Herculaneum is a sister-site to Pompeii; a Roman town buried by the same eruption of Vesuvius which destroyed the larger Pompeii. Destroyed differently, by a pyroclastic surge which killed inhabitants, carbonized wood and left the city buried under 16-25 meters of rock, the archaeological site offers a different kind of insight into the Roman world. The site is included in the UNESCO heritage listing "Archaeological Areas of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Torre Annunziata".
Here you'll still see preserved wooden lofts, wine racks and bedsteads. Most of the furniture - from a baby's cot to household shrines - is now conserved in storerooms, but a few pieces remain on the site to give an evocative impression of Roman life. When Vesuvius erupted in AD79, towns, villas and farms around the volcano were destroyed. Pompeii was buried under a layer of ash and pumice which was thinner than the covering over Herculaneum, and some of its residents (or looters) returned after the eruption to salvage valuables and sculptures. Herculaneum was preserved exactly as it was, and the different nature of its destruction has made it fascinating for archaeologists and for visitors. Discoveries of organic matter, of fruit, bread, wooden furnishings, writing tablets, upper floors, and even the contents of sewers, has helped with an understanding of Roman lifestyles and buildings. Herculaneum is thought to have been a relatively well-off small coastal town, quite different from the bigger, urban and more 'ordinary' Pompeii.