Information concerning the rooms in Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali

Jump to:
Entranceway a
Front hall b
Room 01
Room 02
Room 03
Room 04
Room 05
Room 06
Room 07
Room 08
Room 09
Room 10
Room 11
Areas 12 and 13
Room 14
Room 15
Garden 16
Upper Levels

Entranceway a in Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali

Description of room:

The main entranceway to this house led from the south side of the Via dell'Abbondanza to front hall b. The walls were decorated in the Third Style, consisting of a black geometric socle zone and a central zone with a yellow middle field with a central aedicula and red side fields with landscape vignettes. Above was a coarse gray plaster. The pavement was lavapesta.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphic information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Most of the finds from this entranceway were made near the west wall. They included two locks, probably from the house door, and seven large bone hinges which, judging from their size and quantity, indicate the presence of a cupboard. Other accompanying finds consisted of a bronze cooking pot and a large bronze basin; small vases or cups; the remains of at least two storage amphorae; iron tools; weights and lead rods; a bone spindle; a bronze lamp; and a bronze coin. A bronze jug and a number of ceramic vessels may also have been associated with these items. The finds from the disturbed volcanic deposit in the entranceway included a coin and a number of bronze fittings possibly from the house door.

Interpretations of room:

The Third-Style decoration was reportedly contemporary with that of the front hall (PPM I:365). The artifacts near the west wall represent a mixture of activities. Whether they were in a cupboard or not, the location seems unusual for such an assemblage. Although the Giornali degli Scavi do not indicate that these objects fell from the upper floor, they might have done so. Large iron tools and cooking pots, however, seem unlikely equipment for an upper-story room unless it was a separate dwelling (see above room 37 in the Casa del Menandro). Therefore, either this cupboard and its contents stood upstairs or this cupboard in fact obstructed the entranceway from the house to the street.


Front hall b in Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali

Description of room:

This front hall (figure D.87) was entered through entranceway a from the north. Rooms 01, 02, and 03 opened off its east side, rooms 04 and 05 off its west side, and rooms 06 and 07 off its south side. The wall decoration in this front hall consisted predominantly of a red socle zone with geometric designs and a blue central zone partitioned by black bands containing ornamental motifs. The blue fields had small central panels with theatrical scenes. Parts of this decoration (for example, on the northern part of the west wall) had been replaced with yellow fields with ornamental borders. The pavement was in cocciopesto with a simple overall design of lines of white tesserae forming squares.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The east wall of this front hall had two patched breaches towards the northeast corner and one in the west wall, implying that these sections had been disturbed after the eruption. Photographs of the excavations of the northeast area of the front hall (Maiuri 1929:Fig. 29; PPM I:371 Fig. 19b) show part of a plaster cast of a cupboard under the breach in the east wall, 2.2 m from the northeast corner. They also show loose lapilli everywhere except in the northeast corner, where there is large breach and what seems to be more humic material.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The base of the central water-catchment pool (impluvium) is furbished in cocciopesto with slabs of colored marbled forming a rough geometric pattern around a central disk. No less than four pieces of furniture in this front hall were filled with objects and furnishings (Maiuri 1929:420): a wooden chest and a wooden cupboard elaborately decorated in bone against the east wall; another chest against the north wall near the northeast corner; and a second cupboard approximately in the center of the west wall. Two grooves in the plaster in the northwest corner suggested to Maiuri that a cabinet had once stood here too, but the lack of wooden remains imply that such furniture had not been in situ at the time of the eruption.

The presence of a large bronze handle with a lock and iron ring handles suggest that one of the pieces of furniture against the east wall was a chest, or strong box, rather than a cupboard. This rectangular wooden chest contained the remains of at least six substantial bronze and ceramic vessels and two ornamental bronze objects, identified as candelabra (Maiuri 1929:423, Fig. 39), which appear to have been luxury items and would have largely filled the chest. Further furniture fittings and bone ornaments near the east wall indicate that the other container was a cupboard, but no contents are recorded from it. The chest in the northeast corner contained bronze or bone fittings and an iron guardispigolo, possibly from the chest itself or from a small box contained in it; weighing and weaving implements (Maiuri 1929:Fig. 38); a lamp; the remains of at least eight bronze vessels and five small ceramic vessels, including two so-called fritilli with traces of paint; a number of knives; a bronze buckle possibly indicating the presence of clothing; a gold earring; and gaming counters (see room 01 in the Casa del Menandro). A diversity of domestic activities is represented in the assemblage contained in this chest. The notable exceptions are cooking or toilet activities. If the breach in this corner was made by intruders, they were obviously not interested in any of this assemblage. The pottery found in the northeast corner is also likely to have been from this chest, possibly disturbed through the breach in the east wall. It consisted of a large jug identified as a wine jar and other vessels that could have been used for preparing and serving food.

