Herculaneum: ancient Roman city buried by Vesuvius in 79AD
Legend has it that Herculaneum was founded by Hercules while he was returning from Iberia on one of his travels.
More probably, it was established by ancient Greeks sometime in the fourth century BC before passing to the Samnites and then the Romans.
By the time it was smothered by the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in AD79, it was home to about 4,000 Roman citizens.
While Pompeii was scorched by red-hot ash and burning chunks of pumice stone, Herculaneum was submerged by a river of volcanic mud, which helped preserve it for posterity.
Buried under many feet of this mud, it was only rediscovered in the early 18th century. Excavation work started shortly afterwards and continues to the present day.
The city is laid out on a classic Roman grid plan and bisected by two main streets: the Decumano Massimo and the Decumano Inferiore....
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