Structure of numbers
Pompeii has been divided up into Regions or Regio by the archaeologists, based on a methodology devised by Fiorelli in the 1860s.
Each Regio contains a number of Insula (in this case defined as blocks of houses and shops bounded by roads).
Each Insula has its individual door entrances numbered.
We have used this numbering system for this site
Our web site has a picture of every doorway and detail of the insides of most.
The exception is the tombs, gates, towers, and villas where a shorter number is used.
There are nine Regio numbered from I to IX using Roman numerals.
Our plans show each regio as a different colour.
Each Regio has several Insula numbered from 1 upwards (not in Roman numerals).
The insula plans use the same colour as the regio they are in.
Each entrance has a number from 1 upwards or in a few cases a, b, c etc and sometimes a combination of the two.
Room or ambiente
A fourth and final part of the numbering gives the room number on archive plans.
This is not used in the number structure of pompeiiinpictures.
In the houses where we do use room numbers they are shown in the description under each photograph.
In these cases there is usually a link at the top of the page to a plan showing the room locations.
If we have access to an accepted plan we try to use it, but over the years plans have not always been available.
In these cases we have had to draw our own and our room number reflects the sequence in which we entered and photographed the house.
This gives a numbering system for each entrance such as IX.2.10 where this represents the entrance at Regio IX, Insula 2, Door 10.
Over the years the numbering has changed as the site has been further excavated. The original Roman road, house names and numbers are not known.
Those in use today have evolved in a variety of ways since the site was rediscovered and excavated.
If you are researching old records then you need to make yourself aware of renumbering that has taken place, particularly in areas such as Regio I and Regio II. Something originally found in Regio II.4 in the old records may refer to what is now Regio II.1.
An entry in the old records for II.4.6 may not necessarily be part of the Villa of Julia Felix, but may instead refer to the thermopolium at II.1.6.
Many houses also have names as well as numbers.
Some have several names and in some cases the same name is used on different houses.
Our web page for IX.2.10 is headed
This indicates the house has been known by two names and one of them, the Casa del Gallo, had already been used elsewhere in Pompeii.
House names have changed. Some houses or shops are named after possible owners if an artefact such as a seal, or graffiti for example have been found there.
Others are named after paintings or significant discoveries such as a surgeons instruments or architectural features.
Many were named after visiting dignitaries, who sometimes visited several times or to several houses and each house may have the same or a similar name.
You can use the pompeiiinpictures House Names button at the top of any page to find a name and get a direct link to the house with that name.
The exception is the tombs, gates, towers, and villas where a shorter number is used to make them unique for the web pages.
Tombs have a short number based on the official reference, the excavation reports, or the major accepted work on a specific group of tombs.
These records often take the location as a given and have a one or two digit reference on their plan for each tomb.
To make these unique we have used the first 2 or 2 letters reflect the location, usually the gate they are outside.
The last 1 or 2, sometimes with an extra a, b etc is the tomb number at that location.
e.g. The tomb of Caius Vestorio Prisco outside the Porta Vesuvio or Vesuvian Gate is VGJ.
J is the letter used in the excavation report and plans.
Are referred to on the plans by the official Porta ......... name and this is also translated to ......... Gate
e.g. Porta Ercolano and Herculaneum Gate
Tower I to Tower XII are numbered T1- T12
Those outside Pompeii are referred to by name e.g. Villa Regina at Boscoreale.
Those in Pompeii usually have a regio.insula.entrance number e..g. II.4.6 is the Villa of Julia Felix or Villa di Giulia Felice.
All villa names are in the house names index.
We hope pompeiiinpictures will help you find your way around.
There is nothing like visiting Pompeii.
Hopefully pompeiiinpictures can help you plan your visit.
You can also use the search page if for instance you are trying to locate distinct features such as all paintings of Mercury or Hermes.
The site can also help you make sense of, and catalogue, your photos after you get back home.
There is also a useful plan - Pompeii Plan of Excavations / Pompeii Pianta Scavi, (Autore Dr. Ing. Hans Eschebach).
You can buy this at the Pompeii bookshop when you get there. It cost 11 euros in 2010 and gives much more detail than the free guide plan.
Our site Regio, insula and house numbering is largely based on this plan.
All the numbers on pompeiiinpictures are the same as those on the plan other than a handful of exceptions we found on the ground on our trips.
In those cases we have given both the plan number and what is actually numbered on the doorway.