The wooden cupboard against the west wall was reportedly divided vertically into compartments (GdSc A,VI,6:517). A total of 112 large and small hinges are definitively associated with it and another thirty-six were found in the area, verifying its identification as a cupboard with upright doors and perhaps indicating the possible number of hinges on a cupboard. An iron guardispigolo was also found here. In its upper-story compartments, this cupboard contained twenty-three bronze, silver, glass, and ceramic vessels, many of which appear to have been luxury drinking and serving items (Maiuri 1929: Figs. 35﹣36), although three ceramic jugs seem more utilitarian, as do the other ceramic vessels and two long-handled heating pans. Also in the upper-story compartments were found a bronze statuette of Apollo (Maiuri 1929:Fig. 34; PPM I:362), an iron strigil, an iron hoe, two shells, and a coin. In other parts of the cupboard were found a wooden casket with bone inlay and remains of jewelry. This cupboard therefore stored a mixture of objects that seem to have been associated with a variety of largely domestic activities.

Among the other scattered finds in the front hall were a number of apparently non-domestic objects perhaps related to building work. Maiuri thought (1929:421) that a pumice stone polisher (Maiuri 1929:Fig. 37) was from the cupboard against the west wall.

Interpretations of room:

As mentioned above, the decoration in the front hall is contemporary with that in the entranceway. Maiuri (1929:406; see also GdSc A,VI,6:495, 522) considered it to be in a good state of preservation and to have belonged to one of the last building phases of the house, after the closing of the doorways to areas I 6,10 and I 6,12. He also noted (1929:406) that it had been repaired, however. He called the decoration Fourth Style but later (1942:146) referred to it as the Third Style. Schefold (1957a:25) dated both phases of decoration stylistically to the Vespasianic period, believing it to have been repaired after an earthquake before AD 79. Mariette De Vos (PPM I:362) identified this decoration as predominantly in the Third Style, dated by F. L. Bastet and de Vos (1979:86) to between AD 35 and 45 but patched in the Fourth Style. To Ling (conversation with author) this patching was a clear example of ad hoc restoration resulting from earthquake damage or structural alterations connected to changes of function or ownership. This repair was ad hoc in that it consisted of a yellow field with white ornamental bands unrelated to the decoration in the rest of the room (see repair in the entranceway of the Casa dell'Orso: Ehrhardt 1988:21﹣22). According to de Vos (PPM I:370), this restoration was still in progress at the time of the eruption.

The furnishings of this front hall are reminiscent of those of the front halls of the Casa del Fabbro, Casa della Venere in Bikini, and House I 10,8. Much domestic equipment must have been kept in this front hall during its final occupation. The chests and cupboards that had contents each contained a variety of objects. The chest against the east wall held principally luxury items, but the other two full containers each had mixtures. The presence of a bronze statue with tools and both luxury and utilitarian vessels recalls the assemblage in the front hall of the Casa della Venere in Bikini. The statuette could indicate that the upper part of this cupboard had formed a shrine, as in the Casa del Sacello di Legno in Herculaneum, but the inclusion of utilitarian material in such a location seems unusual. The apparent lack of finds from the cupboard against the east wall indicates either that it had been empty at the time of the eruption, that it had contained only perishable material, or that robbers had completely cleaned it out after the eruption. The breach in the wall above it could be relevant but was so much higher than the one in the northeast corner that it is difficult to imagine that any intruders would have cleared everything from this cupboard but not from the chest in the corner. The excavators did not mention any material or traces of organic substances. It could have been empty prior to the eruption.

