Information concerning the rooms in Casa dell'Efebo

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Entranceway 01
Front hall A'
Room 02
Room 03
Room 04
Room 05
Courtyard 06
Room 07
Entranceway 01'
Front hall A"
Room 08
Room 09
Room 10
Room 11
Room 12
Room 13
Room 14
Room 15
Room 16
Entranceway 01"
Area 20
Room 21
Room 22
Ambulatory 19
Room 18
Room 17
Garden 23
Upper Levels

Entranceway 01 in Casa dell'Efebo

Description of room:

Entranceway 01 led from the street to front hall A'. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style (Maiuri 1927:36) consisting of a white ground with central candelabra and side fields with small quadrants and ornamental borders. The pavement was of lavapesta.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

A plaster cast of the door to the street commenced some 0.45 m above the floor. Above 1.9 m, however, the doorway has been blocked with cement in modern times (figure D.100).

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Apart from those found 2.5 m above the floor, the finds consisted of twenty-two bosses and an iron handle located just outside the entrance and presumably from the entrance doors.

Interpretations of room:

Maiuri argued (1927:32) that this entrance had gone out of use in the last phase because the two doors were solidly barred and bolted. The abandonment of this entrance postdated the Fourth-Style decoration. It is conceivable, although not necessarily certain, that it was barred during the eruption to keep out either volcanic debris or possibly intruders (Maiuri 1927:32).


Front hall A' in Casa dell'Efebo

Description of room:

Front hall A' was entered from entranceway 01, to the east. Rooms 02 and 03 opened off its east side and rooms 05 and 07 off its west side. The north and south walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a white compartmentalized socle zone with plants and ornamental borders and a white central zone with panels of still lifes, ornamental borders, and figured panels. The east wall had a red socle zone covering a black one. There is no record or evidence of the pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Maiuri observed (1927:76) that the cupboard under the stairs across the north end of this front hall had already been disturbed after the eruption. A breach in the south wall outside room 05 going through to front hall A" is still filled with seemingly stratified volcanic layers (figures D. 101). Because this stratification bears no resemblance to that reported elsewhere in Pompeii (for example, Sigurdsson et al. 1982: Ill. 1, Pl. 4, Figs. 1-2; figure D. 102), it is possibly the result of waterlaid deposit.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

As well as a stairway and understair cupboard across the north end (figure D. 103), this front hall was furbished with a lararium niche and painting on the wall outside room 03 (Maiuri 1927:Fig. 15; PPM I:623﹣25). In the cupboard under the stairs were found the remains of many glass vessels. Near the southwest jamb were three bronze vessels and a number of bronze hinges. Further bronze hinges were found near the southeast jamb. A bronze arm of a large statue was also found 0.9 m above the floor (Maiuri 1927:Fig. 30). No actual central water-catchment pool (impluvium) was evident.

Interpretations of room:

Maiuri (1927:36) concluded that, with no evidence of an impluvium, this must have been a testudinate atrium. The wall decoration on the north and south walls of this front hall was stylistically similar to that in room 04. The remains of broken glass vessels and apparent looting from the cupboard under the stairs indicate that the latter had probably been used to store domestic material. The bronze vessels seem to have been loose in the southwest corner (see front hall b in the Casa del Menandro), as there is no evidence for a cupboard or chest here and little space for one unless it stood against the jamb between rooms 04 and 05. Although the finds from this front hall are sparse, they fit the pattern of domestic storage witnessed in the other front halls in this sample.


Room 02 in Casa dell'Efebo

Description of room:

This small room to the north of entranceway 01 was entered from front hall A' through a narrow entrance in the south end of the west wall. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style (Maiuri 1927:36), consisting of a yellow socle zone; a white central zone with central aedicula, vignettes of maenads and cupids, and ornamental borders; and a white upper zone with garlands, sphinxes, doves, gorgons, and an Egyptian figure. The pavement was of lime mortar and lavapesta.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The fixtures in this room consist of a recess in the east end of the north wall with a large block at its center (figure D.104) and a downpipe in the southeast corner, reportedly from a latrine in the upper story. The remains of statuary (Pompeii photo archive neg. C/1489), an amphora, and other bronze fragments retrieved from the volcanic deposit could have belonged here, or to a room above.

Interpretations of room:

According to Maiuri (1927:36), the recess in the northeast corner indicates that room 02 was a cubiculum. If it were a bed recess, it must have been for a plank-type bed with no head or for the foot of the low bed with the head in the middle of the room. In addition, the final length of the east wall (2.89 m) seems unnecessarily long for such a bed. That remains of a wooden bed could be identified in room 04 implies that this room had no bed at the time of the eruption. If indeed there had been a bed here, and the amphora and the statuary were from this room, then we are presented with a curious mixture of rudimentary sleeping facilities, storage vessels, and luxury sculpture. Otherwise, the lack of finds is comparable with that in similar closed rooms around the front halls in the Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali and the Casa del Sacerdos Amandus.


Room 03 in Casa dell'Efebo

Description of room:

Room 03 was a small room to the south of entranceway 01 and entered from front hall A' through a narrow entrance in the north end of the west wall. The walls were also decorated in the Fourth Style (Maiuri 1927:34; GdSc A,VI,6:346), consisting of a yellow socle zone, a white central zone with central panels of still lifes and side panels with ornamental borders separated by architectural openings, and a white upper zone with an aedicula and ornamental bands. The pavement was of cocciopesto.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

Maiuri referred to this room as a cubiculum (1927:35). The lack of finds in this room perhaps indicates that it was not in use, but this is a recurrent pattern for rooms of this type in this sample.


