Herculaneum (/hɜːrkjʊˈlniəm/; Neapolitan and Italian: Ercolano) was an ancient town, located in the modern-day comune of Ercolano, Campania, Italy. Herculaneum was buried under volcanic ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.

Cardo V de Herculano.jpg
The excavations of Ercolano
Herculaneum is located in Italy
Shown within Italy
Alternative nameErcolano
LocationErcolano, Campania, Italy
Coordinates40°48′22″N 14°20′54″E / 40.8060°N 14.3482°E / 40.8060; 14.3482Coordinates: 40°48′22″N 14°20′54″E / 40.8060°N 14.3482°E / 40.8060; 14.3482
Founded6th–7th century BC
Abandoned79 AD
Site notes
WebsiteHerculaneum – Official website
Official nameArchaeological Areas of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Torre Annunziata
Criteriaiii, iv, v
Designated1997 (21st session)
Reference no.829
RegionEurope and North America

Like the nearby city of Pompeii, Herculaneum is famous as one of the few ancient cities to be preserved nearly intact, as the ash that blanketed the town protected it against looting and elements. Although less known than Pompeii today, it was the first, and the only discovered buried Vesuvian city (in 1709) for a long time. Pompeii was revealed only in 1748 and identified in 1763.[1] Unlike Pompeii, the mainly pyroclastic material that covered Herculaneum carbonized and preserved more wood in objects such as roofs, beds, and doors, as well as other organic-based materials such as food and papyrus.

According to the traditional tale, the city was rediscovered by chance in 1709, during the drilling of a well. Remnants of the city, however, were already found during earlier earthworks.[2] In the years following the site's uncovering, treasure seekers excavated tunnels and stole artifacts. Regular excavations commenced in 1738 and have continued irregularly since. Only a fraction of the ancient site has been excavated as of today. Budget restrictions shifted the focus to preserving the already-excavated portions of the city rather than ungrounding more sections.

Although smaller than Pompeii with a population of circa 5,000,[3] Herculaneum was a wealthier town.[4] Herculaneum was a popular seaside retreat for the Roman elite, as reflected by the extraordinary density of luxurious houses featuring lavish use of coloured marble cladding. Famous buildings of the ancient city include the Villa of the Papyri and the so-called "boat houses", where the skeletal remains of at least 300 people were found.

History of HerculaneumEdit

Herculaneum plan showing the ancient site below the modern (1908) town and the 1631 "lava" flow

Dionysius of Halicarnassus states that the Greek hero Heracles (Hercules in Latin) founded the city.[5] However, according to Strabo, the Oscans founded the first settlement.[6] The Etruscans took control of the area, and were later overthrown by the Greeks. The Greeks named the town Heraklion and used it as a trading post because of its proximity to the Gulf of Naples. In the 4th century BC, Herculaneum came under the domination of the Samnites until it became a Roman municipium in 89 BC, when, having participated in the Social War ("War of The Allies" against Rome), it was defeated by Titus Didius, a legate of Sulla.

The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 buried Herculaneum under approximately 20 m (66 ft) of ash. It lay hidden and largely intact until discoveries from wells and tunnels became gradually more widely known, notably following the Prince d'Elbeuf's explorations in the early 18th century.[7] Excavations continued sporadically up to the present and today many streets and buildings are visible, although over 75% of the town remains buried. Today, the Italian towns of Ercolano and Portici lie above Herculaneum. Ercolano was called Resina until 1969 when the modern name was adopted in honour of the old city.

Eruption of 79 ADEdit

Herculaneum and other cities affected by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The black cloud represents the general distribution of ash and cinder. Modern coast lines are shown.

The course and timeline of the eruption can be reconstructed based on archaeological excavations and two letters from Pliny the Younger to the Roman historian Tacitus.[8]

At around 1:00 pm on the first day of eruption, Mount Vesuvius began spewing volcanic material thousands of metres into the sky. When it reached a height of 27–33 kilometres (17–21 mi),[9] the top of the column flattened, prompting Pliny to describe it to Tacitus as a stone pine tree. The prevailing winds at the time blew toward the southeast, causing the volcanic material to fall primarily on the city of Pompeii and the surrounding area. Since Herculaneum lay west of Vesuvius, it was only mildly affected by the first phase of the eruption. While roofs in Pompeii collapsed under the weight of falling debris, only a few centimetres of ash fell on Herculaneum, causing little damage; nevertheless, the ash prompted most inhabitants to flee.

