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The Roman house
Casa Romana is a Pompeian-type villa of the late 2nd century and early 3rd century AD, built on the ruins of a Hellenistic house located in Kos. It features an outstanding drainage system and consists of 36 rooms and 3 open spaces, the so-called atriums or atria. Truth is, the external view of the building does not prepare the visitor for the impressive interior! But once walking through the main entrance of the building, located on the eastern side, one begins to perceive the richness of the Roman house's findings.
The first construction phase of the Casa Romana dates back to Hellenistic times (a sample of Hellenistic masonry can still be seen on the north side of the building), while its habitation, with various repairs and rearrangements, lasted at least until the 3rd century AD. The unusually large size and rich decoration of the building complex contributed to the idea that it once belonged to a wealthy official of Kos.
The form in which the building is preserved today dates back to Roman imperial times. The Roman house is organised around three atriums, two of which create peristyles of a rhodian type (i.e. surrounded by two-storey porticos with columns). The atria are decorated with exquisite mosaic floors, most of which dating back to the 3rd century AD. However, some statues of Nymphs, Athena, etc. found in the building, as well as a mosaic floor with a representation of the seabed, date back to the end of the Hellenistic period. The windows in the wall behind the entrance face the first courtyard, where there is a water tank and a mosaic floor with a representation of a panther devouring a deer. Around the courtyard, rooms open up and are also decorated with mosaic floors, including the one representing a seabed which is now on display in the Archaeological Museum of Kos.
Located in the heart of Kos town, Casa Romana is not only one of the most spectacular archeological sites on the Island but also easy to access. Besides architecture itself, beautiful mosaics of land and aquatic beasts, as well as human sculptures, some of them in pristine state and well kept artefacts provide lots of information about how ancient Romans used to live.