The scatter of finds in the front hall could have been stored in the cupboards and chests and subsequently moved by post-eruption disturbance, or they could have lain about the front hall at the time of the eruption. In general the majority of the room contents seem to have been packed away in the cupboards (see the garden CC of the Casa di Julius Polybius). The high percentage of seemingly industrial material amongst the scatter outside the cupboards, in contrast to the material inside the cupboard, suggests that this had been either a work area for non-domestic activities or that renovations had been taking place here.

Maiuri noted (1929:405) that there was no trace of a cartibulum in the front hall. The post-excavation removal of the puteal (PPM I:Fig. 15) from the garden area indicates this piece of assumed traditional front hall furniture (Mau 1899:248﹣49) was also missing. This could have been the result of storage during repair work that, according to Maiuri (1929:405), was being carried out on the house, as suggested by the presence of restoration equipment. Domestic storage in this front hall would not support this explanation, however. If indeed as de Vos suggested the front hall was being restored in the Fourth Style after earthquake damage, then the furniture must have been put back against this repair and the contents stored there before these renovations had been completed. It would therefore seem that any renovations carried out in the house had probably been interrupted prior to the final eruption and that the furniture had been reinstated.


Room 01 in Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali

Description of room:

This small narrow room on the east side of front hall b was entered from the latter through a narrow doorway in the center of the west wall. The walls were decorated in the Third Style on a black background consisting of a central zone with a central aedicula and floating swans in the side fields and an upper zone with geometric motifs. The pavement was similar to that in the front hall, consisting of cocciopesto with white and black tesserae in an irregular pattern.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

According to the Giornali degli Scavi (A,VI,6:516), this was a cubiculum. Because the blocked door was plastered and painted in the same color and manner as the extant decoration in the rest of the room, Maiuri concluded (1929:400) that this transformation had taken place after the AD 62 earthquake and that therefore the decoration was also post AD 62. De Vos argued (PPM I:382﹣83), however, that the main decoration was earlier than the blocking of the door to room n, the so-called retrobottega to I 6,10, because the decoration covering the blocked door was better preserved than that in the rest of the room. Bastet (Bastet and de Vos 1979:86) used stylistic criteria to argue that the main decoration in this room was of the same date as the front-hall decoration. If Bastet and de Vos are correct, the front-hall decoration would have belonged to a phase when I 6,10 had still been part of the house and the blocking of the door in the north wall of this room would have been later than the blocking of the entrance from room n to the front hall. This would mean that the decoration of the front hall in the Third Style predated a change of occupancy of I 6,10. De Vos also argued (PPM I:385) that the door to room 02 had been blocked shortly after the room had been decorated.


Room 02 in Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali

Description of room:

This relatively small room on the east side of front hall b was entered from the latter through a narrow doorway in the north end of the west wall. The walls were decorated in the Third Style, consisting of a black socle zone, a yellow central zone with central aedicula and panels, and a yellow upper zone. The ceiling was painted in the Third Style, consisting of a central field depicting flowers and a floating figure (Aphrodite) against a purple ground. The rest of the ceiling consisted of geometric motifs in yellow, purple, red, and white. The pavement was cocciopesto decorated with white tesserae and colored stones.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

This room has likewise been identified as a cubiculum (GdSc A,VI,6:516). Bastet argued (Bastet and de Vos 1979:86﹣87) that its decoration belonged to the final phase of the Third Style and was contemporary with that of the front hall and room 01. The lack of finds here might indicate that it was not in use at the time of the eruption.


Room 03 in Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali

Description of room:

This was a small narrow room in the southeast corner of front hall b with no evidence of an actual doorway at the time of the eruption (PPM I:390). The walls were decorated with a simple red lineal decoration on a white ground in the central zone, but the socle zone was left in rough gray plaster and seems incomplete. There is no record or evidence of the pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

With the possible exception of a breach through the blocked entranceway in the west wall, there is no evidence for post-eruption disturbance of this room.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

The apparent incompleteness of the decoration was possibly related to the room's function. Beam holes in the east and south walls correspond to the lower edge of the painted decoration. From this de Vos argued (PPM I:390) that this room had been an ala that was converted into a ripostiglio with a loft. She concluded that the door to the front hall had been closed off in its final phase. Clearly, this closure must have taken place at some stage after the decoration in this room but before the final decoration in the front hall. Maiuri argued (1929:413) that an entrance had been made on the south side but that this second entrance was also closed at time of the eruption. There is now a breach in the place of the original entrance from the front hall. Maiuri argued that this primitive communication had been extant at the time of the eruption. If so, this room underwent a number of alterations after it was reportedly converted into a storeroom, but it is not possible to date these changes. Perhaps two alterations (the opening of the door in the south wall and then the breach in the west entrance) postdated the Third-Style decoration in the front hall.