At 1:00 am the next day, the eruptive column, which had risen into the stratosphere, collapsed onto Vesuvius and its flanks. The first pyroclastic surge, formed by a mixture of ash and hot gases, flowed down the mountain and through the mostly-evacuated town of Herculaneum at 160 km/h (100 mph). A succession of six flows and surges buried the city's buildings to approximately 20 m depth, causing little damage in some areas and preserving structures, objects and victims almost intact. However, other areas were damaged significantly, knocking down walls, tearing away columns and other large objects;[10] a marble statue of Marcus Nonius Balbus near the baths was blown 15m away and a carbonised skeleton was found lifted 2.5m above ground level in the garden of the House of the Relief of Telephus.[11]

The date of the eruption has been shown to be on or after 17 October.[12] Support for an October/November eruption has long been known in several respects: buried people in the ash were wearing heavier clothing than the light summer clothes typical of August; fresh fruit and vegetables in the shops are typical of October – and conversely the summer fruit typical of August was already being sold in dried, or conserved form. Wine fermenting jars had been sealed, which would have happened around the end of October; coins found in the purse of a woman buried in the ash include one with a 15th imperatorial acclamation among the emperor's titles and could not have been minted before the second week of September.[13]

Multidisciplinary research on the lethal effects of the pyroclastic surges in the Vesuvius area has shown that, in the vicinity of Pompeii and Herculaneum, intense heat was the main cause of the death of people who had previously been thought to have died by ash suffocation. Exposure to ≥250 °C (480 °F) had likely killed residents within 10 km, including those sheltering in buildings.[14]


Small Herculaneum Woman (Dresden)

Prince d'Elbeuf began constructing a villa in neighbouring Granatello, and to furnish it, he grew intrigued in local tales of wells containing antique sculptures and artworks.[15] In 1709, he acquired the site of a recently-dug well and tunnelled out from its bottom in search of sculptures. The tunnel reached what would be later identified as a theatre, where remarkable sculptures were uncovered. Among the earliest sculptures discovered were two exquisitely carved Herculaneum women,[16] currently housed in the Skulpturensammlung in Dresden.[17] The excavation ceased in 1711 out of concern about the stability of the structures above.

Major excavations resumed in 1738. With the engineer from Zaragoza Roque Joaquín de Alcubierre, Giovanni Antonio Medrano began the excavations of Herculaneum, giving rise to a new type of activity[18] under the patronage of Charles III of Spain, who had recently begun building his nearby palace in Portici. He appointed the Spanish military engineer Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre to supervise the extensive new project. The publication of "Le Antichità di Ercolano" ("The Antiquities of Herculaneum") had a striking influence on nascent European Neoclassicism; by the end of the 18th century, motifs from Herculaneum began to appear on fashionable furnishings, including decorative wall-paintings, tripod tables, perfume burners, and teacups. Nonetheless, excavation ceased once again in 1762 as a result of Winckelmann's harsh criticism of the treasure-hunting techniques. The discovery of neighbouring Pompeii, substantially simpler to excavate due to a smaller layer of material covering the site (4m as compared to 20m at Herculaneum), diverted attention and effort.

King Francis I ordered land acquisitions and promoted renewed excavations between 1828 and 1837. Acquisitions continued under the newly formed Kingdom of Italy, extending excavations eastwards till 1875.[19]

From 1927 until 1942, Amedeo Maiuri conducted a new campaign, sponsored by Mussolini's regime, which unearthed approximately four hectares today part of the archaeological park.

Hundreds of skeletons were found in the so-called "boat houses", by the ancient shoreline, between 1980–1981.

Villa of the Papyri, the northwest baths,[20] the House of the Dionysian Reliefs[21] and a large collapsed monument were brought to light between 1996 to 1999. However, the area was left in a chaotic state until major conservation interventions from 2000 through 2007.

Many public and private buildings, including the forum complex, are yet to be excavated.


