Herculaneum is a city that was located on the Italian coast west of Mount Vesuvius. It was destroyed in August A.D. 79 when Vesuvius erupted. Because it was covered by 50–60 feet of pyroclastic material, the buildings and their contents are actually better preserved than those found at nearby Pompeii. It was probably 1/4 the size of Pompeii. It is estimated that only 25% of the town has been excavated.
Some scholars have suggested that it was a small fishing village, but because of the finely built houses, and their lavish decoration, it seems more probable that it was a sea–side playground for the elite!