Description of the House (Reg I, Ins 9, 1, 15)
house faces onto the Via
dell' Abbondanza. It was first excavated in 1912 and again in 1952. The entrance (a) is currently blocked by a concrete cast of the void left by its double wooden doors. The large atrium (b)
originally had four columns supporting the roof, but these appear to
have been removed, perhaps after the quake of AD62, leaving the
atrium roofless. At the centre of the atrium is a richly decorated
impluvium, lined with coloured marbles from Africa, Greece and Turkey.
On the south side of the atrium,
facing the entrance, a
large tablinum opens onto the peristyle at the rear. The photograph above shows
the view from the atrium, through the tablinum to the garden beyond. The tablinum (d) was decorated in
blues and reds; a fragment of this decoration is shown opposite.
Opening off the left side of the tablinum is the triclinium (e) which also opens onto the garden at the rear. The decoration, of which only fragments remain, was of architectural scenes and wildlife on a black ground (pictured right).
The garden (f) had a peristyle
on three sides (pictured below). There was a flight of stairs off the north west corner
leading down to a cellar. Arranged along the south side of the garden,
several rooms opened directly onto the peristyle.
Rooms are arranged around three sides of the atrium
. Along the fourth (west) side, a wooden chest and cupboard were discovered which contained between them a wide range of artifacts including jewellery and silverware and a hoard of silver and gold coins.
Much of the wall decoration in the house has been lost, although three rooms, a cubiculum
, the tablinum
and the triclinium
, do retain some of their original third style
The first of these rooms, cubiculum (c) on the east side of the atrium was
decorated with red panels framed by columns above a border of coloured squares (pictured lower left).
....These rooms are no longer present, but supporting columns
for the flooring can be seen in the lower area at the rear of the
garden (g). This lower area appears to have been used as workshops and
had a separate access to the street (h).
Note: The two photographs on the right above showing the fresco plasterwork in the tablinum and triclinium are reproduced from a paper on Pompeian Plaster by the Swedish Institute in Rome (the paper is included here in the Bibliography as Appendix N).
* Images ©Jackie and Bob Dunn are
reproduced by permission from their website at
(Su concessione del Ministero per
i Beni e le Attività Culturali:
Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di
Napoli e Pompei)