Insulae numbers

The classical street layout separates the city into blocks (insulae), defined by the intersection of the east-west (cardi) and north-south (decumani) streets. Hence Insula II – Insula VII run counterclockwise from Insula II. To the east are two additional blocks: Orientalis I (oI) and Orientalis II (oII). To the south of Orientalis I (oI) lies one additional group of buildings known as the "Suburban District" (SD). Individual buildings have their own entrance number. For example, the House of the Deer is labelled (Ins IV, 3).

The Forum, temples, theatre, numerous houses and necropolises are still buried in Herculaneum.

The settlement was encircled by walls between 2 and 3 metres thick, dated to the 2nd century BC and constructed primarily of large pebbles, with the exception of the coastal section made of opus reticulatum. As in Pompeii, following the Social War, the walls lost their protective purpose and were integrated into adjacent structures, such as the House of Inn.

A single main drain was collecting water from the Forum and from house impluviums, latrines, and kitchens along cardo III. Other drains emptied directly into the street, except latrines equipped with a cesspit. For water supply, the city was directly connected to the Serino aqueduct, built in the Augustan age, which brought water to houses through a series of lead pipes under the roads, regulated by valves; eight and ten metres wells had been used previously.

Due to bradyseism, which affects the whole Vesuvius region, portions of the historic city of Herculaneum today lie as much as 4 metres below sea level.[22]

The House of Aristides (Ins II, 1)Edit

Cupids playing with a lyre, Roman fresco from Herculaneum

The first building in insula II is the House of Aristides. The entrance opens directly onto the atrium, but the ruins are not well preserved due to damage caused by previous excavations. The lower floor was probably used for storage.

The House of Argus (Ins II, 2)Edit

The second house in insula II takes its name from a lost fresco of Argus and Io that once adorned a reception room off the large peristyle. This structure was likely one of Herculaneum's finest villas. It was the first time that a second story had been unearthed in such detail when the house was discovered in the late 1820s. The excavation uncovered a balcony on the second level overlooking Cardo III, as well as wooden shelving and cupboards now unfortunately lost.

The House of the Genius (Ins II, 3)Edit

North of the House of Argus lies the House of the Genius. Although it has only been partially uncovered, it looks to have been a vast structure. Its name derives from a statue of a Cupid, once part of a candlestick. In the centre of the peristyle are the remains of a rectangular basin.

The House of the Alcove (Ins IV)Edit

The house consists of two adjoined structures with a mix of plain, simple spaces and finely-decorated rooms.

The atrium is covered and lacks the usual impluvium. It retains its original flooring of opus tesselatum and opus sectile. A highly adorned biclinium with frescoes in the fourth style and a spacious triclinium originally marble-floored are found off the atrium. Several further rooms, including the apsed alcove after which the house is named, are accessible via a corridor receiving daylight from a small courtyard.

College of the AugustalesEdit

A marble tablet from Herculaneum showing women playing knucklebones, depicting Phoebe, Leto, Niobe, Hilearia, and Agle, painted and signed by an artist named "Alexander of Athens", now in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale (Naples)

Temple of the augustales or priests of the Imperial cult.

Central ThermaeEdit

The Central Thermae (bathhouses) were built around the 1st century AD. Bathhouses were very popular at the time, especially in Pompeii and Herculaneum. Per common practice, there were separate bathing areas for men and women. The Thermae also served as a prominent cultural hub home to several works of art.

Villa of the PapyriEdit

A fresco depicting Theseus

The most famous among Herculaneum's luxurious villas, Villa of the Papyri was first identified as the magnificent seafront retreat belonged to consul Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus, Julius Caesar's father-in-law; However, artefacts found at the site closely resemble standardised assortment and cannot conclusively identify the villa's owner.[23] The villa stretches down towards the sea in four terraces. Piso, a literary patron of poets and philosophers, built there the only ancient library that has survived virtually intact.

