the removal of the broken pieces or the owners of this house had been salvaging material from other parts of the city (see the Casa del Menandro, House I 6,8-9 and the Casa di Trebius Valens). Such activity would appear to postdate the redecoration of garden m in the Fourth Style and the installation of the sculpture in this garden.

The situation here seems similar to that in the Casa degli Amorini Dorati, where it is unverified but highly probable that the fragmentary statuary in other parts of house had originally been from the garden in that house. This room was most likely not transformed into a storeroom for broken statuary. Rather, it must have already been downgraded, possibly for domestic storage (for example, for glass and ceramic vessels), before it was finally used for salvaged material.


Garden s in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

This was a small semicolonnaded garden on the north side of garden m and entered from it through a narrow entrance in the south wall. Rooms t and u opened off its east side. The north, east, and walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a red socle zone with plants and a central zone of red fields with ornamental borders and floating motifs, separated by architectural openings and vegetal candelabra and vases against a white or a black background (Peters 1977: Pls. 78﹣79, Figs. 35﹣38). On the west wall of the garden, however, only coarse pink plaster remains. The pavement consisted of a mortar of crushed limestone chips.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

An amphora and an inscribed lead weight were found in this small garden.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Room t in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

This room (figure D.192) was on the east side of garden s and was entered from it through a wide opening in the west side. It also provided access to room u 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 of panels, ornamental bands, garlands, and plants, and a central zone of ornamental borders; central panels (Heracles and Auge, Achilles and Skyros); white architectural openings; and medallions with seasons in the side fields (Peters 1977: Pls. 86﹣87, Figs. 57﹣58). The pavement consisted of a mortar of crushed limestone chips as in garden s.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

There was a possible breach in the east wall of this room.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

According to Mau (1896:90) this was a triclinium (see also Peters 1977:112).


Room u in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

Room u was on the east side of garden s and had a wide opening in the west side onto the latter. It also had a narrow doorway in the west end of the south wall that provided access to room t. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style on a white ground, consisting of a socle zone with splashes of red and yellow, a central zone of white fields with ornamental borders and floating cupids, separated by light architectural openings, and an upper zone with aediculae, figures, swans, and ornamental bands (Peters 1977:Pl. 94, Figs. 76﹣77). The pavement was mortar of crushed limestone chips, as in garden s and room t.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

There was a breach in the north wall of this room, 1 m from the west end.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

According to Mau (1896:92), this was a large cubiculum (see also Peters 1977:119).


Courtyard v in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

Courtyard v (with central water-catchment pool - impluvium) was entered from front hall c through a narrow doorway in the center of the south wall. The walls had a coarse pink socle to 1.82 m from the floor and a white plaster above. The pavement was of cocciopesto.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The walls in this courtyard had two breaches, one in the east wall near the northeast doorway to room z and one in the west wall, 1.8 m from the southwest corner.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The impluvium towards the center of this courtyard is furbished in tufa. There is also a large painted lararium aedicula in the center of the west wall (figure D.193) and a stairway in the southeast corner. The loose finds included a small ceramic cup, an iron razor, and four bronze coins.

Interpretations of room:

The wall decoration was contemporary with the painted decoration of the aedicula, which has been dated to the Fourth Style (Fröhlich 1991:93﹣94).


Room 08 in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

This room was on the east side of courtyard v and was entered from it through a narrow doorway in the west wall. The walls were covered with fine pink plaster, and the pavement was of cocciopesto.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

This room had two shelves on each of the north and east walls. Against the south wall under the stairway was a built-in cupboard. From the latter were recorded a bronze lock plate and bolt, a bronze seashell (possibly a forma di pasticceria) containing organic remains, and a ceramic lamp. These organic remains could have been foodstuffs or cosmetics.

Interpretations of room:

According to Mau (1896:6), this room was a storeroom. The finds suggest that it was relatively empty at the time of excavation, a situation that might reflect that which had existed prior to the eruption.


Room z in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

Room z was on the east side of courtyard v and was entered from it through a narrow doorway in the north end of the west wall. The walls were coarsely plastered, and the pavement was probably lavapesta.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

In the center of the south wall was a small rectangular niche. No loose finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

The coarse wall plaster suggests that this room was in an unfinished or makeshift state.


Room y in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

Room y was in the northeast corner of courtyard v and was entered from it through a narrow doorway in the center of the south wall. The walls had the same plastering as in room z. The pavement was cocciopesto.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The north and west walls each had two breaches.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

As in room y, the coarse plaster on the walls appears to have been unfinished or makeshift.


Room x in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

Room x was on the north side of courtyard v and was entered from it through a narrow doorway in the east end of the south wall. The walls had the same plastering as in room z. The pavement was coarse cocciopesto.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

There was a breach in each of the east and west walls of this room.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

The coarse plastering of the walls in this room again suggests unfinished or makeshift conditions.


Room w in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

Room w was in the northwest corner of courtyard v and was entered from the latter through a narrow doorway in the east end of the south wall. The walls were covered with coarse plaster, and the pavement was lavapesta with scattered chips of colored stones.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

There is was a breach in the west wall of this room.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

There was a masonry bench along the south wall at the east end of which was a low fixed masonry basin. Two iron tripods and an iron grill were found on the bench. Beside the bench were found five large bronze cooking pots (figure D.194).* Lead pipes were near the north wall. Other finds included a spherical bronze vase, a ceramic basin, two ceramic jugs, nine other ceramic vases, a marble fountain statue of a Priapus (figure D.195), and the marble statue of a satyr, restored in antiquity.

Interpretations of room:

This room has been identified as a kitchen (Anonymous 1895:234). With the exception of the two statues, the finds suggest that it had been functioning as such during its last activity phase. The statuettes indicate the same type of salvaging as that seen in room r. Sogliano (1898a:284) identified them as being originally from garden m. Some of the fragments from room r are part of the Priapus statuette. It seems improbably that broken pieces of statuary had been carried to different parts of the house during the final eruption while complete pieces had been left exposed in the garden; or indeed that this activity was part of post-eruption disturbance. The deposition of these pieces in the kitchen, one of which had been broken, suggests disrupted conditions, presumably dating to late in the life of the city but not to the final eruption.

One of the pots in this photograph is standing on a tripod, but it was not found in this location according to the excavation report.


Room x' in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

Room x' was in the northwest corner of room w and was entered from it through a narrow doorway at the east end of the south wall. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style on a white ground with compartments divided by red lines and with ornamental borders and panels of erotic scenes (Peters 1977: Pl. 95, Figs. 78﹣79). The upper zone was undecorated. The pavement was lavapesta with scattered chips of colored stones.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The southwest corner of this room had a patched breach.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A high recess was found in the same corner. No loose finds were reported from this room.

Interpretations of room:

This room has been identified as a cubiculum (Peters 1977:119). Beam sockets in the central zone possibly indicate the floor of a mezzanine room above.


Area 02 in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

Area 02 was in southeast corner of the house and provided an entrance from the street to the south through corridor 03 to front hall c. It also provided access to rooms 01 and 04. The walls were furbished with a pink socle to 1.7 m above the floor and an upper white plaster. There was a coarse lavapesta pavement with fragments of terra-cotta.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

According to Sogliano (1898a:266), this area was a posticum.


Room 01 in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

This small space was in the southwest corner of area 02 and was entered from it through a narrow entrance in the east side. The walls were plastered. There is no record or evidence of a pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Modern steps have been built in this area to provide access to garden m.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A latrine was reported here.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Room 04 in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

Room 04 was on the east side of area 02 and was entered from it through a narrow doorway in the north end of the west wall. There is no record or evidence of wall covering or a pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The skeleton of a horse was reported from this area. Other finds included two bronze furniture handles, a two-handled bronze basin, a bronze bracelet, and a silvered bone mouthpiece, reportedly from a flute.

Interpretations of room:

The horse skeleton has been used to identify this room as a stable (Sogliano 1898a:266), yet the other finds might seem to have been out of place for such a location. The horse could have been brought here from outside for shelter during the final eruption (see entrance 01 in the Casa di Julius Polybius), but this is unlikely, given the horse equipment was reported nearby. Therefore the horse probably belonged to this house.


Upper Level in Casa dei Vettii

Description of room:

Stairways in corridor 03 and in courtyard v indicate that upper-story rooms were accessible from this house.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

From above rooms d and k and the main entranceway were reported twenty-three bone hinges, presumably from a cupboard; amphora fragments; one small bottle and one large glass bottle; a ceramic jug and a ceramic vase; a small silver vase with a handle; a silver spoon; a ceramic lamp; a gold finger ring; a gold chain; a silver mirror; a silver circle; two bronze buckles; a fluted bronze ring; eleven glass beads; and a small rectangular lead weight with an iron handle. These may have been the contents of a cupboard in an upper-story room.

From the upper levels of the volcanic deposit to the north of the house were reported a bronze lock, a small glass bottle, and a seal inscribed "P. CRUSTI FAUSTI." In the same area above room q were found two bronze decorated handles, one of an arm and the other of a horse's head on a chain, possibly from a lamp. Other finds in unprovenanced upper levels but probably from this house included a bronze hinge, three small glass bottles, three pairs of bronze tweezers, and a bronze buckle. Further unprovenanced finds that were probably from this house included a small glass bottle; an ivory lid; an inscribed marble fragment; a bronze human foot, possibly from a piece of furniture; and eight bronze coins, one minted in Vespasian's third consulate.

Interpretations of room:

According to Mau (1896:6﹣7), the upper story consisted of rooms above the area of courtyard v, with the exception of room w, and rooms above rooms d and k and the main entranceway. The stairway in room 03 led to rooms above rooms 01, 02, and 03. Thus, the finds above the main entrance area were probably in situ and constituted the contents of one of the upper-story rooms. Consisting mainly of jewelry and toilet items, they are in character with the items found in the upper stories in other houses. No upper-story rooms were reported above the area to the north of garden m. Finds in the upper levels of the volcanic deposit in this area may have been from disturbed contexts