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Herculaneum VI.17. Casa del Colonnato Tuscanico or House of the Tuscan Colonnade.

Linked to VI.16, 18 and 26. Excavated 1959-61.

 

Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Plan

 

The unusual plan of this house with two entrances on different streets, points to the joining of two previously independent dwellings joined by the peristyle, whose smooth shafted Tuscan columns, painted black or yellow to a third of their height and white above, gave the house its name.

See Guidobaldi, M.P. and Esposito, D. (2013). Herculaneum: Art of the Buried City. U.S.A, Abbeville Press, (p.191).

 

Wallace-Hadrill wrote that this was the entrance to an impressive atrium/tablinum/peristyle with 4-sided colonnade of Tuscan columns: 7 reception rooms finely decorated in Style III and IV, 6 with mosaic floors, 2 with mythologicals. Wide masonry stairs up behind tablinum. Service quarters at back of peristyle, 3 rooms, no decorations, back door at no.26. Stairs from street to upper apartment at no.27. Clear example of multiple occupancy in last phase.

See Wallace-Hadrill, A., 1994. Houses and Society in Pompeii and Herculaneum. New Jersey: Princeton U.P. (p.206).

 

In a room on the upper floor,14 gold coins were found, together with a bronze seal with the abbreviated name of M. Co. Fru.

See Pesando, F. and Guidobaldi, M.P. (2006). Pompei, Oplontis, Ercolano, Stabiae. Editori Laterza, (p.368).

 

Cerulli Irelli wrote -.

The excavation of this house, at the extreme north of Insula V, was one of the last made by Maiuri. The excavation took place between November 1960 and September 1961. It was started from Cardo III, onto which the rear of the house faced, unearthing itself as they removed the large blocks of the public building to the west, fallen from the other side of Cardo III: then the upper and lower rooms of the area to the west of the peristyle were discovered. Later, the latter was completely freed with the large triclinium (13): then the north-east corner of the peristyle was reached, excavating the rooms (9 and 11) and the room above the tablinum. Then, crossing the andron, they penetrated the district of the atrium and they dug almost everything until they had reached the rooms of the corridor in the fauces, and in the two shops. In September 1961, the Decumanus was dug in front of the main façade of the house and the fauces and the two shops were completely freed.

 

The structures of the house were found in very serious condition; This was due to two main reasons: the first was that the house, one of the most northerly so far discovered, was knocked down with great force by the muddy flood that carried away the heavy parts uprooted from the two large buildings that were immediately north and west of the same. The second reason, no less serious, was the breadth and density of the bourbon tunnels that crossed it, explained by the fact that the bourbon excavations began and multiplied in the central area of the city.  The traces of the tunnels were very numerous and it was impossible to follow the whole route, but it seems that there were at least four large ones, which ran along some of the main walls, destroying them and allowing access to the richest rooms of the ground floor, which in fact were found almost entirely bare of the household furniture. And it should be noted, however, that no paintings or other areas of the wall decorations were cut, or at least no clear cuts are known: it remains uncertain whether the lost areas are due to the muddy flood or caused by disorderly and unintentional breaking on the part of the tunnel excavators, or indeed by a deliberate and programmed search for fragments of paintings. It is true that there are no fragments attributable to this house, in the collections of the ancient Museum Ercolanese, now in Naples.

 

The walls were restored, day by day, as they were dug by hand, consolidating the parts still in their place, recovering what had broken up, but still maintaining the original positions, and redoing the missing parts with a completely different technique, by building with opus incertum of yellow tufa. Sometimes the original wood of the ceilings was found, but never in such condition that it could be left in operation, except for the attachment of some rafters of the barrel-vault.  The ceilings were remade with modern wood, which had the same size as the ancient fragments found. Only a few fragments of the ceiling plaster were recovered. It was possible, only in rooms 14, 15 and 16, to recompose some of the original decoration of the ceiling. In other cases, as in Oecus 7, and Triclinium 13, the few surviving fragments, insufficient to recompose a design, were nevertheless useful in understanding the roofing of the Oecus which was completely flat, and that of the triclinium which was partly flat and partly barrelled.

