Herculaneum Centre

We believe that your support for Herculaneum’s archaeological site is important for ensuring its long-term survival. The experience of the Herculaneum Conservation Project has confirmed that there is a key role to be played by the local and international communities in caring for heritage, which is why the Herculaneum Centre was launched.
We try to bring together the best of our three partners: the Comune di Ercolano (town council) which brings us a network of local partners and resources, the Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei (local heritage authority) which ties us to the archaeological site to be used as an open-air classroom and the British School at Rome which offers connections to the international and research communities.

We have a mission to facilitate people’s involvement in Herculaneum’s heritage – and this goes beyond just the archaeological site and includes the 22 eighteenth-century Vesuvian Villas, the historic centre of Resina with its second-hand clothes market, its natural heritage (Vesuvius and the sea), and all the living traditions of music, dancing, eating, storytelling and celebrating that make this such a vibrant place to be.

So far our work has ranged from:

    • activities with the local community: 100 school children have become Young Ambassadors of Herculaneum’s heritage; we’re connecting local residents with their town’s history in the context of a major urban regeneration scheme; senior citizens have been interviewed for our oral history project on themes such as excavating the archeological site, witnessing the last eruption of Vesuvius, surviving the Second World War
    • supporting onsite conservation efforts: we host events related to the Herculaneum Conservation Project to ensure a wider communication of its results and broader participation of stakeholders; we organized an international workshop for heritage specialists in collaboration with ICCROM on heritage site management practices (publication forthcoming); we contribute to site visits for specialist groups interested in conservation issues
    • raising awareness of how much Herculaneum has to offer: we’ve supported the creation of a DVD on Herculaneum; we work together with local partners to organize cultural events based on Herculaneum’s rich history and traditions; we facilitate access to heritage sites and events wherever possible
    • bringing together scholars and specialists to create new knowledge: we offer logistical support to those who want to come to Herculaneum to visit or carry out research; we run an internship programme which gives young scholars the chance to gain valuable experience in the field; we host conferences, workshops and other events which have so far brought together people from 58 countries around the world!

Oral history project: former workers explain the excavation and restoration work carried out under archaeologist Amedeo Maiuri
The Herculaneum Centre’s activities take place both at the archaeological site, at its headquarters in the Villa Maiuri and around the local area. It is run on a daily basis by Manager, Christian Biggi assisted by various project staff and Sarah Court of the Herculaneum Conservation Project.

Support is offered by the three founding partners, Scientific Director Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, President Dieter Mertens and councilors Emma Buondonno (Università di Napoli “Federico II”), Maria Paola Guidobaldi (Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei), Massimo Iovino (Urban Herculaneum), Jane Thompson (Herculaneum Conservation Project).

If you want to know more about Herculaneum – and especially if you’re coming to visit – then please get in touch online or by email or find us on Facebook for all the latest news.