Naples and surroundings and next Events
Herculaneum was an ancient Roman town, located in the territory of the current commune of Ercolano.. about four kilometres east of Naples
It is most famous for having been destroyed, along with Pompeii, in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius on August 24, AD 79, which buried them in superheated pyroclastic material that has solidified into volcanic tuff.
During the night, the column of volcanic debris which had risen into the stratosphere, began falling back down onto Vesuvius. A pyroclastic flow formed that sent a mixture of 400°C (750°F) gas, ash, and rock racing down toward Herculaneum. At about 1 AM it reached the houses where its intense heat killed the inhabitants within seconds. This flow did little damage to the structures.
The amazingly good state of preservation of the structures and their contents is due to three factors:
By the time the wind changed and ash began to fall on Herculaneum, the structures were already filled up. Thus the roofs did not collapse.
The intense heat of the first pyroclastic flow carbonized the surface of organic materials and extracted the water from them.
The deep (up to 25 meters), dense tuff formed an airtight seal over Herculaneum for 1700 years
Excavation began in 1738. The publication of "Le Antichità di Ercolano"(The Antiquities of Herculaneum) had an effect on incipient European Neoclassicism out of all proportion to its limited circulation; in the later 18th century, motifs from Herculaneum began to appear on stylish furnishings from decorative wall-paintings and tripod tables to perfume burners and teacups.
In the twentieth century excavation once again resumed in the town. However, many public and private buildings, including the forum complex, are yet to be excavated.