Between 1752 and 1754, a number of blackened, unreadable papyrus scrolls were serendipitously recovered from the Villa of the Papyri by workmen. These scrolls became known as the Herculaneum papyri or scrolls, the majority of which are today stored at the National Library, Naples. Although badly carbonized, a number of scrolls have been unrolled with varying degrees of success. Computer-enhanced multi-spectral infrared imaging helped make the ink legible. There is now a real prospect that it will be possible to read the unopened rolls using X-rays.[24] The same techniques could be applied to the rolls waiting to be discovered in the as-yet unexcavated part of the villa, eliminating the risk of potential damage from unrolling. Later CT scan revealed the scrolls' fibres structure, sand, and other debris trapped in the scrolls. These findings help a safer unrolling. However, the text remains illegible.[25]

Two of the rolls stored at the French National Academy in Paris have been extensively examined by X-ray in summer 2009. However, the text imaging failed because Roman writers likely used carbon-based inks, essentially invisible to the X-ray scans.[26] Similar later attempts all failed.[27]

In 2015, a team of scientists managed to increase the contrast between the carbon ink and the carbon-based papyrus using X-ray Phase Contrast Tomography, and read Greek words along the outer papyrus, marking "a revolution for papyrologists". While researchers can identify certain words on the scrolls, there is still a long way to go before the stories on the scrolls are unlocked.[28]

Boathouses and the ShoreEdit

"Boat houses" where skeletons were found
"Boat houses" with skeletons
The skeleton called the "Ring Lady" unearthed in Herculaneum.

In 1980–82, excavations initially turned up more than 55 skeletons on the ancient beach (just in front the city walls) and in the first six so-called "boat sheds".[29] Long before this finding, it was believed that the majority of the town's inhabitants had managed to flee, as only a few skeletons had been unearthed during all of the excavations. However, this startling discovery led to a shift in perspective. The last inhabitants waiting for rescue from the sea were probably killed instantly by the intense heat of the pyroclastic flow, despite being sheltered from direct impact. A study of victims' postures and the effects on their skeletons seemed to indicate that the first surge caused instant death as a result of fulminant shock due to a temperature of about 500 °C (930 °F). Extreme heat caused hands and feet to contract and perhaps fractured bones and teeth.[30]

After a period of finds mismanagement and deterioration skeletons[31] further excavations in the 1990s uncovered a total of 296 skeletons huddled in 9 of the 12 stone vaults facing the sea and on the beach. While the town was almost completely evacuated, these people found themselves trapped. The "Ring Lady" (see image), named for the rings on her fingers, was discovered there in 1982.

Eventually, 340 bodies were identified in this area.[32] Analyses of the skeletons suggest it was mainly men who died on the beach, while women and children sheltered and died in the boat houses.

Recent chemical analyses of the remains provided further insights into the health and nutrition of Herculaneum's population.[33][clarification needed]

Casts of skeletons were also produced to replace the original bones after taphonomic study, scientific documentation and excavation. In contrast to Pompeii, where casts resembling the body features of the victims were produced by filling the body imprints in the ash deposit with plaster, the shape of corpses at Herculaneum could not be preserved due to the rapid vaporisation and replacement of the flesh of the victims by the hot ash (ca. 500 °C). A cast of the skeletons unearthed in chamber 10 is on display at the Museum of Anthropology in Naples.[34]

Of exceptional interest is the recent analysis of one of the skeletons (n. 26) discovered in 1982 on the beach next to a boat (on display in the boat pavilion). The remains belong to a military officer (with an elaborate dagger and belt), who was perhaps involved in a rescue mission.[35]

New digs beginning in 2021 will seek to uncover the ancient beach's western side, where additional skeletons may be discovered.[36]

Herculaneum versus PompeiiEdit

Despite the extensive knowledge over Herculaneum, the city was long eclipsed by the better-known Pompeii. Although the cities are located a mere 13 km apart, Pompeii is often more popular in education systems than Herculaneum.[citation needed] Herculaneum was discovered in 1709, whereas Pompeii was not discovered until 39 years later, in 1748. After Pompeii was discovered, Russian painter Karl Bryullov created an oil painting titled The Last Day of Pompeii in 1830–1833, which inspired Edward Bulwer-Lytton to write his book The Last Days of Pompeii in 1834, both of which helped boost Pompeii's popularity. Pompeii's discovery caused excavations in Herculaneum to stop until the 1920s.[citation needed] This was likely because of the 20-meter-thick pyroclastic layer covering Herculaneum, while Pompeii was covered by "only" 4 meters of thinner, significantly easier to excavate ash.

