Un'abitazione di livello medio: la Casa del Granduca Michele (VI 5, 5-6/21)
In: Studi e Ricerche del Parco Archeologico di Pompei: 41, 2020
Researches on the Casa del Granduca Michele were undertaken between 2003 and 2011 within the Regio VI Project.
They were carried out according to the methodology set up for
this research program: firstly, an analysis of the standing structures the results of which were then completed and verified by
stratigraphic soundings. The results of these investigations, after
eight excavation campaigns (2003-2007, 2009-2011), allowed
the reconstruction of the layout and decoration of this house
during the different phases of its history.
Remarkable has been the discovery, under the late republican structures of Casa del Granduca Michele, of a house, conventionally called Protocasa, that was built at the end of III c.
B.C. in a parcel of 425 sq.m. The Protocasa is preserved in almost all its size, especially for the period of renovation (period
II.2) at the mid II c. B.C. The quantity and quality of data born out of this discovery, make of the Protocasa del Granduca
Michele a treasure trove of information about the domestic
architecture of Pompeii during the Samnite period. The results
of these investigations have revealed the period and dynamics
of diffusion of Tuscan atrium in medium standing houses.
Moreover, they produced new data about the existence, in
houses of this kind during the Samnite period, of bathing sectors.
It has been possible to analyse the development of this area, between the end of III c. and the mid II c., from a single room without facilities (lavatrina) to a more complex and wider sector (balneum).
Otherwise, at the rear of Protocasa there was a courtyard, that until now has no parallel in the site and that informs about the possible planning of the rear of a house before the spreading of peristyles. Investigations in Protocasa del Granduca Michele have been completed by the analysis of the fragments of its decoration found during excavations, like those pertaining to painted plasters or cocciopesto floors. This research has given some interesting data about the decoration of houses of medium standing, above all for the II c. B.C. For the walls, for example, the existence of a decorative system alternative to First Style paintings has been highlighted and, for ceilings, it has been shown that painted plasters were in use, with motifs such as the coffers or the cubes in perspective. After the part regarding the Protocasa, in the first chapter the other construction phases of Casa del Granduca Michele are also analysed, in order to show which transformations may concern a house of medium standing along the centuries, until the eruption that in 79 A.D. destroyed the town.