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Tablinum and Atrium

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Tablinum and Atrium
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Photo Comments

View looking south at the Tablinum.  This is the room in the foreground with the black and white meandering mosaic floor.  In the center of it a high-quality mosaic of actors was discovered.  The mosaic was removed and is now in the National Archaeological Museum in Naples.  Because of this mosaic, scholars have called this house "The House of the Tragic Poet."  The Tablinum is the room where the master of the house would receive his clients and conduct his business—thus, a somewhat formal setting.

Beyond the tablinum is the Atrium—a step down from the tablinum.  In the center of the atrium is a shallow pool (impluvium) that collects rainwater from a corresponding (not visible) opening in the roof (compluvium).  The upright item, just this side of the impluvium is a "well–head" from which water could be drawn.   Above the center of the image, on the right side of the atrium are three doorways that lead to small rooms—the left of the three has a staircase (not visible) in it that led to the upper floor of the house.

Beyond the atrium is the narrow entranceway into the house from the street outside.