Harsh criticisms from Johann Joachim Winckelmann also influenced Herculaneum's excavations. Winckelmann, a well-respected traveler of the time, was frustrated by the difficulty in accessing findings and materials at Herculaneum. He did not like that the importance of cultural tourism was being ignored. He also strongly criticized the fact that excavated pieces were either taken to the King's palace, or destroyed, with no other options in place.

He spoke passionately about the importance of archaeological context, and how the destruction of artifacts to prevent sales to foreigners could disturb or even destroy that context. Winckelmann worked tirelessly and successfully to end excavations in Herculaneum. Winckelmann's success is at least partially attributed to the young age of Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies. Ferdinand I ascended when his father took the throne elsewhere as Charles III of Spain, and the young king was unprepared to handle harsh public discourse. In an effort to deflect Winckelmann's criticism, Ferdinand slowed the excavations at Herculaneum.[37]

At the same time Herculaneum's excavations were coming to a halt, Pompeii's excavations were finally starting to pick up. Originally there had been a lack of artifacts due to the site being easier to excavate; this caused the site to have already been touched by looters who took many valuable artifacts. However, there was a major breakthrough when excavations finally struck the theatre of Pompeii. Due to the nature of Pompeii being closer to the surface, policies were adopted to keep the site open to visitors, effectively pleasing Winckelmann. With Pompeii's easily accessible 'open-air' excavations, it became an interesting tourist attraction that many people began to visit.[38] On the other hand, Herculaneum had deep tunnels that had to be traversed by torchlight and was therefore a much less interesting attraction that was easily dismissed from people's minds.

Issues of conservationEdit

Herculaneum, Ercolano, and Vesuvius

The volcanic ash and debris covering Herculaneum, along with the extreme heat, left it in a remarkable state of preservation for over 1,600 years. However, once excavations began, exposure to the elements began the slow process of deterioration. This was exacerbated by earlier excavation practices, which generally focused on valuable artefacts rather than preserving the archeological value of the site. Preservation of the skeletal remains became a top priority only in the early 1980s, under the direction of Dr Sara C. Bisel.

Intensive tourism, vandalism, substandard management, and political ineptitude all contributed to the deterioration of numerous sites and buildings. Numerous building foundations have been weakened by water damage caused by modern Ercolano.[citation needed] Reconstruction initiatives have often proved counterproductive. However, recent conservation efforts have had greater success. Today excavations have been temporarily discontinued to direct all funding to conservation programs.

A large number of artifacts from Herculaneum are preserved in the Naples National Archaeological Museum.

Modern conservationEdit

After years of mismanagement, Herculaneum fell into a dire state. However, in 2001, the Packard Humanities Institute began the Herculaneum Conservation Project, a private–public partnership initially set to provide financial aid to local authorities addressing critical issues. The program eventually shifted to include providing skilled expert support and formulating a long-term plan for the site. Since 2001, the Herculaneum Conservation Project has been involved in multiple pilot conservation projects and has partnered with the British School at Rome for training students to maintain the site.[39]

One of the pilot projects started by the Conservation Project was on the tablinum that had been conserved by Maiuri's team in 1938. Over time water had managed to seep into the wall causing the paint to attach to the previously applied wax and curl away from the wall, stripping it of its color. However, after working in tandem with the Getty Museum, conservators have managed to create a technique where a series of solvents can be used to remove some of the wax and lessen the amount of buildup on the walls so that the paint no longer chips off of the walls.[40]

UNESCO conservationEdit

Herculaneum is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.[41] UNESCO was drawn in by Herculaneum's public architecture. The spacious palaestra, two public baths, the College of the Priests of Augustus, and a standard theatre. Herculaneum also had a seafront display and urban districts that had a very high level of preservation as well as great conservation of upper floors, all due to the pyroclastic material that had so thoroughly covered the city.

With all of this impressive preservation that Herculaneum had, the site met UNESCO's criteria III, IV, and V; allowing the site to become a UNESCO-protected site. Herculaneum and the neighboring city of Pompeii, as well as the surrounding villas, are some of the most well-preserved Roman city ruins that have been documented at this time.[42] UNESCO references how Herculaneum is a great example of both Roman urban and suburban settlements. UNESCO also praises how Herculaneum's urban, architectural, decorative, and traces of ancient daily life have helped archeologists piece together a timeline of Roman life, from 1st century BC to 1st century AD. The intense rapidness of the destruction of the city, along with the thick layers of pyroclastic material that covered the area, created nearly perfect conditions for almost everything to be preserved.

