Information concerning the rooms in House VIII 2,34

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Entranceway a
Entranceway b
Front hall c
Room d
Room v
Room e
Room f
Room g
Room h
Area q
Stairway s
Room r
Room w
Room t
Room l
Room k
Room i
Room o
Room n
Room m
Corridor u
Corridor e'
Room a'
Room b'
Room g'
Room d'
Corridor h'
Room z'
Room n'
Room l'
Room th'
Room i'
Room k'
Terrace m'
Lower Level
Upper Levels

Entranceway a in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Entranceway a (figure D.220) led from the south side of the street to the north of this insula to entranceway b. The walls were stuccoed in the First Style (Mau 1886:151; Laidlaw 1985:265) with horizontal white orthostats. The pavement was in cocciopesto ornamented with white tesserae in a lattice pattern.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Two masonry seats stood along the side walls of this entranceway.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Entranceway b in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Entranceway b continued from entranceway a into front hall c. The walls were plastered. The pavement was in cocciopesto ornamented with white tesserae.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Front hall c in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Front hall c was entered through entranceways a and b to the north. Rooms w and d opened off its north side; rooms e, f, g, and h off the east side; area q and rooms l, k, and i off the west side; and rooms o, m, and n off the south side. The walls were covered with coarse plaster (Mau 1886:151). The pavement was black mosaic decorated with a design of crosses and strips of limestone.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The relatively long central water-catchment pool (impluvium) was of tufa and furbished with a black and white mosaic base. There were two cistern mouths beside it. Loose finds included chest or cupboard fittings, four ceramic vessels, a bone needle, a ceramic lamp, an iron hammer, a hand mill, and remains of a cartwheel.

Interpretations of room:

Mau (1886:151) believed that the coarse plaster on the walls of this front hall had been base plaster. Some of the finds imply that it had been in the process of being refurbished but others imply that it had been used for domestic storage during its final occupancy. Any redecoration seems to have been left incomplete and the furnishings replaced. If so, then the front hall was possibly downgraded.


Room d in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Room d was on the north side of front hall c and entered from it through a narrow doorway in the center of the south wall. It provided access to room v. 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:

None.


Room v in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Room v was to the north of room d and entered from it through a narrow doorway in the west end of the south wall. The walls of this room were decorated with a stuccoed red and white upper zone. There is no record or visible evidence of the pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

This room had a cistern mouth in front of the entrance to room d, a latrine in the northeast corner, and a downpipe set in the wall.

Interpretations of room:

The fixtures suggest that this had been an area for ablutions.


Room e in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Room e was on the east side of front hall c and entered from it through a narrow doorway in the center of the west wall. The walls were decorated with a simple Third-Style decoration on a white ground (Mau 1886:152). The pavement was in cocciopesto decorated with scattered white tesserae.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

There were four breaches in the north, east, and south walls of this room.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Room f in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Room f was on the east side of front hall c and entered from it through a narrow doorway in the center of the west wall. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style (Mau 1886:152), consisting of a red socle zone with panels and plants and a central zone of white fields, with central panels, vignettes, and ornamental bands, separated by candelabra. The pavement was in cocciopesto decorated with scattered white tesserae.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

There were three breaches in north and south walls of this room.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Room g in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Room g was on the east side of front hall c and was entered from it through a narrow doorway in the center of the west wall. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style (Mau 1886:152), consisting of a red geometric socle zone and a central zone with red middle field and yellow side fields. The pavement was in cocciopesto decorated with a carpet pattern of a lattice of lozenges in white tesserae.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

This room had three breaches in the north, east, and south walls.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Room h in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Room h was on the east side of front hall c and was fully open onto it on its west side. The walls were covered with coarse plaster (Mau 1886:151). The pavement consisted of mortar with limestone chips.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

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

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Four sockets were observed in the east wall. They contained evidence of beams that were placed at right angles to each other.

Interpretations of room:

According to Mau (1886:151), this was an ala that had been incompletely refurbished. Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben (1936:53) dated this refurbishing to after the earthquake of AD 62. The beams may have served as scaffolding for this work or they could equally have been used to support unstable walls during further disruptions.


Area q in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Area q is on the west side of front hall c and was entered from it through a narrow doorway in the center of the east wall. A narrow doorway in the center of the west wall provided access to corridor u, and two doorways in the north side provided access to rooms s and r. There is no record or visible evidence of any wall covering or pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

There was a recess in the west end of the south wall of this corridor area. Beam holes in the south end of the west and east walls (1.35 m above ground) may indicate a mezzanine or robust shelving

Interpretations of room:

A recess in this area is unlikely to have been used for a bed, unless it had belonged to an earlier arrangement when this room had not been a thoroughfare. According to Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben (1936:53), this alteration had been related to the AD 62 earthquake.


Stairway s in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Stairway s led from the northwest corner of area q to an upper floor. There is no record or visible evidence of any wall covering.

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 2,34

Description of room:

This L-shaped room was in the northwest corner of the front hall area and was entered from area q through the south end. A narrow doorway in the south end of the east wall provided access to room w. There is no record or visible evidence of any wall covering or pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

This room had benches along the north and east walls. It had a built-in cupboard under the stairway on the west side.

