Description of the House (Ins V, 31)
north of the House of the Great Portal on Cardo IV is the House of the Wooden
Sacellum, named after a an artifact found in the house. The object consisted of a temple style sacellum on top of a base
cabinet (pictured lower right). The upper sacellum held statuettes of the owner's household gods,
while the lower cabinet contained a trove of
everyday objects - perfume bottles, buttons, even a dish of garlic.
In the centre of the west wall is the tablinum (e) (visible in the
photographs above and below). The layout of the front of the house is
fairly standard with the fauces opening onto the atrium and tablinum. However the area behind the
tablinum is less traditional, the result of an alteration to the rear
of the house. Nevertheless in this part of the house there is a
coherence both in the layout and the decoration.
The fauces (a) (pictured left) which opens off the west side of Cardo IV leads to a square atrium (b) (pictured left and lower left) with a central impluvium and two flights of stairs up.
The stairs led to two separate upper floors, one above the rooms on the street and one above the rooms behind the atrium
. In the later area there was a cenaculum
or upstairs dining room.
has rooms off only its east and west sides. Like many houses in Herculaneum
the House of the Wooden Sacellum was penetrated by the Bourbon tunnels - a recent repair of the damage caused by one such tunnel is visible in the atrium
wall (pictured below).
The service room (c) has a niche under
the stairs and is plainly decorated. The room (d) on the opposite side of
the fauces is a cubiculum with simple decoration and a partly vaulted
decoration is quite simple everywhere except for the large oecus (f) and
the room located above rooms (h) and (i). Both these rooms exhibit a more elaborate panel
decoration. Elsewhere in the house the walls are plainly plastered, or simply decorated
with panels in red, white or black all of which are in the first or third style.
The central corridor (g) served to illuminate and ventilate the ground and first floor. Under the stairs in the small storeroom off oecus (f) was found a quantity of amphorae.