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is special

Like Pompeii, Herculaneum was buried by the catastrophic Mt. Vesuvius eruption of 79 AD.  The excavated buildings of Herculaneum are better preserved.

tips and insights

A well-concealed

The town was covered with nearly 20 meters (60 feet) of lava, mud, ash and other volcanic debris. Herculaneum lay hidden and forgotten for well over a millennium before it was discovered in 1709.

Yet to be

Most of the ruins are not yet excavated. No doubt surprises await future archaeologists.

Most notable
building complex

It is the Villa of the Papri. This site stockpiled 2,000 ancient scrolls before Vesuvius blew its top. Scientists are using modern multi-spectrum electronic equipment to read the scrolls (unrolling them would likely destroy them

What the
skeletons tell us

Many were found huddled in the portside buildings. Apparently, these people unsuccessfully tried to escape by boat.

compared with Pompeii

It was appreciably smaller than Pompeii, but more prosperous. Herculaneum attracts far fewer tourists than Pompeii. This is a plus for travelers who like exploring archaeological sites in a quieter, more peaceful environment.


Herculeum was named for the Greek god Hercules.

Location in Italy

Read my other Italy pages

Wonders of Italy - Complete list
Italy wonder map
Basic Italian phrases
Italian cuisine
Best time to visit Rome




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