Room 04 in Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali

Description of room:

This relatively small room lay on the west side of the front hall and was entered from the latter through a narrow doorway in the center of the east wall. The walls were decorated in the Third Style (Bastet and de Vos 1979:87), consisting of a black geometric socle zone and a central zone with middle fields of red panels on a black ground and red side fields. The black fields had landscape motifs, and the red side fields had vignettes of vases and herms. The upper zone was white with architectural elements. The ceiling was painted white and decorated with garlands and birds and with purple rectangles containing busts, landscapes, and more birds. This room had a cocciopesto pavement with fragments of white marble and a central design consisting of white tesserae in the form of a star within a circle, in turn within a square.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Breaches in the southwest corner of the south wall and the northwest corner of the north wall imply the passage of tunnelers (PPM I:391). Much of the central part of the decoration was destroyed, corresponding with missing decoration in room 05.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

According to Maiuri (1929:413), the decoration of rooms 01 to 05 was of the same period and by the same hand as that of the front hall. This interpretation was reiterated by Bastet (Bastet and de Vos 1979:87), who dated the decoration to the same final Third-Style phase.


Room 05 in Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali

Description of room:

This room was on the west side of front hall b and was entered from the latter through a narrow doorway in the center of the east wall. The walls of this room were decorated with a black socle zone, red fields in the central zone with a central aedicula above a black predella and animals in the side fields, and a white upper zone. The ceiling was painted against a white ground with red squares and black and white rectangles depicting birds and fruit. The pavement was of lavapesta painted red and delineated with white tesserae.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

As room 04, this room had breaches in the northwest corner of the north wall and the southwest corner of the south wall, presumably indicating the passage of the same tunnellers.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Bone hinges and a ceramic lamp were found 1.5 m above the floor. The only other finds were two small glass vessels with no precise provenance. As the former objects were found nine weeks earlier than the latter, they might have been from the upper floor and the latter from this room.

Interpretations of room:

This room has been called a cubiculum (GdSc A,VI,6:516). According to Maiuri (1929:414), the decoration was of the same phase as that in rooms 01 to 04, but it was only minimally preserved at the time of excavation. Maiuri believed that coarse plaster on the west wall indicated that the room had been in the process of being decorated. The west wall seems to have been constructed after the painted decoration, however. The lack of artifacts reported from this room might support Maiuri's impression that this room was being restored at the time of the eruption. However, the presence of two very small glass vessels, possibly for cosmetics or some precious substances, and the observed lack of restoration disturbance in the front hall area argue against any restoration having been abandoned because of the eruption. Therefore, the restoration was either complete in its coarse state or abandoned during disruption prior to the final eruption.


Room 06 in Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali

Description of room:

This room was to the south of front hall b and was fully open on its north side to the latter. It was also fully open on its south side to area 12, thus providing a wide passageway from the front hall to the garden area. There was apparently no wall decoration in this room (Maiuri 1929:414) and no record or evidence of the pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Most of the objects from this room have not been precisely provenanced. Their description fits that of furniture fittings. Several of them were identified as being from chests (Maiuri 1929:424, Fig. 40). Twenty-two large bone hinges seem to have been from a cupboard, suggesting that this room had at least one chest and one cupboard. The other finds included fragments of glass and bronze vessels (no sizes given), the remains of at least two sets of scales, and a plumb bob.

Interpretations of room:

Maiuri concluded (1929:414) and de Vos implied (PPM I:366) that this room had been in the course of renovation at the time of the eruption. The paucity of finds beyond furniture fittings supports this hypothesis. However, the fact that the excavators did not record the precise locations of the furniture, as they did in the front hall, suggests that this room had been disturbed after the eruption. Therefore, the presence but scarcity of other finds implies that material had been stored here at the time of the eruption but that it was probably looted afterwards. If this is correct, then, as in room 05, the refurbishing must either have been finished in its coarse state or interrupted before the furnishings had been placed here (see room 07 in the Casa del Fabbro). This implies that the usual function of this room had been disrupted and probably downgraded prior to the eruption. As with unprovenanced material in the front hall, the plumb bob suggests that building or decorating could have been carried out in the vicinity.


