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House of the Deer

Herculaneum was located on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius and was buried by 30 meters of lava, ash, and mud in the eruption of AD 79. Excavations began in the 1700s and are still ongoing. The carbonization process has allowed for the discovery of intact structures of houses and objects, offering a valuable testimony of daily life in ancient Rome.

The House of the Deer is accessible from the Cardo V and is perhaps the most imposing of all the houses. It owes its name to a statue found in the garden depicting two deer being attacked by dogs. There was also a drunken satyr and a round table.

The House is divided into three parts: a representative quarter, a servile quarter, and a large hallway. In the windowed crypt, there are many small paintings depicting cupids, deities, and still life. Many of them are now preserved at the National Museum of Naples. The flooring is made of polychrome marble, and from the terrace near the walls, one could see the Gulf of Naples. The house belonged to a recently freed slave named Celer, as evidenced by a seal found on a piece of charred bread.

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