Herculaneum was buried on the second day of the eruption of Vesuvius in the year 79 CE. Most of its inhabitants escaped death by leaving on the first day, as of its 4000 residents only some 350 skeletons have been recovered and few are likely to remain. In addition, because it was spared much of the damage caused by falling stone and then covered to a depth of 20 meters from six flows, we have much more of the perishable material: lintels, furniture, doors, carts and even papyrus writings survived the volcano’s wrath. Most of these are in the The National Archaeological Museum of Naples As a result of this preservation we learned a great deal about the daily life of its residents. For more information see What Was Normal Life Like In Pompeii Before Its Destruction? | Pompeii with Mary Beard
Herculaneum was named after Hercules. The town was home to wealthy residents seeking a summer beach venue. It dates from the 7thc BCE, when it was founded by the Oscans. The Etruscans took over until the the rise Greeks took over, and then came the Romans.
The Villa of the Papyri is the luxurious dwelling on the seashore. It may have belonged to consul Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus, Julius Caesar’s father-in-law. The library that survived nearly intact, and has been digitized.