Information concerning the rooms in House VIII 2,28

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Entranceway a-b
Room c
Front hall d
Room e
Room f
Room g
Room h
Room i
Room s
Room r
Room q
Room p
Room o
Room n
Corridor m
Stairway k
Room l
Terrace t
Stairway u
Area v
Corridor w
Room x
Room y
Room z
Lower Ground Floor
Upper Levels

Entranceway a-b in House VIII 2,28

Description of room:

This entranceway led from the south side of the street to the north of this insula to front hall d. Room c opened off its east side. The walls of the northern section were coarsely plastered, while those of the southern section were painted in the Fourth Style on a red ground (Mau 1888:182), probably with a black socle zone and a central zone of red fields. The pavement was in cocciopesto, that of the northern section with scattered white tesserae and that of the southern section decorated with a scale pattern in white tesserae and scattered fragments of colored marble.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Room c in House VIII 2,28

Description of room:

This room was on the east side of entranceway a and entered from it through a narrow doorway at the north end of the west wall. It could also be entered on the south side from front hall d and provided access to room e through a narrow doorway in the south end of the east wall. The walls were plastered (Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben 1936:75). There is no record or visible evidence of the pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Two masonry seats were built into the northeast corner of this room.

Interpretations of room:

Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben (1936:75) noted that this room had been converted during the Fourth-Style period to give direct access to room e.


Front hall d in House VIII 2,28

Description of room:

This front hall was entered through entranceway a-b to the north. Rooms c and s opened off its north side; rooms g, h, and i off the east side; corridor m and rooms n and o off the south side; and rooms p, q, and r off the west side. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a white main zone and a dark red socle (Sogliano 1888:510). The columns around the central pool were yellow in the lower part and white above. The pavement was in cocciopesto with a star pattern in black and white tesserae.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The central water-catchment pool (impluvium) was furbished in tufa and revetted in marble. Three cistern mouths were near the impluvium. There was a painted lararium aedicula in the northwest corner and a lararium painting on the wall near this aedicula (Sogliano 1888:511). One inscribed amphora was found in this front hall.

Interpretations of room:

Mau noted (1888:185) that the aedicula had been built and painted with imitation marble after the walls had been decorated. From the description, this aedicula appears to have been similar to that in the front hall of the Casa del Menandro. It is possible that there had been two phases of Fourth-Style decoration in this front hall (Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben 1936:75), that on the walls being of a rudimentary type (see the front halls of the Casa del Sacello Iliaco and the Casa della Ara Massima).

Mau (1888:184) also noted that the inside of the impluvium was of a more recent construction (and of an inferior quality) than the pavement of the rest of the front hall. It may therefore have been downgraded, possibly at the same time as the walls had been rudimentarily decorated. The recording of one inscribed amphora implies other uninscribed ones (see front hall of the Casa del Principe di Napoli) could conceivable have been here but not recorded, as the excavators were actually interested in the inscription rather than the vessel. This suggests that this front hall may have been used for bulk storage during its final occupancy. The lararium may have been refurbished during the same occupancy.


Room e in House VIII 2,28

Description of room:

Room e was in the northeast corner of the house and was entered from room c through a narrow doorway in the south end of the west wall. Room f is in the northeast corner of this room. The walls were furbished with a pink socle zone and white upper area (Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben 1936:75). There is no record or visible evidence of the pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

There was a bench along the west wall of this room, and a stairway along the south that led to an upper floor.

Interpretations of room:

This appears to have been a kitchen. According to Sogliano (1888:511), the stairway led to cenacula on the upper floor.


Room f in House VIII 2,28

Description of room:

This small room was in the northeast corner of room e and entered from it through a narrow doorway in the south end of the west 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:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

It had been a latrine.


Room g in House VIII 2,28

Description of room:

Room g was on the east side of front hall d and was entered from it through a narrow doorway towards the north end of the west wall. The walls were painted in the Fourth Style (Mau 1888:185), consisting of a black socle zone with geometric motifs and a central zone of alternating red and yellow fields (Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben 1936:75). The pavement was of crushed brick (Sogliano 1888:511) with an emblema in opus sectile of strips and triangles of colored marble (1.35 m x 1.48 m) placed in the center of the northern section of the room.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

According to Sogliano (1888:511), this room had probably been a cubiculum that could also have served as a triclinium.


