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One such house, the House of the Herms, excavated in 1949-1950, stands on the low heights above the islands harbor.Its builders designed the house to exploit the slope's uneven terrain to full advantage.Solid insulated walls, ceramic roofs, paved floors, interior kitchens, cisterns, and sewerage disposal all made living more tolerable.Every facet of household sanitation and food preparation was done by hand, however, and required significant hours of human labor energy to complete.The site has undergone archaeological excavation by the French School in Athens almost non-stop since 1876.Hellenistic Greek houses were typically centered on an internal peristyle court, with rooms opening onto and arranged in rectangular fashion around this.Along with intellectual accomplishments those of creature comforts represent a second significant benchmark for Greek civilization.By the end of the Hellenistic era Greek or Greco-Roman households attained a standard of comfort and permanence which was unsurpassed until modern times.
During winter the occupants would keep doorways to interior rooms closed and rely on lamps and small charcoal braziers to fend off the cold.
The evidence indicates that the primary labor contributions to these endeavors, most particularly in the maintenance and development of domestic quarters in Greek society, were performed by women.
WAs an example of the Greek domicile we turn to the late Hellenistic settlement on the island of Delos, where numerous sumptuous houses were constructed by prosperous merchants at the end of the second century BC.
Beneath the paved floor of the courtyard was a deep cistern where the inhabitants would store rain water that was channeled by gutters along the roof of the peristyle to the corners of the court below.
A marble sculpted wellhead enabled them to draw water from this storage facility.