Museum of Ancient Inventions: House, Pompeii

House, Pompeii (Italy), 200 BCE

An early home of Pompeii consisted of a wide front entryway, an open-roofed central room (the atrium) with smaller rooms opening into it, and a garden at the rear. Designed with the warm Mediterranean summers in mind, typical homes had tiled floors and stuccoed exteriors. The atrium, probably the most famous room of the Pompeian house, was flanked by several small sleeping rooms and usually had a large opening toward which the roof sloped from all sides to allow water to drain into a shallow pool below.

In this model, the atrium is painted green; the bedrooms yellow. The tablinium, a large room typically used for dining, was located at the rear of the atrium (here, on the left), with one side opening into the atrium along its entire width and the other into the rear garden. The kitchen, which contained a hearth, cooking utensils and a shrine to the household gods, was placed where it would be most convenient for the residents (here, right rear). The use of the two front rooms was also determined by the inhabitants: the left front room was often a bath and the right a sitting room. Pompeii is very famous for both the extraordinary red tones that colored the clay-tiled roofs of its buildings and the intricately-patterned mosaics that decorated their grey-toned interior floors. The vibrant colors on the floors and walls of this model are characteristic of early Pompeian color schemes.

Method of Construction

Constructed by: Madeline Nemeth ’99

This model was built from plywood that was carefully measured and cut using a bandsaw. The walls and roof are attached with nails and glue, and the model has been designed so the roof is removable and the interior can be viewed from above. Acrylic paint was piled up on the exterior walls to suggest stucco and on the floors inside to emulate the mosaic patterns. Some of the furniture was fashioned out of clay, and the rear garden was decorated with model trees and foliage.

Science Topics
Inventions & Scientists
Engineering Topics
Social Studies Topics
Ancient History
K-6, Middle School, High School
Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade

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