Herculaneum was an ancient Roman town, about 10 km (6 miles) west of Mount Vesuvius. It was destroyed by volcanic pyroclastic flows from Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE, together with the nearby city of Pompeii. It was buried by almost 20 m (70 ft) of ash and pumice. The deep pyroclastic material which covered it preserved wooden and other organic-based objects such as roofs, beds, doors, food and even some 300 skeletons. Herculaneum was a richer town than Pompeii, so it has more elaborately decorated houses. Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Its location was lost till it was rediscovered in the late 18th century. It has been excavated ever since. However, most of the town is still buried under modern day Ercolano.
View over Herculaneum. You can see that there are at least three levels of buildings. (1164k) View over Herculaneum. You can see how deep the excavation is below modern day Ercolano on the right. (1080k) End of the excavated area. There is more buried under modern day Ercolano. (1339k) Street view in Herculaneum. (1046k) Street view in Herculaneum. (1131k) Street view in Herculaneum. (897k) Column colonnade in Herculaneum. (1131k) Brick building in Herculaneum. (1217k) Brick building. It is often impossible to decide what is original and what is reconstructed. The steel beam over the door on the right is reconstruction. I don't know how much of the wall above the beam is reconstructed, or whether it is all original. (1234k) Vaulted building interior. (889k) Stone oven. (868k) Building interior with built-in amphorae. (1227k) Large pottery storage vessel. (1216k) Stone storage vessel. (1234k) Building interior with beautiful, well preserved frescoes. (990k) Beautiful fresco. (821k) Beautiful fresco. (758k) Beautiful fresco. (837k) Beautiful fresco. (855k) Building interior with well preserved frescoes and mosaics. (1175k) Beautiful fresco. (831k) Beautiful fresco. (792k) Colorful mosaic. (1053k) Colorful mosaic. (1031k) Colorful mosaic. (1078k) Small altar with colorful mosaics. (1103k) Building interior with well preserved frescoes and large floor mosaic. (834k) Closer view of the floor mosaic. (976k) Geometric design floor mosaic. (976k) Detailed fresco. (917k) Geometric fresco. (783k) Geometric fresco. (845k) Marble sign with inscription. (942k) Marble bath. (1322k) Interior marble bath/fountain. (961k) Close-up of the marble table. (897k) Display of four marble reliefs. (1381k) Marble relief of the Roman goddess Minerva (Athene in Greek mythology). (1134k) Marble relief of the Roman god Mercury (Hermes in Greek mythology). (1106k) Marble relief with mythological theme, probably Heracles killing the giant Alcyoneus. (1037k) View of the terrace of Marcus Nonius Balbus. (1261k) Marble memorial altar for Marcus Nonius Balbus. (1105k) Small statue on the memorial altar for Marcus Nonius Balbus. (1026k) Statue of Marcus Nonius Balbus. (1279k) Marble water basin. (1196k) Marble water basin. (1225k) Close-up of the marble water basin. (1258k) Skeletons in the boat house, which was at the shoreline when Vesuvius erupted. (849k)