Room 04 in Casa dell'Efebo

Description of room:

This was a long, narrow room on the west side of front hall A'. It was entered from the latter through a wide doorway towards the southern end of the east wall. It also gave access to room 07 through a narrow doorway in the south end of the west wall. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a compartmentalized white socle zone with ornamental bands and plants, a white central zone with central panels and side fields with ornamental borders and medallions separated by architectural openings, and a white upper zone with central aedicula and ornamental bands. The pavement was of cocciopesto decorated with scattered white tesserae.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A wooden bed with bedding was found near the north wall, and a wooden chest near the entrance to courtyard 06.

Interpretations of room:

According to Maiuri (1927:37), this area had originally been the tablinum, modified in the last phase to form a large exedra, which also resulted in a small bathroom (room 05) to one end. He observed (1927:37) that the north end of the east wall of this room had been extended and that it had a different Fourth-Style decoration from the rest of the room and a lower ceiling girder (see GdSc A,VI,6:349). However, there are no indications of joins in the plaster, so the decoration was probably all contemporary. If Maiuri were correct about the decoration and the modification, though, this alteration would have postdated the original Fourth-Style decoration in most of this house.

The presence of a bed with bedding implies that this room had been used for sleeping or perhaps eating (see also Foss 1994:255, 259) prior to the final eruption. The position of this room-open onto the front hall and providing the only access to rooms 06 and 07-makes it an unlikely bedroom, but the presence of a bed here is comparable to the finds in the similarly located room 06 in House I 10,8 and possibly room d in House I 6,8﹣9.


Room 05 in Casa dell'Efebo

Description of room:

This was a small room (Maiuri 1927:38 Fig. 14) in the southwest corner of front hall A' accessible from the latter through the east side. The wall decoration consisted of a high black socle with compartments bordered with red and a white central zone with ornamental borders and birds, garlands, and twisted candelabra. The pavement was of cocciopesto.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

This room is fitted with a bronze wash basin on a podium at the western end (figure D.105). The only other recorded finds were iron hinges and nails that were probably door fittings.

Interpretations of room:

A hole in the south wall, approximately 1.5 m above the floor, is included in the design of the wall painting and has been interpreted (PPM I:637) as a place for a mirror. According to Maiuri (1927:38), this room was an example of a private bathroom in an elegant house. The basin had a drain and water inlet directly from the furnace in courtyard 06, indicating that this washroom had hot water.


Courtyard 06 in Casa dell'Efebo

Description of room:

This small courtyard was entered from room 04 through a narrow doorway in the center of the east wall. The wall decoration consisted of a dark red socle with coarse plaster above.* There is no record or evidence of the pavement.

*The Giornali degli Scavi (A,VI,6:349) record traces of a yellow socle.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

There was a breach in the south wall of this courtyard, but the material that seems to have fallen from the upper floor into this area had not been disturbed.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The area had a segmental pool with its center in the southwest corner. It was reportedly fitted with a furnace in the southeast corner (figure D.106). No other finds were recorded.

Interpretations of room:

According to Maiuri (1927:38), the impluvium collected water from the house roof and transported it to a large cistern under front hall A'. This courtyard was also believed (GdSc A,VI,6:338) to have been used as a storeroom, presumably because of the number of objects found 1.5 m above the floor, but these probably fell from the upper floor. The fittings reported here indicate that it served for water catchment and for heating water. There is no evidence to indicate whether it was in use as such at the time of the final eruption.


Room 07 in Casa dell'Efebo

Description of room:

This was a relatively large room entered from courtyard 06 through a narrow doorway in the south wall. The walls were furbished with a high pink socle with coarse white plaster above. The pavement was reportedly opus signinum with scattered inset stone (Foss 1994:261; after Pernice 1938:106).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The fixtures in this room included a bench towards the southeast corner (figure D.107) and long, shallow recesses from the northern end of the east and west walls. Other finds included the imprint of a vase on the hearth and the remains of hand mills.

Interpretations of room:

Maiuri (1927:38) identified this room as a rustic triclinium for the slaves. The bench (or hearth) and the hand mills suggest that the area had been used for cooking or preparing foodstuffs, but even if a precedent can be found for such a combination of cooking and dining, the west recess seems too low to have been for a bed or couch (see Allison 1995a:165; Allison 2004: 43-48).


Entranceway 01' in Casa dell'Efebo

Description of room:

This was a narrow entranceway to the south of entranceway 01 and leading from the street to front hall A". This entrance was decorated with a black painted socle with splashes of red and yellow and with a white ground above (GdSc A,VI,6:355). There is no record or evidence of the pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Outside this entrance were originally two fixed seats (Maiuri 1927:33, 40), one on either side of the doorway (figure D.108). An architectural fragment was found near one of the seats, but this provenance may have been the result of post-eruption disturbance. Door fittings indicate a bossed door at the eastern end. Beside the south wall were a number of what appear to be cupboard hinges and items which may have been the cupboard's contents. The latter included gaming pieces, ceramic and bronze vessels, a hammer, and a bronze coin. Numerous other finds were also made in the street outside this house (GdSc A,VI,6:340﹣41).

Interpretations of room:

If, as Maiuri has suggested, entranceway 01 had been abandoned in the last phase, one might expect this entranceway to have been in use if the house were occupied. The report of the finds in this passageway being "sotto la parete" (beneath the wall) gives the impression that they did not fall from the upper floor. Thus, if post-eruption intruders did not carry them here, as the additional finds in the street might suggest, a cupboard and its contents would have stood in this entranceway. The assemblage and its location is reminiscent of those objects found in entranceway a of the Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali. It is difficult to determine whether this indicates the same habitation pattern or a similar disturbance pattern.


