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House of the Wooden Partition

Description of the House (Ins III, 11)

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The walls of the fauces (a) retain some large areas of decorative plasterwork although the actual decoration is rather faded and indistinct. The fauces leads directly to a square atrium (b) with rooms off all but its north side. (On this north side the owner appears to have preferred to allocate the space available to commercial premises opening directly onto the Lower Decumanus rather than additional domestic accommodation).
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Immediately to the east of the impluvium is a richly decorated marble cartibulum or display table (pictured below with a detail of one of the lions' heads featured on the west side of the table top pictured lower right).
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The house was remodelled early in the first century AD with the construction of the peristyle to the rear of the tablinum and redecorated with frescoes in the third style. The third style decoration in the atrium consists of black, red and yellow panels beneath an upper zone decorated with architectural motifs on a red ground (pictured right and below).
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During the renovation work carried out in the early first century the tablinum appears to have been shortened, enabling the erection of a portico on the east side of the peristyle. The tablinum is decorated in the third style with black framed panels above a deep lower red frieze. The room has a fine white mosaic floor with a black border and a decorative threshold (shown below).
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The upper zone is composed of architectural motifs on a darker red ground. This room (pictured above, below and opposite) has a dark gray floor ornamented with rows of white marble chips.
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The peristyle (pictured opposite) was colonnaded on three sides and had a small central garden. Ranged round the peristyle are a series of family rooms. The workshops and shops (h) on the north and west sides of the house were added during the period of remodelling. It seems likely that shop (i) was also part of the property although there is no direct link. A flight of stairs at No.5 (j) led to the upper floor at the rear of the house.

The House of the Wooden Partition lies on the west side of Cardo IV close to its junction with the Lower Decumanus. The house was preserved to the level of the third floor. Its facade (pictured below), which ends with a cornice decorated with ova, is one of the most sophisticated in the region.
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The Tuscan order atrium has an inward sloping floor decorated in opus signinum with a marble lined impluvium complete with a central fountain (pictured below). The simple mosaic floor indicates that the house was probably built sometime during the late republican period (first century BC).
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Off the north east corner of the atrium is a small cubiculum (c) (pictured below and lower left). The room is decorated in the third style with blue/green panels on a white ground above a lower red frieze. The room has a fine black and white mosaic floor and the ceiling is partly vaulted.
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Two further
cubicula and an ala occupy the south side of the atrium. In the central cubiculum (d) is displayed the remains of a bed found in the room (pictured opposite). The room itself is decorated in the third style with red panels and bands set on a black ground.
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At the rear of the atrium is the tablinum (e) which is separated from the atrium by an elegant wooden partition (pictured above and left). The broad opening off the tablinum onto the peristyle may have instigated the installation of the partition. The partition, after which the house was named, is composed of a series of panels of which two were hinged and had bronze handles for ease of opening (pictured below).
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To the left of the tablinum, adjacent to the ala on the south side of the atrium, is the large oecus (f) which has access to the portico on the east side of the peristyle by way of a wide doorway in its north west corner. The room is richly decorated with frescoes in the third style consisting of black panels on a light red ground above a lower decorative black frieze.
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