chapter  19
10 Pages

INSTRUMENTUM DOMESTICUM—A CASE STUDY

ByJoanne Berry

The instrumentum domesticum of Pompeii is unique: the destruction and preservationof the town has preserved a full range of everyday household objects, representing many of the different activities that took place within the domestic environment. The value of this evidence is underlined by the sheer quantity and diversity of these objects: there are over 50,000 artefacts stored on-site alone,2 consisting of jewellery, statuary and furniture, tables, kitchen and storage vessels, lamps, tools and toilet objects in a variety of different materials such as gold, silver, bronze, iron, terracotta, glass, bone and organic materials. Pompeii thus offers the archaeologist and historian a unique opportunity to study ancient domestic life, and to understand better the issues of household organisation, domestic consumption and production, social status and aspirations.