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Photographer's Note

Not a great photo in terms of beautiful scenery, but I think fascinating nonetheless... This is a photo of an ancient wooden laticework screen. The appropriately named "House of the Wooden/Carbonized Partition"(*Casa del Tramezzo di Legno) in Herculaneum features a unique feature that has survived from the Roman world. It's located on Cardo IV (House #5). This is a patrician house built in the Samnite style (which means it lacks a peristyle or colonnaded courtyard, making it somewhat different in design from most of the houses in Pompeii). Herculaneum seems to have been more of a wealthy residential area only about one third the size of Pompeii, rather than an important commercial center. It thus lacks a central forum and there are significantly fewer shops, but there's a much greater variety of houses here, many of which differ from those of Pompeii. Much of the town probably remains buried beneath the modern town of Ercolano, however, so there may be many other features that wait to be discovered... Incredibly, various wooden items survived the destruction of the town in 79 AD, including bedframes, wooden chests and even a wooden cradle. The screen was used to separate the atrium from the adjoining room. The original wood was carbonized by the pyroclastic flow that engulfed the entire town sometime during the night. The immense heat scorched everything it touched but it also kept organic material from "burning," so it preserved the items and encased them in ash for centuries. Incredibly, the doors still slide on their original bronze tracks.

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Additional Photos by Terez Anon (terez93) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 92 W: 78 N: 1215] (2136)
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