However, this way of preservation has caused issues with the later excavations of the city. There is a constant risk of the uncovered remains starting to decay. The structures being excavated are centuries old, and some are beginning to rot away and cave-in in certain places. UNESCO implemented several measures to protect the site. All excavations in and around the site must be approved by the World Heritage authorities.[citation needed] UNESCO had Law No. 1089 passed for both Pompeii and Herculaneum in 1939 to protects all things with artistic and historical interest in the area. In 2004, Legislative Decree No. 42 was passed to extend Law No. 1089 to all areas surrounding Pompeii and Herculaneum.[43] Not only does Herculaneum and its surrounding areas have preservation issues, but Herculaneum itself has many specific developmental restrictions, especially surrounding Mount Vesuvius. These restrictions limit what excavations can be done at the site, and they help to ensure the safety of the ancient city, which currently lies mostly under a modern town in the area.

Not only does UNESCO have its own laws and restrictions, but they also have many connections with the Vesuvius National Park and with Man and the Biosphere Programme. With the Vesuvius National Park's ability to provide a broad setting of protection, and MAB Biosphere's designative abilities to provide the framework for further coordination, they both work together with UNESCO to protect the site to the best of their abilities. UNESCO on its own is also constantly working on reconstruction efforts, specifically those surrounding the structures that are currently already unearthed. While the conservation efforts are still ongoing, Herculaneum has gone from one of the worst preserved UNESCO sites at risk of being put on the endangered list to becoming "a textbook case of successful archeological conservation".[44]



  • A 1987 National Geographic special, In the Shadow of Vesuvius, explored the sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum, interviewed archaeologists, and examined the events leading up to the eruption of Vesuvius.
  • The 2002 documentary "Herculaneum. An unlucky escape" [47] is based on research of Pier Paolo Petrone, Giuseppe Mastrolorenzo and Mario Pagano. Co-production of DocLab Rome, Discovery Channel USA, France 3 – Taxi Brousse, Spiegel TV, Mediatred, 52'.
  • A 2004 documentary "Pompeii and the 79 AD eruption". TBS Channel Tokyo Broadcasting System, 120'.
  • An hour-long drama produced for the BBC entitled Pompeii: The Last Day portrays several characters (with historically attested names but fictional stories) living in Pompeii, Herculaneum and around the Bay of Naples, and their last hours, including a fuller and his wife, two gladiators, and Pliny the Elder. It also portrays the facts of the eruption.
  • Pompeii Live, Channel 5, 28 June 2006, 8pm, live archaeological dig at Pompeii and Herculaneum
  • Marcellino de Baggis' 2007 documentary "Herculaneum: Diaries of Darkness and Light", Onionskin productions[48]
  • The 2007 documentary "Troja ist überall: Auferstehung am Vesuv", Spiegel TV, 43'29 [49]
  • "Secrets of the Dead: Herculaneum Uncovered"[50] is a PBS show covering the archaeological discoveries at Herculaneum.
  • "Out of the Ashes: Recovering the Lost Library of Herculaneum"[51] is a KBYU-TV documentary that traces the history of the Herculaneum papyri from the time of the eruption to their discovery in 1752 to modern developments that impact their study.
  • "The Other Pompeii: Life and Death in Herculaneum"[52] is a documentary presented by Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, director of Herculaneum Conservation Project.
  • "Pompeii: The Mystery of the People Frozen in Time"[53] is a 2013 BBC One drama documentary presented by Dr. Margaret Mountford.
  • "Pompeii: The New Revelations" was broadcast on UK TV channel 5 in 2021.
  • "Unearthed: Vesuvius' Secret Victim." Documents the city of Herculaneum and the lives of its people. Revealed that over 1,000 people of Herculaneum's 5,000 citizens had survived the eruption and were resettled in Naples and Cumae.


