The houses

Timber-framed houses PAGE PAGE
 
Reconstruction of a clay wall
with a painted decor.
3D graphic: T. Leroy / CVP.
 

Reconstruction of a clay wall with a painted decor. 3D graphic: T. Leroy / CVP.

wall plates I stone plinths I vertical system of wattling



Large stone plinths. 
Photo: S. Robin / CVP
Carbonised wattling. 
Photo: S. Robin / CVP



  Construction

The Roman city's first houses were built during the Augustan period.
Usually built of wood and clay, they were of a standard design. This indigenous type of construction also presents similarities with the architecture of Roman military camps.

The walls rested on wall plates laid on stone plinths that were more or less aligned. On this base, a system of notches held vertical stanchions in place, to which were fasted horizontal laths. A vertical system of wattling composed of supple rods was then attached to this substructure, and the entire wall was given a coat of clay.

Despite the use of seemingly rudimentary materials, this type of construction was actually quite sophisticated. The walls could be given very smooth coats of plaster and carefully painted murals. In addition, the rich and abundant furnishings found during excavations are clear indications of the lifestyle of the residents of certain insulae in the city centre.

The thinness of the walls indicates that these houses did not rise above ground level.
Roofs were also made of perishable materials-thatch or wooden planks-since no roof tiles have been discovered in destruction layers.
As for floors, they consisted of beaten earth or hard-packed yellow clay.