CASA DEL GRANDUCA MICHELE, REGIO VI.5.5
During October 2010 new excavations were undertaken in the House of Grand Duke Michele which produced new data regarding the structure’s building history and private architecture in Pompeii in general. A trench dug between the ala and the atrium revealed elements useful for the reconstruction of the building and decoration of the Tuscan atrium and the rooms surrounding it in the Samnite period. Part of the ala was exposed, decorated with a tessellated opus signinum floor and I Style paintings datable to the mid 2nd century B.C. A trench was opened in the peristyle to continue that begun in 2009. This revealed an earlier courtyard with a colonnade, datable to the 2nd century B.C., surrounded by rooms on at least three sides and connected to a cistern. The courtyard, paved in the centre and without a viridarium, as is the norm at Pompeii, constitutes one of the earliest examples of this type within a mid-level house. From the excavations of 2004-2006 it is known that, as well as two residential structures, a small bath structure faced onto the courtyard on the north side. This was constituted by a lavatio, probably with a long pool and a sudatio. This replaced an earlier bath structure with a terracotta hipbath, found in secondary deposition by the well in the courtyard, of a type known from Hellenistic and Roman contexts.
In the service area 10, situated in correspondence with posticum 21, the layer of ash from the eruption was removed, which had not been completely eliminated during the Bourbon excavations. This space was characterised by the presence of a latrine under the stairs and the entrance to a cellar, created inside an ancient cistern.
On the Vico della Fullonica, which skirts the house to the east, a trench was opened immediately south of theposticum, in correspondence with a door leading into complex VI,5,7, which was blocked in the final phases of the town’s life. The sequence of occupation levels in this sector of the road was reconstructed for a period between the 1st century B.C. and the eruption.
Author: Dora D’Auria
Citation: Dora D’Auria. 2011.