Room 07 in Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali

Description of room:

This corridor was in the southwest corner of the front hall and led from it to area 12. It also provided access to rooms 08 and 09 on its west side. It was undecorated at the time of the eruption (GdSc A,VI,6:516). The pavement was of lime mortar.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Room 08 in Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali

Description of room:

This room to the west of corridor 07 was entered from the latter through a narrow doorway at the south end of the east wall. The walls were furbished with fine white plaster, and the pavement was of broken tiles.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

This room had a bench along the north wall and a fixed sink or basin against the west wall (figure D.88). In the southwest corner was a staircase that led above room 09 (Maiuri 1929:424). Some lock fragments and a ceramic vase were found here.

Interpretations of room:

The fixtures indicate that it had once been a kitchen (Maiuri 1929:414). The lack of loose finds, apart from a ceramic vase, may mean that it had been abandoned prior to the final eruption. Looters are unlikely to have removed almost all traces of activity from this room.


Room 09 in Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali

Description of room:

This room was to the west of corridor 07 and was accessible from the latter through its east side. It also had a narrow entranceway from room 08 in the west end of the north wall. There is no record of the wall covering and pavement.*

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

This small room has been identified as a latrine (GdSc A,VI,6:516; Maiuri 1929:414). A number of objects were found 0.2 m above the floor: furniture remains, spinning or needlework implements, and two iron tools.

Interpretations of room:

The finds from this room do not support its identification as a latrine. Therefore, either this identification is inaccurate, the finds had fallen from the upper floor, or the room had been converted, possibly into a storage space.

*This room has been converted into a shower room for the custodians.


Room 10 in Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali

Description of room:

This room to the west of the northern part of area 12 was entered from the latter through a narrow doorway at the south end of the east wall. The walls of this room were reportedly unadorned (GdSc A,VI,6:516), and the pavement was not recorded.*

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Identifying any potential evidence for disturbance in the walls is now impossible because of the modern conversion of this room.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

This room reportedly had a built-in cupboard in the south wall (Maiuri 1929:414). Of the loose items, a bronze jug was found on the threshold and another jug and a bronze basin were found towards the center of the room (Maiuri 1929: Fig. 41). Thus, these consist of two pouring vessels and possibly a large water container. The rest of the finds were made near the south wall 0.5 m above the floor. These included seven glass containers, perhaps for small amounts of precious substances, and a small bronze lock plat. The presence of this lock plate and the location of the latter objects just above the floor suggest that they were in a small box or chest.

Interpretations of room:

Maiuri (1929:414) identified this room as an apotheca because of a built-in cupboard and the apparently large quantity of domestic equipment. The apparent lack of painted decoration supports Maiuri's identification, but the amount of recorded domestic material is not particularly large. Only one small container had been stored here, and the vessels seem to have been on the floor. Perhaps this assemblage had been packed up during a disruption or reorganization. According to Maiuri (1929:414), the area of rooms 07 to 10 had been adapted and rebuilt shortly prior to the eruption. If this were so, then the altered quarters were apparently not being used as intended at the time of the eruption.

* This room has been converted into a bathroom for the custodians.


Room 11 in Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali

Description of room:

This room was to the east of room 06. It had a narrow entranceway in the south end of the west wall that provided access to the northern part of area 12. The south wall was open for most of its length onto the eastern part of area 12. The walls were reportedly completely unadorned (GdSc A,VI,6:516). The pavement was not recorded.*

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Again, the modern conversion prohibits identifying potential disturbance evidence in the walls.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The finds from the threshold of this room appear to have been door fittings, including a key. If so, then a guardispigolo could have been either a door or a furniture fitting (see room 10 in Casa della Venere in Bikini; corridor 16 in Casa del Menandro). Finds near the north wall were possibly furniture fittings (GdSc A,VI,6:516).

