House of the Venus Marina (II,3,3)
The bedchambers, called cubicula, opened off the atrium, as did the service rooms and the living and dining rooms.
Straight back from the entrance was the tablinus, the formal drawing room, which was closed off by a curtain. During the Archaic period meals were served there. Later, a room was created just for dining, called triclinium. There were winter and summer tricilinia; the summer triclinium was outside under an arbor and was refreshed by fountains and the play of running water.
A hallway next to the triclinium led into the garden.
Under the Hellenistic influence, domestic architecture replaced and enlarged the early vegetable garden to create an open space surrounded by a covered arcade, called the peristyle, with a garden in the center and numerous rooms all around it. Everything was embellished with decorative elements: mosaics in the floors, paintings on the walls, furnishings and decorative objects, statues, fountains, and the play of running water.
At times, the house had a small bath house opening off the peristyle, with a small atrium in front of it.
The kitchens were usually in lateral areas or inner courtyards. There was a counter with a hearth for cooking, and a sink with a drainpipe which fed into the drain of the adjoining latrine.
A simpler and smaller type of floor plan, inhabited by the more modest social classes, consisted of an entrance hallway, flanked by two cubicula, an open central courtyard, from which another hall flanked by rooms led to a hortus, or vegetable garden, which may have had a little porch.
Finally there were the houses of the small merchants, located behind their shops, which had balconies, the so-called pergule, used both for storage of merchandise and as living quarters.
With its excavated area, extending for approximately 44 ha, and the preservation state of its buildings, due to the particular burial (under a blanket of 6 meter of ash and rock) caused by the eruption of the Vesuvius in 79 AD, Pompeii can be considered the only archaelogical site which gives the real image of roman city. And the image is similar to cities, not preserved, of the same period.
On the morning of August 24, A.D. 79, a great noise was heard in the area around Vesuvius. A mushroom shaped cloud of gas and volcanic rock rose high in the air, darkening the sky. A shower of burning cinders and rock fragments covered Pompei. It lasted until the next day, caving in roofs and claiming its first victims.
History of the Excavation