Herculaneum (in modern Italian Ercolano) was an ancient Roman town destroyed by volcanic pyroclastic flows in 79 A.D., located in the territory of today's commune of Ercolano, in the Italian region of Campania in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius.
It is most famous for having been lost, along with Pompeii, Stabiae, Boscoreal and Oplontis, in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 which buried it in superheated pyroclastic material. It is also famous as one of the few ancient cities that can now be seen in almost its original splendour, because unlike Pompeii, its burial was deep enough to ensure the upper storeys of buildings remained intact, and the hotter ash preserved wooden household objects such as beds and doors and even food. Moreover Herculaneum was a wealthier town than Pompeii with an extraordinary density of fine houses, and far more lavish use of coloured marble cladding. The discovery in recent years of some 300 skeletons along the sea shore came as a surprise since it was known that the town itself had been largely evacuated.