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Further readingEdit

  • Brennan, B. 2018.Herculaneum A Roman Town Reborn. Sydney: Ancient History Seminars.
  • Brennan, B. 2012. Herculaneum A Sourcebook. Sydney: Ancient History Seminars.
  • Capasso, L. 2001. I fuggiaschi di Ercolano. Paleobiologia delle vittime dell' eruzione vesuviana del 79 d.C. Roma: L'Erma di Bretschneider
  • Daehner, J., ed. 2007. The Herculaneum Women: History, Context, Identities. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum.
  • De Carolis, E., and G. Patricelli. 2003. Vesuvius, A.D. 79: The Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum.
  • Deiss, J. J. 1995. The Town of Hercules: A Buried Treasure Trove. Malibu, CA: J. Paul Getty Museum.
  • Lazer, E. 2009. Resurrecting Pompeii. London: Routledge.
  • Pace, S. 2000. Herculaneum and European Culture Between the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. Naples, Italy: Electa.
  • Pagano, M. 2000. Herculaneum: A Reasoned Archaeological Itinerary. Translated by A. Pesce. Naples, Italy: T&M.
  • Pagano, M., and A. Balasco. 2000. The Ancient Theatre of Herculaneum. Translated by C. Fordham. Naples, Italy: Electa.
  • Pirozzi, M. E. A. 2000. Herculaneum: The Excavations, Local History and Surroundings. Naples, Italy : Electa.
  • Scarth, A. 2009. Vesuvius: A Biography. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Wallace-Hadrill, A. 2011. "The Monumental Centre of Herculaneum: In Search of the Identities of the Public Buildings." Journal of Roman Archaeology 24:121–160.


  • National Geographic, Vol 162, No. 6. Buried Roman Town Give Up Its Dead, (December, 1982)
  • National Geographic, Vol 165, No 5. The Dead Do Tell Tales, (May, 1984)
  • Discover, magazine, Vol 5, No. 10. The Bone Lady (October, 1984)
  • The Mayo Alumnus, Vol 19, No. 2. An Archaeologist's Preliminary Report: Time Warp at Herculaneum, (April, 1983)
  • Carnegie Mellon Magazine, Vol 4, No. 2. Bone Lady Reconstructs People at Herculaneum, Winter, 1985
  • In the Shadow of Vesuvius National Geographic Special, (11 February 1987)
  • 30 years of National Geographic Special, (25 January 1995)
  • Petrone P.P., Fedele F. (a cura di), 2002. Vesuvio 79 A.D. Vita e morte ad Ercolano, Fridericiana Editrice Universitaria, Napoli.
  • Antonio Virgili, Culti misterici ed orientali a Pompei, Gangemi, Roma, 2008.
  • National Geographic, Vol 212, No. 3. Vesuvius. Asleep for Now, (September, 2006) http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2007/09/vesuvius/vesuvius-text


  • Pliny the Younger's letters on the catastrophic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D. to the Roman historian Tacitus from University of Arizona: Pliny the Younger, Letters 6.16 and 6.20 to Cornelius Tacitus and in Project Gutenberg: Letter LXV – To Tacitus, Letter LXVI – To Cornelius Tacitus

External linksEdit

  • The local archaeological authorities – Official website Archived 3 October 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  • Herculaneum Conservation Project – Official website
  • AD 79: Year of Destruction
  • 62 Pompeii earthquake
  • Herculaneum papyri
  • Blogging Pompeii
  • The Friends of Herculaneum Society
  • The Philodemus Project will publish Philodemus' works on poetry and on rhetoric.
  • Brigham Young University: Herculaneum Scrolls
  • Herculaneum Archived 7 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine by Iain Dickson, 'Melvadius Macrinus Cugerni'
  • Herculaneum Uncovered Documentary produced by the PBS Series Secrets of the Dead
  • Purcell, N., R. Talbert, T. Elliott, S. Gillies (23 November 2020). "Places: 432873 (Herculaneum)". Pleiades. Retrieved 8 March 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Romano-Campanian Wall-Painting (English, Italian, Spanish and French introduction) Archived 7 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  • "Herculaneum Uncovered – A conversation with Andrew Wallace-Hadrill" Archived 25 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Ideas Roadshow, 2013
  •   Texts on Wikisource: