After you have wandered around the building and perhaps had a chance to study its plan and elements of the excavated remains and the reconstructed model, there are some questions that you may be able to answer. Think about what you have learned here and in other classes about ancient Greece and world social studies.

This building has a central courtyard with all rooms opening off of it; no corridors are used.

This building has only one entrance and a fairly solid wall all the way around the rest of the spaces.  The building seems isolated. These kinds of comparisons (to other buildings of similar form, similar location, and similar construction) help archaeologists decide what function a building had and when the building might have been constructed.  Archaeologists also study the distribution and type of artifacts found with a building.  At Vari, they found mostly cooking pots, a few containers and dishes, and the odd-looking vessels found outside the house (which provide a major clue to the particular occupation of the inhabitants). The Vari House faces toward the south, and the layout of rooms along the north side are shaded by a verandah roof.  This layout follows closely what ancient Greek and Roman writers tell us about the ideal setting for a dwelling: it should be open and face toward the sun, it should be closed off from cold north winds, and it should capture the heat and light of the sun appropriately for the seasons.  Further, the distribution of materials follows the teachings of the ancient writers: place perishable building materials (in the Vari House, the mudbrick of the walls and wood ceiling framing and columns) between imperishable materials (in the Vari House, between a stone foundation and ceramic tile roof) to protect the perishable materials from the weather.

The excavators found no shelters for keeping large animals nor any storage facilities for grain; both items would be expected had this been a normal farmstead.  Based on the lack of these architectural features, archaeologists deduced that this building as not used by a typical farmer.

Explore the Courtyard as Reconstructed
Explore the Courtyard as Excavated
Vari House as Reconstructed
Vari House as Excavated
Vari House Dating
Family Occupation
Vari House Description
Suggested Reading 
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