 

The areas of the wall decoration found in situ were left there with the reinforcement of cement where it appeared necessary, while the parts fallen to the ground were reassembled and then placed on modern plaster composed of cement and sand.  In the areas where the decoration was not found, or was found in a condition that could not be reapplied, a layer of grey pozzolanic mortar was laid, on which the essential lines of the drawing were incised and then revived in white. The surface of the paintings was cleaned with wax and petrol and protected by a thin layer of wax.

 

To prevent the pavement mosaics from crumbling, the gaps were filled with cement and sand and restorations were carried out in some places with the use of ancient tiles.

 

The discoveries of objects, as we have said, were not numerous but appear to be of great interest.  In a room on the upper floor above cubiculum (14) a hoard of gold was found accompanied by a bronze ring-seal. Several amphorae in a good state of preservation were found on lofts and in the service rooms.  A small table with a marble foot was found in a room above the tablinum, and an insignificant jar in the walkway north of the peristyle.  In cubiculum (11), there was a large deposit of objects including several terracotta and bronze lamps and other various household goods of marble and bronze. Given the diversity of these objects and the disposition of part of them in a layer of displaced earth/terrain, at various heights with respect to the floor, it is thought to be a deposit of the Bourbon excavators, which was then abandoned.

See Manni, M. (1972). Le pitture della Casa del Colonnato Tuscanico. (p.5-6).

 

VI.17 Herculaneum, on right. June 2014. Looking east along south side of Decumanus Maximus.  Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

VI.17 Herculaneum, on right. June 2014. Looking east along south side of Decumanus Maximus.

Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

 

Ins. VI 17, Herculaneum, September 2015. Entrance doorway.

VI.17 Herculaneum, September 2015. Entrance doorway.

 

VI.17 Herculaneum, October 2014. Looking south through entrance doorway.
Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

VI.17 Herculaneum, October 2014. Looking south through entrance doorway.

Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

 

VI.16, on left, VI.17, on right, Herculaneum. September 2016. Looking south to entrance doorways.  Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

VI.16, on left, VI.17, on right, Herculaneum. September 2016. Looking south to entrance doorways.

Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

 

VI.17, on left, and VI.18 Herculaneum. June 2014. Looking south to entrace doorways.
Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

VI.17 on left, and VI.18 Herculaneum. June 2014. Looking south to entrace doorways.

Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

 

Ins. VI 17, Herculaneum, September 2015. Carbonized wood on west wall of entrance corridor.

VI.17 Herculaneum, September 2015. Carbonized wood on west wall of entrance corridor.

 

VI 17, Herculaneum, August 2013. Descriptive notice-board. Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

VI.17 Herculaneum, August 2013. Descriptive notice-board. Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

 

Room 4, atrium.

 

Ins. VI 17, Herculaneum, September 2015. Looking south across atrium towards tablinum.

VI.17 Herculaneum, September 2015. Looking south across atrium towards tablinum.

 

VI.17 Herculaneum. June 2014. Looking south from entrance corridor, across atrium.
Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

VI.17 Herculaneum. June 2014. Looking south from entrance corridor, across atrium.

Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

 

VI.17 Herculaneum. June 2014. Looking south across atrium. Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

VI.17 Herculaneum. June 2014. Looking south across atrium. Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

 

VI 17, Herculaneum, August 2013. Looking south across atrium. Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

VI.17 Herculaneum, August 2013. Looking south across atrium. Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

 

VI 17, Herculaneum, September 2015. Remains of impluvium in atrium, with marble puteal.

VI.17 Herculaneum, September 2015. Remains of impluvium in atrium, with marble puteal.

 

VI.17, Herculaneum. February 2003. Looking north-west across impluvium in atrium. 
Photo courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.

VI.17 Herculaneum. February 2003. Looking north-west across impluvium in atrium.

Photo courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.

 

Ins. VI 17, Herculaneum, September 2015. East side of atrium.

VI.17 Herculaneum, September 2015. East side of atrium at south end.

 

VI.17, Herculaneum. February 2003. East wall of atrium. Photo courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.

VI.17 Herculaneum. February 2003. East wall of atrium. Photo courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.

 

VI.17, Herculaneum. April 2002. East wall of atrium at north end. Photo courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.

