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Roman Villas and Houses
by Mandy Barrow

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500 BC
AD 43
450
793
1485
1714
1837
1990+

Features of a Rich Roman House and Villa

Under Floor Heating (hypocaust)

Rich Roman houses had central heating which was under the floors. This heating system was called a hypocaust. The floors were supported on stacks of tiles (pilae) and hot air was circulated under the floor from a furnace stoked outside the building.


Mosaic Floors

Mosaic have been found on the floors of many Roman buildings. Rich Romans decorated the floors of their main rooms with mosaics - tiny coloured stones (tesserae). These were stuck to the floor with mortar, a type of cement. Each mosaic used thousands of pieces to make a pattern.

Mosaic floors were a statement of wealth and importance.

See more photographs of mosaics


Baths

The on suite bath room often consisted of three rooms; a hot room (caldarium), a place where bathers could sweat, a room of tepid heat (tepidarium, and a cold room (frigidarium).


Collumns

Roman buildings often contained collumns.


Stone Walls

Rich Romans built their houses from stone.

The walls were painted in pretty colours or covered with marble.

There was glass in the windows.


Tiled roofs

Rich Roman roofs were made of terracotta tiles


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