The thriving Roman town of Herculaneum was submerged by massive torrents of ash and mud during the great eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D. The torrents hardened into stone, and Herculaneum was blotted from sight. The site was discovered by chance in the early eighteenth century, and digging has gradually brought it to light. This video reveals the gigantic task faced by the archaeologists in freeing the remains of the town from a blanket of stone, in some places dozens of feet thick. But the blanket was responsible for so remarkably preserving all that lay beneath. The sumptuous mansions of the well-to-do, the cramped apartments of the poor, the shops where artisans worked or vendors sold their wares – this entire urban agglomeration is amply illustrated. Buildings, many of them two stories high, and complete right up to the roof, are shown in minute detail: wooden beams, door and window frames, staircases, furniture, even food being readied for the table. An indispensable supplement to Pompeii, this archaeological survey, is a unique picture of life in ancient times.