Herculaneum, part of modern-day Ercolano, was destroyed, buried under as much as 50 to 60 feet of mud and ash along with Pompeii, Stabiae and Oplontis by the 79 A.D. eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Excavation, exploration and preservation efforts, which began in the 1700s, continue to this day. Discoveries have included wall art, especially frescoes and mosaics, as well as the intact stone walls of many structures. Historians consider Herculaneum a much wealthier, more upscale town than its more widely known and larger neighboring population center of Pompeii, which was much easier to uncover since it was under a considerably thinner layer of volcanic material. Also, hundreds of human skeletons were discovered in the l990s between Herculaneum proper and the Mediterranean Sea. These remains were found mainly in the ruins of boat houses destroyed by the volcanic eruptions and their aftereffects. Study of these skeletal remains as well as other boat houses at the site continues. Even within the main excavation area of Herculaneum proper additional discoveries are anticipated. The entire town has yet to be uncovered.
A Walk in the Ruins of Ancient Herculaneum, Italy
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