Interpretations of room:

This room has been identified as a kitchen (Mau 1886:153).


Room w in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Room w was on the north side of front hall c and had a window overlooking the latter. A narrow doorway in the south end of the west wall provided access to room r. There is no record or visible evidence of any wall covering or pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Room t in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Room t was under the north end of stairway s and was entered from room r through a narrow doorway in the south end of the east wall. There is no record or visible evidence of any wall covering or pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

This had been a latrine.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Room l in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Room l was on the west side of front hall c and entered from it through a narrow doorway in the center of the east wall. The walls were furbished with white plaster (Mau 1886:151). The pavement was in cocciopesto decorated in white tesserae.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

In the east end of the north wall of this room was a recess. This room also had wooden shelves along the north, west, and south walls.

Interpretations of room:

This room has been identified as a storeroom (Mau 1886:151). According to Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben (1936:53), it had been so transformed after the AD 62 earthquake. If this recess had indeed been a bed recess, then the room's original use had been altered.


Room k in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Room k was on the west side of front hall c and entered from it through a narrow doorway in the center of the east wall. The walls had been painted with a black decoration (Mau 1886:152) but were later furbished with white plaster (Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben 1936:53). The pavement was in cocciopesto decorated with a lattice of meanders in white tesserae.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

An iron rake and a small bronze and bone fibula were found here.

Interpretations of room:

According to Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben (1936:53), this room had received its white plastering after the AD 62 earthquake. A rake seems an unusual find for a room off the front hall and hints at downgrading. If it could be shown to have been associated with the industrial activity observed in the front hall, then that activity had probably not been related to refurbishing the house.


Room i in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Room i was on the west side of front hall c and was fully open onto the latter along its east side. The walls were furbished with white plaster (Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben 1936:53). The pavement was mortar with crushed chips of limestone.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A pile of lime was found in the northwest corner.

Interpretations of room:

According to Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben (1936:53), this room received its white plastering after the AD 62 earthquake. However, they also noted (1936:54) that the pile of lime indicated that work had still been in progress in AD 79, suggesting further alterations.


Room o in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Room o was on the south side of front hall c and entered from it through a narrow doorway in the east end of the north wall. Two doorways in the southeast corner provided access to room m and to the south. There is no record or visible evidence of any wall covering. The pavement was white mosaic with a black border and a figured and colored central emblema.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A stairway along the north wall led to the upper floor.

Interpretations of room:

According to Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben (1936:53), this stairway had been added after the AD 62 earthquake, conceivably downgrading what appears to have been a formal space.


Room n in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Room n was on the south side of front hall c and entered from it through a narrow doorway in the west end of the north wall. A doorway in the south end of the west wall provided access to room m, and the south wall was fully open. The walls were plastered, and the pavement was in white mosaic with a central figured and colored emblema.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

According to Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben (1936:53), this room had been redecorated after the AD 62 earthquake.


Room m in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Room m was on the south side of front hall c and was entered from it through a wide doorway in the north wall. Narrow doorways in the south end of the west and east walls provided access to rooms o and n, respectively. The south side was fully open. The walls were coarsely plastered (Mau 1886:152). The pavement was in white mosaic with a black and white meander pattern at the threshold.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Corridor u in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Corridor u ran along the west side of the house. It led from the street to corridor e' and the lower-floor rooms at the south end of the house. It also provided access to the front-hall area of the house through area q. The walls were furbished with a high black socle with white plaster above (Mau 1886:153). 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.


Corridor e' in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Corridor e' led from corridor u to the rooms on the lower floor. Rooms a', b', and g' opened off its north side, room d' opened off its east end, and corridor h' and room i' opened off its south side. The walls were decorated with a high yellow socle zone and a central zone of white orthostats and red and black ashlar blocks. 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 a' in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Room a' was in the northwest corner of the lower floor and was accessible from corridor e' through a narrow doorway in the east end of the south wall. The walls were decorated with a high yellow socle zone and a black central zone. There is no record or visible evidence of the pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

There appears to have been wooden shelving along the east wall of this room. The north end of the west wall had a recess.

Interpretations of room:

Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben (1936:54) noted that mezzanine rooms above this room and room b' had been built after the AD 62 earthquake. That above this room had been decorated with a black socle zone and white central zone.


Room b' in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Room b' was on the north side of the lower floor and was accessible from corridor e' through a narrow doorway in the center of the south wall. The walls were decorated with a high yellow socle zone, a black central zone, and a white upper zone. 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:

Mau has suggested that rooms a' and b' had served as dormitorii servili (Mau 1886).


Room g' in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

This room was on the north side of the lower floor and was accessible from corridor e' through a narrow doorway in the center of the south wall. The decoration was in the Second Style and consisted of a high red socle zone with a yellow cornice, a green central zone with white bands and a red cornice, and a red upper zone. The pavement was in cocciopesto decorated with white tesserae.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

There were two columns of six shallow holes in the north wall of this room.

Interpretations of room:

Mau believed (1886:154) that the decoration was contemporary with that in room d'. According to Mau, this room had originally been a cubiculum but had later been converted for another, indiscernible, purpose.


Room d' in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Room d' was in the northeast corner of the lower floor and was accessible from corridor e' through a narrow doorway in the south end of the west wall. The walls were decorated in candelabra style (Mau 1886:154), consisting of a red socle zone, a black central zone with a black frieze, and a white upper zone. The pavement was composed of a gray mortar with rows of white tesserae (Mau 1886:153) and a central pattern of rosettes (Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben 1936:50).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

This room had shelving on all the walls.

Interpretations of room:

According to Mau (1886:153), this room had originally been a triclinium because the arrangement of the pavement indicated the positions of three dining couches. However, the pilaster to the south seems to have been left unplastered when the walls were decorated and the walls had later been converted for shelving. This suggests a downgrading after the decoration (Mau 1886:154).


Corridor h' in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Corridor h' led south from the west end of corridor e' to the rooms z', th', and area n' (figure D.221). 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:

None.


Room z' in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Room z' is on west side of corridor h' and was entered from it through a very narrow doorway in the south end of the east wall. The walls were furbished with coarse plaster (Mau 1886:156). There is no record or visible evidence of the pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

This room had an high rectangular recess in the east wall (figure D.222) and a beam that served as a shelf along the north and west walls.

Interpretations of room:

According to Mau (1886:156), this room had been a storeroom. Its large size suggests that this had not been its original function.


Room n' in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Area n' was to the south of room th' and provided a central access to more of the rooms on this level - corridor h', rooms z', l', th', i', k' and terrace m'. There is not record or visible evidence of wall covering or pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

According to Mau (1886:155), the arrangement of the pavement indicated that this room was a cubiculum.


Room l' in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Room l' was on west side of area n' and was entered from it through a very narrow doorway in the south end of the east wall. A large window opened onto terrace m' in the south side. The walls were furbished with painted decoration, but this was probably in a poor state of repair (Mau 1886:155). The pavement was white mosaic decorated with lozenges in black tesserae.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

According to Mau (1886:155), the arrangement of the pavement indicated that this room was a cubiculum.


Room th' in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Room th' was on the west side of corridor h' and appears to have been fully open on its south side onto area n'. The walls were decorated in the candelabra or the Third Style (Mau 1886:155), consisting of a black socle zone and a central zone of purple fields and blue bands. The pavement was in cocciopesto with pieces of colored stone and delineated with white tesserae. The pavement scheme served to divide the room into two sections.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

According to Mau (1886:155), this had undoubtedly been a dining room. He observed that its decoration was contemporary with the other decoration in this area.


Room i' in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Room i' was on the east side of room th' and was entered through the south end from area n'. 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:

A terra-cotta antefix and a bronze lamp were found here.

Interpretations of room:

This had been a closed, dark room, possibly a cupboard (Mau 1886:154﹣55).


Room k' in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Room k' was on the east side of area n' and entered from it through a narrow doorway in the south end of the west wall. A large window in the south side overlooked terrace m'. The walls were decorated with a red plinth, a black socle zone, a central zone of black fields with ornamental borders and candelabra, and a red upper zone with bands and a stuccoed cornice. The pavement was black mosaic decorated with rows of white tesserae and with white borders.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Terrace m' in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Terrace m' spanned the south side of the lower floor of this house. It was accessible through area n'. The walls were plastered, and the pavement was of cocciopesto.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Remains of a bench were found in the northwest corner of this terrace. In the northeast corner was a semicircular masonry tub plastered and painted with Nilotic scenes of pygmies, crocodiles, and aquatic birds.

Interpretations of room:

Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben (1936:54) attributed both of these fixtures to alterations after the AD 62 earthquake. Mau (1886:156) noted evidence for the cultivation of flowers around this terrace.


Lower Level in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

A number of unprovenanced finds were recorded in this level

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A loom and a skeleton were found in this area. In the rubble were found two loom weights and a number of silver and bronze coins.*

Interpretations of room:

These scant finds imply that this area had a utilitarian function at least during its final occupancy.

* According to the Notizie degli Scavi, the following finds were made in the lower level of this house: a small glass bottle, a lock plate, two ceramic lamps, part of a lamp-stand, five tortoise shells, fragments of talc, and three bronze coins. However, the Giornali degli Scavi indicates that they were found in House VIII 2,36.


Upper Levels in House VIII 2,34

Description of room:

Stairways in room s and room o indicate upper-story rooms connected to this house and possibly along the north, west, or south side of the front hall. A stairway in area VIII 2,35 suggests upper-story rooms in the northern and eastern part of this house that were not connected with it.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

An iron key, a glass bottle, a ceramic lamp, and five small marble weights, two of them inscribed with numerals, were found in the upper levels of the volcanic deposit in room m. Above terrace m' were a number of toilet items, a needle, a ceramic lamp, and two bronze coins.

Interpretations of room:

The finds above room m seem out of character for upper-floor assemblages unless there had been separate dwellings above here. Those above terrace m' seem to represent a more usual upper-floor assemblage but could equally have fallen from the ground floor.