Interpretations of room:

According to the Giornali degli Scavi (A,VI,6:516), this had probably once been the triclinium of the house. The opening of a doorway in the northeast corner to room 03 might have caused difficulty for a functioning triclinium. Therefore, its use could have been altered when the doorway had been opened. The latter had been closed off again prior to the final eruption, suggesting that the room had gone through two different adaptations after it had been a triclinium. The lack of finds in this area implies that it was being renovated or not being used at the time of the eruption. Maiuri argued (1929:414) that renovation had been going on. HOwever, none of the above rooms, which he also thought were being restored at the time of the eruption, has evidence to this effect.

* This room has now been converted into a custodian's storeroom.


Areas 12 and 13 in Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali

Description of room:

This relatively open area (figure D.89) included an ambulatory and was to the north of 16, the garden proper. The Giornali degli Scavi did not indicate in precisely which part loose finds were made. The pavement in area 12 was of lavapesta delineated and decorated in white tesserae in the form of a carpet with hexagons. There is no record or evidence of wall decoration.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

According to Maiuri (1929:414), this area had been in a ruined state at the time of the eruption, and the vaults under the garden had collapsed.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

In this general area were found bronze furniture or door fittings, a bone casket, a bronze vase handle, a bronze needle, bronze tweezers, bronze bracelets, gaming pieces, and five bronze coins and one gold. These small luxury items could have been from the bone casket.

Interpretations of room:

According to Maiuri (1929:414), this area had already been abandoned at the time of the eruption, but ambulatory 13 had traces of wall decoration not dissimilar from that of front hall b. As no precise provenance is given for the finds, they might have fallen from upper-story rooms or have been scattered items lost by the occupants or intruders. Even if they were from the garden area, their paucity and potential for being lost fits with the view that this area had been abandoned prior to the eruption.


Room 14 in Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali

Description of room:

This was a small room to the east end of ambulatory 13. It was entered from the latter through a narrow doorway in the center of the west wall. The wall decoration consisted of quadrants on a yellow and red ground (GdSc A,VI,6:484). The pavement was of cocciopesto.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The south wall of this room had a breach.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

This room contained building material, a travertine basin, ceramic vessels (mainly amphorae), and a bronze mirror.

Interpretations of room:

The presence of building material suggests that this room had either been in the process of being renovated prior to the eruption or was used as storage for material needed to renovate other parts of the house. The inclusion of more domestic material, however, suggests that it perhaps underwent another change of function prior to the eruption and that the renovation program was abandoned.


Room 15 in Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali

Description of room:

This room was to the east of garden 16 and open onto it for the entire north wall. It was decorated in the Third Style, consisting of a black socle zone and a red central zone with miniature landscapes. The pavement was fine mortar.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Found on the east side of the garden area and very probably from this room were bronze and bone furniture fittings, iron tools, a bronze vase, a bronze scoop, and three bronze coins. Reports do not make clear whether these objects were associated together.

Interpretations of room:

Maiuri (1929:414) refers to this area as a grand and spacious exedra or oecus. According to Foss (1994:228), it had probably been a dining room. Because of the reportedly ruined state of this area, it would no longer have functioned as suggested by the remaining decoration, at the time of the eruption.


Garden 16 in Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali

Description of room:

This was an open garden area in the southwest area of the house. The west wall was decorated with pilasters and large red fields with small panels.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

As mentioned above, this area was in ruins when excavated. De Vos noted (PPM I:395, Fig. 64) a breach in the center of the south wall of the garden area.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Apart from the finds listed above (areas 12 and 13), only a terra-cotta puteal (Maiuri 1929:Fig. 33) was found in the garden area.

Interpretations of room:

The lack of other recorded finds supports the supposition that this garden area had been abandoned prior to the eruption.


Upper Levels in Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali

Description of room:

Remains of a stairway in room 08 possibly connected to an upper story in this house. Maiuri (1929:414) recorded the remains of upper-story rooms above room 06.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A few ceramic vessels were found in the upper levels of the volcanic deposit in the front hall area (above rooms 05, 08, and 11), but most of the finds more likely to have come from the upper floor were recorded above the entranceway. These finds are not dissimilar in character from those in the upper levels of the Casa di Julius Polybius and House I 10,8, being small objects related to lighting, toilet activities, needlework, or furniture fittings.

Interpretations of room:

There could conceivably have been rooms above the front of the house, and around the front hall area. However, any occupation of the upper story seems to have been unrelated to that of the lower house (see Maiuri 1929:400).