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Title: The use and development of upper floors in houses at Herculaneum
Author: Andrews, James N.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2721 8966
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2006
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The excavations at Herculaneum and Pompeii provide unique insights into the urban fabric and social structure of the Roman period. However, the surviving buildings once supported upper floors whose extent, variety of use, access, and chronology of development and construction remain largely unknown. We are thus presented with a distorted picture of Roman domestic space, which limits our ability to perceive patterns in living practices and changing trends. This thesis provides a holistic analysis of approximately 80 houses of varying type and size at Herculaneum. The main objectives are: first, to reconstruct upper floors as fully as possible from the surviving remains and archive sources in order to create a reliable data set. Second, to examine patterns of use through analysis of this data and, third, to explore the chronological development of upper floors better to understand the evolving use of domestic space and to test the conclusions against a recognised increase in their construction at Pompeii in the 1st century A. D. It is argued that upper floors played an increasingly important role in the social functioning of the Roman domus and were often among the most prestigious rooms in the house. Changing social requirements led to changes in architectural taste, while a distinct increase in wealth allowed many houses to be entirely re-built; some adopting new, unusual designs and layouts, while others retained the traditional `atrium' model. Yet all of the new houses shared a common characteristic in that they were all purpose-built with usually extensive upper floors which formed an ever-increasing proportion of household space. Finally, it is shown that this pattern of development differs markedly from that at Pompeii, which has historically provided the paradigm for the Roman house.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available