Herculaneum (in modern Italian Ercolano) was an ancient Roman town destroyed by volcanic pyroclastic flows in 79 A.D., located in the territory of the current comune of Ercolano, in the Italian region of Campania in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius.
It is most famous for having been lost, along with Pompeii, Stabiae and Oplontis, in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, which buried them in superheated pyroclastic material. It also became famous as the source of the first Roman skeletal and physical remains available for study that were located by science, for the Romans almost universally cremated their dead. Since the discovery of bones in 1981, some 300 skeletons have been found, most along the sea shore—the town itself having been effectively evacuated. Herculaneum was a smaller town with a wealthier population than Pompeii at the time of the eruption.