Herculaneum (in modern Italian Ercolano) was an ancient Roman town destroyed (along with Pompeii) 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.
Consequently, Herculaneum is full of art treasures – murals, frescoes, statues, bas reliefs, busts, wall paintings, moldings and so on.
The art at Herculaneum has been preserved for over 2000 years.
It is incredible that it has survived for so long.
(c) R J Dent 2013