Front hall A" in Casa dell'Efebo

Description of room:

This front hall was entered from the east through entranceway 01'. It had an opening to the north to front hall A' and one to the south to room 15. Rooms 08, 09, and 10 opened off the east side, room 11 off the southeast corner, and rooms 12, 13, and 14 off the west side. The walls were covered with coarse plaster, and the pavement was cocciopesto (GdSc A,VI,6:349).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

There is apparently evidence from the distribution of the finds, and presumably from the breach in the northwest corner, that this front hall had suffered post-eruption disturbance.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

There are remains of a central water-catchment pool (impluvium). The Giornali degli Scavi (A,VI,6:350) reported that three marble table legs were found next to this pool but this would seem to have been an error, as Maiuri (1927:40) and photographs taken in 1927 (figure D.109) indicate that there were only two (see also Warscher 1948:3, No. 131a). A piece of glass, reportedly a mirror, was set into the east wall. It is, however, conceivable that this was not a mirror but a decorative element similar to the gilded glass disks set into the walls of room I in the Casa degli Amorini Dorati. Little else was reported from this front hall except for two metal vessels found on the west side, one containing a yellow substance, and fragments of decorated glass found near entranceway 01'.

Interpretations of room:

The presence of only the legs of a marble table perhaps recalls those found in the garden of House I 6,8﹣9, which appear to have been salvaged. While this front hall does not have cupboards and chests filled with household items, as many front halls in this sample, it is notable that this house had at least three front halls. It might be arguable that front hall A' and possibly also rooms 13 and 14 performed this domestic storage function for this house. While the lack of a tabletop and puteal and the coarsely plastered walls imply that this courtyard was not functioning as a traditional atrium, one cannot discount the possibility that the tabletop had been looted after the disruption.


Room 08 in Casa dell'Efebo

Description of room:

This was a small room to the north of entranceway 01' and entered from front hall A" through a narrow doorway at the north end of the west wall. The walls were furbished with white plaster, but there is no record or evidence of the pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

Fragments of glass in this room were reportedly part of a sheet in front hall A" (GdSc A,VI,6:346), possibly indicating that this area had previously been disturbed.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

There was a bench along the north wall of this room, on which was found a tripod, and a latrine in the northeast corner. As no evidence of this bench exists today, it might have been a flimsy construction. Most of the finds from this room consisted of bronze vessels. These included a decorated amphora (Maiuri 1927:Fig. 41) and two casseruole that were more probably for serving rather than cooking (see White 1975:192﹣93, Fig. 53; Tassinari 1993, I:232; Allison 1999b: 67). Bone hinges found in the same location may have been from a chest that had contained some of the vessels.

Interpretations of room:

The plaster on the north wall was possibly the same as that on the east wall, traces of which predated the blocking of an entrance to the street. Maiuri suggested (1927:40) that this area might previously have served as a stairway to the upper story that was later abolished because of the stairway in room 20. He argued that the room was used as a kitchen at the time of the eruption. The tripod on top of the bench suggests this, but none of the vessels found here can be associated with cooking. Either the occupants had time to pack up the kitchen utensils and take them with them (the reverse of the situation in the Casa del Sacerdos Amandus), or this kitchen had not been in use at the time of the eruption.


Room 09 in Casa dell'Efebo

Description of room:

This relatively small room was to the south of entranceway 01' and was entered from front hall A" through a narrow doorway in the center of the west wall. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style (Maiuri 1927:41 Fig. 16), consisting of an imitation marble socle zone in red and yellow; a white central zone with central aedicula, vignettes, and ornamental borders; and a white upper zone with central aedicula and ornamental borders. The pavement was coarse cocciopesto with scattered fragments of limestone.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The excavators removed a mixed deposit of lapilli, ash, and fragments from a variety of vessels from rooms 09 and 10, indicating that these rooms had been disturbed after the eruption (GdSc A,VI,6:349). A large breach in the wall between them was probably cut for this purpose.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

This room had a recess in the northeast corner (Maiuri 1927:Fig. 16) and a downpipe in the northwest corner possibly connected to a tub found in the room above (GdSc A,VI,6:363). The only loose finds reported were ceramic fragments in the volcanic deposit either from this room, from room 10, or from the floor above.

Interpretations of room:

According to Maiuri, this room was a small and elegant cubiculum. The dimensions of the recess seem appropriate for a bed. While the dearth of contents might be a result of extensive disturbance, this room shares this characteristic with similar rooms in other houses (for example, room 04 in the Casa del Fabbro and room 06 in the Casa del Menandro). The decoration is stylistically similar to that of other rooms in the house (Maiuri 1927: 40; GdSc A,VI,6:361) and probably dates to the same decorative phase.


Room 10 in Casa dell'Efebo

Description of room:

This was a large, narrow room in the southeast corner of front hall A" entered through a narrow doorway in the north end of the west wall. It was also entered from room 11 by another narrow doorway towards the north end of the west wall. The walls were decorated in the Second Style (GdSc A,VI,6:362), consisting of a black socle zone with a yellow cornice and a central zone of black orthostats with red borders. The pavement was cocciopesto with scattered fragments of limestone.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

As in room 09, the excavators noted (GdSc A,VI,6:349, 361) that the volcanic deposit in this room was very mixed and no doubt disturbed. The large breach in the north wall possibly bears witness to such disturbance.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

This room has a shallow recess in the southeast corner of the east wall (figure D. 110), making the latter wall 3.7 m long. The only reported finds were fragments of amphorae, jars, and a diversity of other ceramic vessels, but these could have been from this room or from the floor above.

Interpretations of room:

According to Maiuri (1927:40), this room was a fine lofty oecus that served as a biclinium. However, Foss concluded (1994:260) that it was spacious enough to have taken three couches. The lack of finds might be the result of post-eruption disturbance. If, as the excavators believed, the Pompeians returned to search for their belongings, it seems strange that they could have taken their dining couches and the tabletop from front hall A" but not the sculptured table legs (GdSc A,VI,6:349)? If such salvaging had occurred immediately after the eruption, then the couches could not have decayed and would have left impressions, as the bed in room 04. If, however, any disturbance came after the decay of organic material and the room had once contained couches, the excavators might have noticed the remains (for example, nails, bone decoration, and so forth, as in room 17) along with the pottery. Hence, this room probably did not have couches and was not used as a dining room at the time of the eruption. This might not be unusual if, as is traditionally believed (Richardson 1983:64; Foss 1994:256), this had been a winter dining room.


Room 11 in Casa dell'Efebo

Description of room:

Room 11 was a small room in the southeast corner of front hall A" entered either from the latter through a narrow doorway at the west end of the north wall, or from room 10 through a second narrow doorway at the north end of the east wall. The walls of this room were decorated in the Fourth Style (Maiuri 1927:42; GdSc A,VI,6:360), consisting of a white socle zone with plants; a white central zone with central architectonic elements and vignettes and ornamental borders in the side fields; and a white upper zone with central aedicula, ornamental borders, birds, and garlands. This decoration repeated many of the motifs in room 09. The pavement was cocciopesto with scattered limestone chips.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The description of the discovery of material against the west wall of this room (GdSc A,VI,6:360), just inside the entrance to front hall A", leaves little doubt that it consisted of a chest and its contents which were located in this room and had not fallen from the upper floor. The vessels included a number of small glass and ceramic containers, some finely decorated, which may have been toilet items; two large elliptical decorated basins; and a large bronze pot. The identifiable utensils included a knife, a strigil, and a carding comb. Hence, some of the finds seem to have been toilet activities and weaving.

Interpretations of room:

According to Maiuri (1927:42), this room served as an annex to biclinium 10. The presence of a chest of artifacts that seem to have more to do with toilet activities than with eating and serving food suggests that this room was not a pantry to the dining room but rather a personal room at the time of the final eruption. The assemblage has much in common with those found in upper stories (for example, room A' in the Casa di Julius Polybius, above room 10 in House I 10,8 and the Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali). Hence, this room was possibly some type of boudoir, associated with the dining room, or was used to store material from other parts of the house.


Room 12 in Casa dell'Efebo

Description of room:

This small narrow room in the northwest corner of front hall A" was entered from the latter through a narrow doorway in the north end of the east wall. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a white socle zone with plants; a white central zone with central aedicula and central panels (Echo and Narcissus on the north wall, Apollo and Daphne on the south wall, and Aphrodite fishing on the east wall) and side fields with ornamental borders and cupids; and a white upper zone with ornamental borders, garlands, and decorative elements (figure D.111). The pavement was of cocciopesto.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The small breach next to central panel of Narcissus (Maiuri 1927:43, Fig. 18) seems too small for the passage of intruders. It has already been noted that this breach did not seem to have caused disturbance to room 06.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

According to Maiuri (1927:42; see also GdSc A,VI,6:356), this room was a gracious cubiculum. The lack of finds is comparable to the pattern already seen in rooms 02, 03, and 09, and in rooms of this type in the Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali and the Casa del Menandro.


Room 13 in Casa dell'Efebo

Description of room:

This room was on the west side of front hall A" from rooms 09 and 10 and its east wall was fully open onto front hall A". The walls were covered with coarse gray plaster. The pavement was probably poorly preserved at the time of the eruption (GdSc A,VI,6: 350﹣59).

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A carbonized chest found on ground level contained four gilded bronze statuettes and four silver trays. The statuettes were apparently intended to support the trays, which were believed to be for carrying pastries (Dwyer 1982:123; Jashemski 1979a:Fig. 149). A small box with bone shelves containing twenty iron needles was found near the center of the south wall. Also near the south wall were four bone hinges and three bronze bosses, possibly from another chest; two cups, one containing bronze and bone fragments; an iron lance; a bone needle; a bone dice; a bronze weight; and numerous other bronze and bone fragments or parts of objects. Further finds that might have been in the same area included: another small box; numerous ceramic and glass vessels, including nineteen ceramic lids and four sizable glass plates; fifteen ceramic lamps; a plasterer's trowel; and further fragments of bronze, iron, lead, and stone, including nails, lock pieces, lead pipes, and stone pieces for polishing the floor. A number of finds listed from this room were thought to have been hanging from the wall. They consisted of iron tools, mainly large gardening and chopping implements, equipment for needlework or spinning, but also included lock remains and two small vessels.

Interpretations of room:

Maiuri concluded that this room was originally a tablinum but that the coarse plaster indicated that it was destined for an "accessory use" (1927:43). The Second-Style decoration in the bath suite in the cryptoporticus of the Casa di Paquius Proculus immediately to the west indicates that the western extremity of this part of the Casa dell'Efebo must have ended at the tablinum, at least from the Second-Style period. Maiuri suggested (1927:76) that some of the finds fell from the upper floor but did not indicate which ones. The material in this room consisted of a considerable mixture: objects for needlework; domestic vessels, many for lighting; tools for heavy and possibly non-domestic activities and building equipment; as well as many fragmentary items. In the latter case, it is difficult to ascertain whether their fragmentation indicated their state of preservation after excavation or whether in fact fragmentary objects had been salvaged and stored here.

