House of the Skeleton (Casa dello Scheletro) (Herculaneum)

House of the Skeleton (Herculaneum)



The house with the skeleton was named after a human skeleton found during excavations in 1831. His body was found in a room on the second floor. Before the excavation of the Boat Docks, it was believed that most of the inhabitants of Herculaneum escaped by land or by swimming across the Strait of Naples. The house with the skeleton consists of three houses that were purchased by the owner of the house. He just broke down the walls, connecting them into a single mansion. At the back of the atrium, there are two Nymphaeum shrines dedicated to nymphs. In the courtyard there is an altar for the lares, decorated with mosaics. Lara according to the beliefs of the ancient Romans was a deity who patronized the home, family and community as a whole.
Interestingly, the house of the Skeleton does not have the usual pool-impluvium or reservoir for collecting rainwater. Whether this was done on purpose or the resident owners didn't have the resources to add this traditional architectural touch to their home, we don't know.