Daily life in the living areas

The use of the living areas may be deduced from the residence's layout, and from the interior connections. On regularly-maintained mosaics, the only indications of wear are dark zones. These are not related either to a fire or later occupants of the ruins of the villa. As it turns out, these traces of fire may be concealed by refurbishment works, and seen as the mark of the use of brazier whose embers left marks on the ground.

The owner had three groups of rooms at his disposal. The marble-panelled public room [AA'], which was accessible only from the peristyle and was never heated, may have served as both a summer salon and a ceremonial area. The heart of the house was the trilobed room [D, E, E', K], protected from the harsh winter weather by an antechamber, and whose apses were regularly heated by braziers. It was connected with four sleeping chambers [C, I, J, L], each some twenty metres square, which only had limited heating. This set of public rooms is connected by corridors to a private portion of the residence, such as the two "living areas" [B, M], measuring 30–40 sq. metres, where the brazier was moved to a number of different locations. One of these areas, slightly set back, comes before the salon [N, O], whose apse, showing traces of fire, was sufficiently large to accommodate a banqueting couch.

Medias

Interactive document - Apse D

Apse D

The floor in apse D has burnt areas due to the repeated use of braziers. The centre of the mosaic floor, a preferred spot for a portable heating system, has been damaged.
© ArchéOfactory
Interactive document - Burned areas

Burned areas

Burned surfaces have been found in most of the rooms in the residential apartments.
© Ch. Pellecuer, MCC-DRAC Languedoc-Roussillon