Room h in House VIII 2,28

Description of room:

Room h was on the east side of front hall d and was fully open onto it on its west side. The walls were decorated in a simple Fourth Style on a white ground (Mau 1888:183), similar to those in the front hall (Sogliano 1888:511). There is no record or visible evidence of the pavement.

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 an ala (Sogliano 1888:511).


Room i in House VIII 2,28

Description of room:

Room i was on the east side of the front hall and was entered from it through a narrow doorway towards the north end of the west wall. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style (Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben 1936:75). The pavement was of crushed brick (Sogliano 1888:511).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

This room is believed to have been a cubiculum (Sogliano 1888:511).


Room s in House VIII 2,28

Description of room:

Room s was in the northwest corner of front hall d and entered from it through a narrow doorway in the east end of the south wall. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style (Mau 1888:185; Sogliano 1888:511; Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben 1936:75), consisting of a black socle zone with panels and a black central zone with central aediculae, central panels and ornamental borders, and fields separated by candelabra.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Room r in House VIII 2,28

Description of room:

Room r was on the west side of front hall d and entered from it through a narrow doorway in the east wall. The walls were furbished with white plaster (Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben 1936:75). There is no record or visible evidence of the pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

In this room were found the right hand of a bronze statuette, possibly from the same piece as the feet in room k; two bronze finger rings, a clay lamp, and a bronze bell.

Interpretations of room:

This room has been identified as a storeroom (Sogliano 1888:511). The finds were made "in the presence of dignitaries", so it is possible they were moved here from elsewhere in the house during the excavation. It seems improbably, however, that these excavators, or other post-eruption disturbances, would have separated the hand of a statue from the feet, and moved them to different parts of the house. This situation is similar to that of fragments found in the Casa dell'Efebo and the Casa dei Vettii, which seemed to indicate pre-eruption dislocation.


Room q in House VIII 2,28

Description of room:

Room q was on the west side of front hall d and was fully open onto it along its east side. The walls were decorated in a simple Fourth Style similar to that of the front hall (Sogliano 1888:511). The pavement was cocciopesto ornamented with a scale pattern of 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 as an ala (Sogliano 1888:511). Lead piping in the pavement indicated that water had been conducted from here to the upper story (Mau 1888:184).


Room p in House VIII 2,28

Description of room:

Room p was on the west side of front hall d and entered from it through a narrow doorway towards the north end of the east wall. The walls were furbished with white plaster (Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben 1963:75). There is no record or visible evidence of the pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

This room has been thought to have been a cubiculum (Sogliano 1888:511) for slaves (Mau 1888:186).


Room o in House VIII 2,28

Description of room:

Room o was in the southwest corner of front hall d and entered from it through a narrow doorway in the east end of the north wall. It was also fully open on its south side onto terrace t. The walls were furbished with white plaster (Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben 1936:75). The pavement was entirely of strips and triangles of colored marble (Mau 1888:185).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Room n in House VIII 2,28

Description of room:

Room n was on the south side of front hall d. It was fully open onto the latter on its north side, and the south side was fully open onto terrace t. The walls had been decorated in the First Style (Mau 1888:182), of which only the black socle zone remained (Sogliano 1888:511). The pavement was of large chips of travertine and limestone.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

This room was identified as a tablinum (Sogliano 1888:511).


Corridor m in House VIII 2,28

Description of room:

Corridor m led from the front hall to terrace t. It also provided access to stairway k on its east side. The walls were furbished with gray plaster (Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben 1936; 75). There is no record or visible evidence of the pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Stairway k in House VIII 2,28

Description of room:

Stairway k was on the east side of corridor m and entered from it through a narrow doorway in the south end of the west wall. The walls were covered with pink plaster (Mau 1888:186). There is no record or visible evidence of the pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The northern half of this room was taken up by a stairway leading to the lower floor. In this area were found over twenty ivory pieces, possibly from a piece of furniture, perhaps a container; a marble base with the bronze feet of a male statue less than life-sized; and over a hundred stone beads and other jewelry fragments.

Interpretations of room:

The ivory pieces and jewelry suggest that a casket had been deposited in this area, possibly dropped during the final eruption or post-eruption activity. The sculptural fragment may have been related to post-eruption activity.


Room l in House VIII 2,28

Description of room:

Room l was in the northeast corner of terrace t. It was fully open onto the latter along its south side and had a doorway in the south end of the west wall providing access from corridor m. The walls were decorated with a yellow Fourth-Style decoration (Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben 1936:75) with a red socle zone (Sogliano 1888:511). The pavement was black and white mosaic.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Terrace t in House VIII 2,28

Description of room:

This garden area lay to the south of the house and was accessible from front hall d through either corridor m or rooms n or o. It also provided access to stairway u. There is no record or visible evidence of the wall covering. The pavement was in lavapesta.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Stairway u in House VIII 2,28

Description of room:

Stairway u was at the west end of terrace t and led from it to the lower floor. There is no record or visible evidence of the wall covering or pavement. (The lower ground floor, to which this stairway led, was inaccessible when fieldwork for this study was being carried out.)

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

This stairway had led to an entertainment area on the lower floor across the south end of the house.


Area v in House VIII 2,28

Description of room:

Area v was on the lower floor at the base of stairway u to the north. It was fully open onto stairway u on its west side, and corridor w led from its north side. On the east side was an entrance to room x. The wall decoration consisted of a black socle zone with panels and ornamental bands, and yellow painted plaster in the central zone (Sogliano 1888:511﹣12). The ceiling vault was decorated with yellow, green, and red stars on a white ground (Mau 1888:186). There is no record or visible evidence of the pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The skeletons found in this area were reportedly in mixed volcanic deposit.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

There was a cistern mouth in the northwest corner and a niche painted in a green Fourth Style in the south wall (Mau 1888:188). Seven human skeletons were found here. The loose finds included small silver vessels and utensils; at least ten identifiable pieces of gold, silver, and iron jewelry and other fragments; and over a thousand gold and silver coins.*

* It is not possible to ascertain whether or not this material was indeed found here or indeed if all of it was from this location (see excavation reports for this house).

Interpretations of room:

According to Mau (1888:188), the niche in the south wall had been for a statuette. The skeletons found here would seem to have been those of the occupants of the house who, with their valuables, had taken refuge in this area during the final eruption. However, the observed disturbance gives rise to the possibility that these individuals could have been post-eruption intruders.


Corridor w in House VIII 2,28

Description of room:

Corridor w was to the north of the lower ground area. It was accessible from area v and curves around the back of room x to provide access to room y to the east. The walls were partially plastered (Mau 1888:188).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Room x in House VIII 2,28

Description of room:

Room x was on the lower floor to the east of area v. It was entered from the latter through a narrow doorway in the south end of the west wall and had a large window in the south wall. The walls were revetted in marble, above which was a Fourth-Style decoration (Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben 1936:75), consisting of plants and scenes depicting pygmies on a white ground (Sogliano 1888:512). The pavement consisted of strips of tufa and rectangular pieces of marble.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A decorated mosaic fountain occupied the apsidal north wall of this room.

Interpretations of room:

If the skeletons had indeed been those of fugitives with their valuables, then the lack of finds in this room does not necessarily suggests that it had been out of use at the time of the eruption.


Room y in House VIII 2,28

Description of room:

Room y was on the lower floor and was entered from corridor w through a doorway and set of steps in the north wall. The walls had remains of a Fourth-Style decoration (Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben 1936:75), consisting of a black socle zone with yellow strips and white plaster above (Mau 1888:188). There is no record or visible evidence of the pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Room z in House VIII 2,28

Description of room:

Room z was on the lower floor and was entered from room y through a narrow doorway in the west end of the north wall. It also had a wide window in the south wall. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a black socle zone and a blue central zone. The pavement was of marble.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Lower Ground Floor in House VIII 2,28

Description of room:

N/A

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Unprovenanced finds from the lower floor area included a ceramic cup, a clay lamp, and two bronze coins.

Interpretations of room:

These small losable finds are insufficient to draw any conclusions from.


Upper Levels in House VIII 2,28

Description of room:

The stairways in rooms e and k indicate that there had been upper-floor rooms at least along the east side of the house, and that these had been connected to this house.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

One bronze and two ceramic lamps were found in the upper levels of the volcanic deposit towards the south. Other finds in the upper levels included a decorated marble basin and part of a terra-cotta figure. During the cleaning of the front-hall area, three bronze coins and two finger rings (diameter: 45 mm) were found. Other unprovenanced finds included a glass jar, four ceramic vases, and a terra-cotta antefix.

Interpretations of room:

These finds are too limited from which to draw conclusions, but a marble basin is a curious find for upper levels of the volcanic deposit and perhaps implies post-eruption disturbance