Like room 06 in the Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali, this room was coarsely plastered, possibly unfinished, and had been used for storage. The stored material consisted of both precious items and also possibly salvaged items (see room f in the Casa del Sacello Iliaco). In addition there were tools one might expect to find more readily in garden or service areas. Given the lack of evidence for an upper story in this particular part of the house, it seems more probable that such items had been suspended from the walls rather than that they fell from the upper floor. It is also possible that the storage in this room represented several phases of activity (see room 12 in House I 10,8). Like room 06 in the Casa dei Quadretti Teatrali, however, this room's refurbishing had either been left unfinished and then the room had been used as a storeroom or it had not been decorated in the Fourth Style but instead coarsely finished, despite its visibility andunlike the other rooms in this part of the house. Both possibilities would indicate a change of plan in the decorative program, suggesting that some event or chain of events caused the abandonment of the redecoration in the Fourth Style and the storage of tools and building and salvage material in what is traditionally believed to have been one of the showrooms of the house.


Room 14 in Casa dell'Efebo

Description of room:

This was a small narrow room in the southwest corner of front hall A" entered from the latter through an entrance that constituted the whole of the east wall. The walls were covered with a white plaster. The pavement was at a higher level than that of front hall A", of cocciopesto on a bed of coarse mortar with large pieces of tufa.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

This narrow room had shelves on all walls and contained many fittings from cupboards and chests. A large quantity of ceramic and glass vessels, including large and small storage vessels, eating and drinking vessels, and a decorated bronze krater or mixing bowl (Maiuri 1927:Fig. 42) were found here in ash (GdSc A,VI,6:351). Other finds consisted of a bronze foot, a steelyard, a number of weights, remains of glass jewelry, two iron knifes, nineteen lamps (for example, Maiuri 1927: Figs. 43﹣44), a terra-cotta mask, and the remains of iron grills of uncertain use.

Interpretations of room:

According to Maiuri (1927:43), room 14 was a storeroom. The white plaster on the walls is similar to that in other storage or service rooms (for example, room 05 in the Casa del Menandro, room 06 in the Casa del Fabbro, and room g' of the Casa del Sacerdos Amandus). As the list of artifacts implies, this room was apparently functioning as a general domestic storeroom. The only curiosity is the number and variety of lamps, some quite elaborate. A large collection of lamps has already been noted in room 13 of this house (see also the front hall of the Casa dei Ceii). In general, the storage here seems more habitually domestic than that in room 13.


Room 15 in Casa dell'Efebo

Description of room:

This room was on the south side of front hall A". Its north side was fully open onto the latter and its south side was completely open onto the area to the west of room 16. It also had a narrow doorway in the north end of the west wall through which room 17 could be entered. Thus it provided the main access from front hall A" to the garden area. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style with a white background and red, green, and yellow bands, some ornamental. The pavement was of cocciopesto with rows of white tesserae.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The finds from the northwest corner were in undisturbed volcanic debris (Pompeii photo archive negatives C/1419 and C/1420).

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The finds, collected together against the northwest anta and seemingly covered with a cloth, included a bronze statue of an ephebe, a bronze stool, and four furniture legs (Maiuri 1927:64) (figure D.112 and figure D.113).* The only other find was a guardispigolo from 0.45 m above the floor near the west wall.

* These photographs are not of the true excavation condition, as they depict the right arm of the statue found in front hall A' as restored.

Interpretations of room:

The Fourth-Style decoration in this room is stylistically similar to the rest of the house. Maiuri argued (1927:63) that the bronze ephebe had been overlooked in excavations by the owners themselves by capable clandestine excavators. He suggested, however, that the other parts of this house had not escaped these searches. This statue is believed to have held two bronze candelabrum branches (Maiuri 1925:348﹣53, 1927:63﹣66; Jashemski 1979a:92﹣94, Fig. 148; compare Sogliano 1900:584﹣89). The furniture legs and candelabra branches lying disassembled on the floor beside the statue and the covering cloth suggest that this assemblage consisted of salvaged material broken prior to the final eruption. The legs could have been from furniture in room 17. The right arm of the statue was discovered in front hall A', 0.9 m above the floor. This location implies that post-eruption intruders disturbed it. However, it is difficult to explain why such intruders, particularly if they were the Pompeians returning to salvage their valuables, would have taken only the right arm and then left it in another distant part of the house. Understanding its find spot might be easier if one considered that it had already broken off from the statue prior to the eruption (see statue in southwest corner of the front hall of the Casa della Venere in Bikini; statue fragment in hall 41 of the Casa del Menandro). It is therefore conceivable that the ephebe had also been a salvaged item. This already fragmentary material was probably not moved from its original location to this relatively exposed room for protection during the final eruption. It is conceivable that it had been moved here after an earlier disruption or reorganization. That disruption must have been after the decoration of this room in the Fourth Style. The collection of bronze pieces and the dislocation of one arm could provide evidence of preeruption salvaging.


Room 16 in Casa dell'Efebo

Description of room:

This room was fully open on its west side to an area to the south of room 15 and to the east of room 17, which constituted a northern extension of ambulatory 19. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a white socle zone with bird and plants and a white central zone with vignettes and ornamental borders and fields separated by architectural openings with trees. The pavement was cocciopesto with white tesserae in a carpet pattern of crosses and a central polychrome mosaic emblema with flowers and birds situated 1.2 m from the north and south walls, 1.1 m from the east wall, and against the west side of the room.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

No finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

The decoration in this room was stylistically similar to that in rooms 09 and 11 (Maiuri 1927:44; GdSc A,VI,6:371). Maiuri (1927:44) referred to this room as an exedra and Foss (1994:255) identified it as a probable dining room.


Entranceway 01" in Casa dell'Efebo

Description of room:

This entranceway led from the street to the garden area. Rooms 20, 21, and 22 also opened off it. The north wall was covered with a coarse white plaster, and the south wall had a high pink socle with coarse plaster above. There is no record or evidence of the pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The only finds from this entranceway appear to have been door fittings.

Interpretations of room:

None.


Area 20 in Casa dell'Efebo

Description of room:

This small area was to the north of entranceway 01" with its south side fully open onto the latter. The walls were covered with coarse plaster. There was a cocciopesto pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A wooden stairway along the north wall took up much of this area. Underneath in the northwest corner was a cistern head. The only loose finds from here were four small bronze rings, of a size suitable for finger rings, found near the cistern head.

Interpretations of room:

The coarse plaster on the walls was the continuation of that of entranceway 01" and in keeping with its apparent role as a service access to the upper story.


Room 21 in Casa dell'Efebo

Description of room:

This was a small room on the south side of entranceway 01" accessible from the latter through a narrow doorway in the west end of the north wall. The walls were covered with white plaster, and the pavement was of cocciopesto.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

This room had a breach in the west wall, suggesting that it had been disturbed.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

Room 21 had a bench in the east wall and a latrine in the southwest corner (Jansen 1997:Fig.10.6; figure D.114). No loose finds were reported.

Interpretations of room:

This room has been identified as a kitchen (GdSc A,VI,6:372), but unlike room i in the Casa del Sacerdos Amandus, it contained no kitchen equipment except the fixtures. As post-eruption intruders were probably not interested kitchen equipment, this implies that it was not being used as a kitchen immediately prior to the final eruption. This room was in a good location to have served room 17 or the dining couch in the garden. However, the evidence from this room suggests that this area had not been in use prior to the eruption.


Room 22 in Casa dell'Efebo

Description of room:

Room 22 was a small room on the south side of entranceway 01". It was entered through a narrow doorway in the west end of the north wall. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a compartmentalized white socle zone with plants; a white central zone with architectural elements, garlands, and floral candelabra and side fields with vignettes and ornamental borders; and a white upper zone with aedicula, garlands, bucrania, and patera. The ceiling was also painted white with quadrants, ornamental bands, and garlands. The pavement was cocciopesto.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

A breach seems to have been made through a blocked window in the west wall and another in the east wall through to room 21, possibly indicating the passage of post-eruption intruders.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The finds from this room included a ceramic jug and an iron handle attached to wood. Both were encountered 0.2 m above the floor. It is impossible to determine whether the handle was from a utensil, or an architectural door, or indicated the presence of a wooden container in this room. As yet no iron handles have been shown to belong to furniture (they are usually bronze).

Interpretations of room:

The decoration is again stylistically similar to that of the rest of house (GdSc A,VI,6:373). There is insufficient evidence to suggest a use for this room.


Ambulatory 19 in Casa dell'Efebo

Description of room:

Ambulatory 19 was a covered area that led from entranceway 01" to rooms 16, 17, and 18 on its north side and garden 23 on its south side. The north, west, and east walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a white socle zone with plants; a white central zone with fields with ornamental borders, figured panels, and vignettes; and a white upper zone with candelabra, garlands, birds, and dolphins. The pavement was probably lavapesta.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

On the west wall of this portico, outside the entrance to room 18, was a lararium niche and a lararium painting (Maiuri 1927:Fig. 24). At the same end to the south of these fixtures were a block or built-in seat and a painted and stuccoed aedicula (figure D.115). Two guardispigoli were found 1.3 m from the west wall and 1.2 m above the floor. In the same area an iron casket was found. The guardispigoli may have belonged to partition doors in front of room 17, since they were found at some distance above the floor, although it is conceivable that they were fittings from the casket. The lack of reference to the casket contents suggests that it had been empty or held perishable material.

Interpretations of room:

The discovery of a casket in this area is comparable to storage already observed in a number of garden areas in other houses (for example, room 13 in the Casa del Menandro). The lack of contents hints that it was a relic from an earlier phase of occupancy.


Room 18 in Casa dell'Efebo

Description of room:

Room 18 was a long narrow room in the northwest corner of ambulatory 19 accessible from the latter through a narrow entranceway in the south wall. The walls were covered with coarse plaster (GdSc 1927:372). There is no record or evidence of the pavement.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

There is a breach in the east wall of this room.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

This room seems to have evidence of shelving on the east and west wall, although this could have been a mezzanine, judging from the cement-like material to 1.4 m above the floor in the north-west corner. A masonry bench or shelf runs along the west wall, 0.75 m above the floor. An amphora was found in this room and a rectangular brazier (Maiuri 1927:Fig. 47) was found in front of it.

Interpretations of room:

According to Maiuri (1927:52), this room was a cella penaria or apotheca for equipment for the triclinium (room 17). As such, it would perhaps be comparable to room 12 in House I 10,8, but the only possible evidence of dining equipment is the brazier, presumably used for heating either the triclinium or food (see Salza Prini Ricotti 1978/1980:237﹣41). Except for one amphora, more moveable equipment was not found here, not even broken remains. Amphorae seem unlikely dining room equipment. It is conceivable that this room may have ceased to be a habitual storage area prior to the final eruption (see room g' in the Casa del Sacerdos Amandus).


Room 17 in Casa dell'Efebo

Description of room:

This room was on the north side of ambulatory 19. It was accessible from the latter by a wide doorway that constituted most of the south wall, or through a narrow doorway towards the southern end of the east wall. It also had another narrow doorway in the north end of the east wall that provided access from room 15. The walls were decorated in the Fourth Style, consisting of a compartmentalized white socle zone with figures and plants and ornamental borders and a white central zone with a scenae frons with central panels (Helen and Meneleus on the east wall) and floating figures of the seasons. The ceiling was decorated with imitation coffering containing figures and medallions. The pavement was in cocciopesto along the west, north, and east walls and in opus sectile in the center and along the south side (Maiuri 1927:Fig. 20). The latter area consisted of squares and triangles of colored marble with a central emblema of glass and colored marble.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The sculpture found in this room was discovered after the deposit of disturbed lapilli and ash was removed (GdSc A,VI,6:369). The evidence for a breach in the west wall corresponding to that in the east wall of room 18 suggests that post-eruption intruders passed through this room at 1.25 m above the floor. The east wall was destroyed above this height.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

This room had long narrow recesses in the north and west wall. A number of decorated bed fittings (for example, Maiuri 1927: Figs. 45﹣46) were found near the east and north walls and were probably from wooden couches (figure D.116) along these walls, one possibly in the recess in the north wall. Another foot was found near the west wall, suggesting that there had also been a couch in the recess on this wall. The bed fittings found 1.3 m from the south entrance were suitably situated to have been the southern ends of couches along the east and west walls. However, there does not appear to have been a complete set of couch legs for three dining couches.* This could perhaps partly be explained if some had been removed to room 15. A number of fittings were found in the southern entrance that were probably from a door. Other pieces reported from "near the first column" appear to be the fittings of doors or a screen across the front of the room. The Giornali degli Scavi records that this column had a vertical indentation for taking a wooden partition (GdSc A,VI,6:374).

Four pieces of freestanding marble sculpture, found predominantly in the center of the room, were all fragmentary. They consisted of a statuette of Pan in nineteen pieces (height: 0.46 m, Maiuri 1927:Fig. 33), the base of a caprid statuette with evidence of repair (length: 0.28 m, Maiuri 1927:74, Fig. 36), a broken statuette of a goat and kid (height: 0.28 m, Maiuri 1927:Fig. 35), and a reclining Bacchic statuette with its head missing (length: 0.32 m, Maiuri 1927:Fig. 34). One piece of relief sculpture with a cupid was found near the southern entrance. No other finds were reported from this room.

*It is difficult to find a direct correspondence between the furniture legs listed in the Giornali degli Scavi and those reported by Maiuri as being from this room (1927:80). Even if Maiuri correctly collated them, only eight legs were apparently complete and another six consisted of the base only.

Interpretations of room:

The design of the pavement and the long recesses in the north and west walls indicated to Maiuri that this was a "grande sala tricliniare" (1927:45). The discovery of bed fittings suggests that it had been furbished with couches and was used as a dining room after its decoration in the Fourth Style, which is stylistically contemporary with that of the rest of the house. However, a lead covering over the central emblema of the pavement (Maiuri 1927:46), the discovery of seemingly insufficient and incomplete bed legs, and the lack of other dining-associated finds imply that it had not actually been used as a dining room prior to the eruption. The placement of sculpture in this room seems out of character for a dining room. It is conceivable that this statuary had been removed from the garden to this dining room for safe-keeping during the final eruption. While it is of a type associated with gardens, as in the Casa di Marcus Lucretius (Dwyer 1982:38﹣48, 123﹣27), Dwyer (1982:126) did not feel that this particular group formed a coherent set. The statuary was also apparently already in a fragmentary state. Of course, this state of preservation might have been the result of post-eruption disturbance evidenced in the volcanic deposit. The fact that the statue of Pan could be completely reassembled from fragments, however, suggests that it had been undisturbed. It had either been broken during the eruption or already in fragments before the final devastation. Post-eruption intruders are not likely to have removed the head of one statue and the body of another, especially if they were the owners returning to collect their possessions.

In summary, it is conceivable that this room may have been used for storing broken pieces of marble sculpture (as in the front hall and room 07 in the Casa della Venere in Bikini and hall 41 in the Casa del Menandro, for example) after it had been decorated in the Fourth Style and used as a dining room but prior to the final eruption. This would concur with the evidence from the collection of furniture fragments in room 15, the apparently salvaged items in room 13, and the lack of cooking apparatus in room 21.


Garden 23 in Casa dell'Efebo

Description of room:

This garden (figure D.117) was in the southern part of the house and was accessible from ambulatory 19, which runs along the north end of its western section. The decoration of the south wall of the west section of the garden was in the Fourth Style, consisting of a red socle zone with plants and a central zone with a hunting scene. There was a similar decoration in the upper part of the west wall in the northwest corner above a low roof. Below the roof was only coarse plaster. Outside room 22 on the east side of the garden was a coarse pink plaster on the west wall and a coarse white plaster on the north wall. The south and east walls of this half of the garden had coarse plaster.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

The excavators recorded that the volcanic deposit in the garden was disturbed (GdSc A,VI,6:380). The northern half of the west wall of the garden seems to have been largely destroyed down to c. 1 m in height (Maiuri 1927: Pl. V). There are two breaches in the south wall: one large and possibly destroying the upper part of the wall, the other, towards the southwest corner, smaller and neater (Pompeii photo archive negative C/1469 shows volcanic deposit in front of this breach).

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

The garden was divided into east and west sections by what appears to have been a marble fence. Many marble slabs found in the disturbed volcanic deposit may have been from this fence. The uprights were surmounted with painted herms in a variety of marble types (Maiuri 1927: Figs. 37-40; Warscher 1948:4, Nos 242, 242a). In the center of the west side of the garden was a three-sided masonry couch (triclinium) with a central rectangular marble table (Jashemski 1979a:Fig. 145; Richardson 1988b:305﹣6, 310).* The sides of this couch were decorated with Nilotic scenes with pygmies that appear to be in the Fourth Style (figure D.118, and figure D.119). Five masonry bases in this area, freestanding, attached, circular, or semicircular, are believed to have been statue bases. An elaborate fountain (figure D.120) stood against the south wall aligned with the center of the dining couches (Maiuri 1927:Fig. 29). A bronze female statuette (Maiuri 1927:Fig. 32), found on an adjacent pile of building material and roof tiles, was believed to have once stood in the fountain niche (GdSc A,VI,6:382).†

In the east side of the garden against the north wall was a large signinum tub beside which a number of storage amphorae and a ceramic pot were stacked. In the center of the garden area were a table, a semicircular seat, and a small terra-cotta altar.