VI.17 Herculaneum. April 2002. East wall of atrium at north end. Photo courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.

 

VI.17, Herculaneum. February 2003. East wall of atrium at south end. Photo courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.

VI.17 Herculaneum. February 2003. East wall of atrium at south end. Photo courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.

 

VI.17, Herculaneum. April 2002. East wall of atrium with corridor, on right. Photo courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.

VI.17 Herculaneum. April 2002. East wall of atrium with corridor, on right. Photo courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.

 

VI.17, Herculaneum. February 2003. Upper floor, looking north along south side of corridor and atrium.
Photo courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.

VI.17 Herculaneum. February 2003. Upper floor, looking north along south side of corridor and atrium.

Photo courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.

 

Room 5. Tablinum.

 

VI.17 Herculaneum. February 2003.

East wall of tablinum, with flooring of black and white mosaics and threshold at north end, with atrium.

Photo courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.

 

Ins. VI 17, Herculaneum, September 2015. East wall of tablinum.

VI.17 Herculaneum, September 2015. East wall of tablinum.

 

VI.17, Herculaneum. Detail of medallion from north end of east wall of tablinum.

VI.17 Herculaneum. Detail of medallion from north end of east wall of tablinum.

 

Ins. VI 17, Herculaneum, September 2015. Upper east wall and south-east corner of tablinum.

VI.17 Herculaneum, September 2015. Upper east wall and south-east corner of tablinum.

 

Ins. VI 17, Herculaneum, September 2015. Looking south across atrium towards tablinum.

VI.17 Herculaneum, September 2015. Looking south across atrium towards tablinum.

 

VI.17, Herculaneum, October 2014. Looking south to tablinum. Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

VI.17 Herculaneum, October 2014. Looking south to tablinum. Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

 

VI.17, Herculaneum. July 2003. Looking towards south wall of tablinum. Photo courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.

VI.17 Herculaneum. July 2003. Looking towards south wall of tablinum. Photo courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.

 

VI.17, Herculaneum. July 2003. Looking towards south wall of tablinum. Photo courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.

VI.17 Herculaneum. July 2003. Looking towards south wall of tablinum. Photo courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.

 

VI.17, Herculaneum. July 2003. South-east corner of tablinum, with blocked window in south wall.  
Photo courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.

VI.17 Herculaneum. July 2003. South-east corner of tablinum, with blocked window in south wall. 

Photo courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.

 

VI.17, Herculaneum. February 2003. South wall of tablinum, at east end. 
Photo courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.

VI.17 Herculaneum. February 2003. South wall of tablinum, at east end.

Photo courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.

 

VI.17, Herculaneum. July 2003. 
South-west corner of tablinum, with partly blocked window in south wall at west end. 
Photo courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.

VI.17 Herculaneum. July 2003.

South-west corner of tablinum, with partly blocked window in south wall at west end.

Photo courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.

 

VI.17, Herculaneum. February 2003. South wall of tablinum, at west end. 
Photo courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.

VI.17 Herculaneum. February 2003. South wall of tablinum, at west end.

Photo courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.

 

VI.17, Herculaneum. Detail of painted decoration on upper west wall of tablinum.

VI.17 Herculaneum. Detail of painted decoration on upper west wall of tablinum.

 

Ins. VI 17, Herculaneum, September 2015. Reconstructed upper storey.

VI.17 Herculaneum, September 2015. Reconstructed upper storey, and corridor on west side of tablinum.

 

VI.17, Herculaneum. Not dated. Upper south wall at west end, of atrium. 
Photo courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.

VI.17 Herculaneum. Not dated. Upper south wall at west end, of atrium.

Photo courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.

 

Room 6, corridor from atrium to rear, on east side of tablinum.

 

VI.17, Herculaneum. February 2003. Looking towards west wall of corridor at north end.
On the right, the west wall of tablinum can be seen. Photo courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.

VI.17 Herculaneum. February 2003. Looking towards west wall of corridor at north end.

On the right, the west wall of tablinum can be seen. Photo courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.

 

 

Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Plan