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According to the legend, the Greek settlement of Herculaneum was founded by Hercules - from whom it took its name. Samnites took over the town, before the Romans, who occupied it in 89 BC. The settlement, being close to the sea, may have been a fishing village and port. The village may have also been a holiday place for wealthy Romans and Campanians.


The Greek hero Hercules

Hercules, after whom Herculaneum was named

The city suffered a similar fate to that of Pompeii suffering an earthquake in 63AD - but, unlike Pompeii, it was covered by a mudflow caused by the Eruption of the Vesuvius in 79AD (Pompeii was buried by tufa stone and ash, during the same eruption).


More than a thousand later, from 1709 until 1874 amateur archeologists excavated the sites and transported the remains to wealthy homes and to museums. Since 1929 professional archeologists began excavating the site and continue until today.



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