* Maiuri 1927: Pl. V and Pompeii photo archive negatives C/1514 and C/1505 show the central "table" without a marble top.

† See Pompeii photo archive negatives A/1227. This photograph, dated 1952, must be a reconstruction, however.

Interpretations of room:

Maiuri concluded (1927:61) that the tank outside room 22 had probably been used for washing. He also noted (1927:62) that it had served to provide water for the fountain and the table between the couches and to take water to House I 7,19 to the south. Amphorae were not uncommon furnishings for gardens (for example, in the Casa del Fabbro, House I 10,8, and the Casa del Sacerdos Amandus). The presence of this service water tank and possibly the amphorae stacked beside it implies that this garden was not just as a luxury dining area but also had a utilitarian function.* It is unclear whether this was a habitual state or indicated a downgrading prior to the eruption. The coarse plaster on the east side of the garden and in the northwest corner and the roof tiles and blocks of tufa against the wall at the bottom of the garden near the door to the next house suggest that the garden had, to some degree, been burdened with building debris, and that any formal function had been abandoned prior to the eruption. This follows the pattern seen in rooms 17, 18, and 21. It reinforces the view that the statuary found in rooms 15 and 17 had not been placed there for protection from the final eruption but during an earlier disruption. The garden was conceivably already depleted of statuary before that date because of building work there. Whether the statuary in room 17 even originated in this garden is unclear.

The garden itself is partially decorated in the Fourth Style, although Alix Barbet (1985:205) identified the decoration as the Third Style. Dorothea Michel (1980:400) argued that it dated from after AD 62. There is no validation for Barbet's assignation, and Michel's argument is undoubtedly based on the knowledge that this wall had been repaired before this decoration. The coarse plaster on the west wall below the low roof implies that either this decoration had been left unfinished because of the eruption or that something else disrupted the redecorating. It is possible that the Fourth-Style decorative program had actually been abandoned for a coarser refurbishing. Fourth-Style decoration in the rooms surrounding this area was apparently complete, but the furnishings of these rooms appear to have been damaged subsequently and the rooms given over for the storage of salvage material. This implies that this area was neither functioning nor completely furbished as an entertainment area at the time of the eruption. Rather, there seems to have been a number of changes of plan that cannot be attributed to disruption caused by one earthquake in AD 62.

* Richardson, Jr. (1988b) suggested that the masonry couch was not intended as a real dining area but as an imitation of one or for drinking parties. The slope and width of the couches, the channel through the second one (compare the Casa del Moralista, which has continuous flat couches: Katherine Dunbabin 1991:123), and the evidence of a waterspout in the center of the "table" suggest that it was inappropriate for dining. Dunbabin (1991:139 n. 25) disagreed with Richardson on the basis of the "resourcefulness of the slaves in serving food," but I have yet to be convinced that it was possible to recline on these couches.


Upper Levels in Casa dell'Efebo

Description of room:

Stairways at the north end of front hall A' and in area 20 indicate that this house had upper-story rooms accessible from within the house. This implies that these rooms had probably been part of the same occupancy as that of the whole house rather than forming separate apartments.

Condition of volcanic deposit:

No stratigraphical information.

Summary of Finds and Fixtures Distribution:

A considerable quantity of finds came from the upper levels of the volcanic deposit around front hall A'. Remains of a latrine were found above the northeast corner of room 02 where a downpipe has been noted. Above the area to the west of this front hall were found the remains of at least one bed with bedding and three associated human skeletons; a number of ceramic vessels, a small bronze plate, and a large bronze krater; furniture fittings; a bronze statuette (Maiuri 1927:Fig. 31); fragments of marble, possibly from a pavement; and a large rectangular stone weight. Above courtyard 06, specifically, were found the remains of a cupboard or chest; two small vessels; one marble and one bronze weight, the latter probably from scales; two bronze buckles; and the stone base for a statuette. Above the east side of front hall A' near entranceway 01 were found a bone hinge and other fittings, a number of iron tools, a bronze basin, and a terra-cotta mask. In the area above rooms 09 and 10 were found what was identified as a bathtub, and fragments of diverse ceramic vessels. Above entranceway 01' were found more bone hinges, a ceramic vase, a small glass bottle, an iron hoe, and another stone weight.

Interpretations of room:

While not all these finds can be definitively assigned to the upper floor, there is sufficient evidence that rooms existed at least above the rooms around front hall A' (probably accessible from the stairway along the north wall of the front hall) and above entranceway 01' and rooms 09, 10, 13 and 15 (accessible from the stairway in room 20) (GdSc A,VI,6:359; Maiuri 1927:43). Maiuri argued (1927:34﹣35) that two stone columns in the upper story of the northeast corner of this house provided evidence for a small cenaculum. He also noted (1927:38) that wooden girders and traces of plaster above room 07 indicated an upper story here. Sutherland (1990:149﹣64, Figs. 60﹣61) identified at least four rooms in this area, including a cenaculum above room 04 and another above rooms 02 and 03. The presence of bedding and skeletons above the area of front hall A' indicates that at least some of this upper floor had been inhabited at the time of the eruption. However, the collection of tools in the upper levels, including a foot hoe, suggests disruption in what was reportedly a part of the house used for sleeping and dining