Herculaneum was originally discovered when a well was being dug in the early 18th Century at a depth of 50 – 60 feet below the modern surface. Initially a series of ‘robber’ shafts and tunnels were dug to strip the site of any saleable valuables. However, between 1749 to 1765 Herculaneum was explored on a more scientific basis for the Bourbon Kings of Naples and the Two Sicilies, initially under the supervision of Rocco Gioacchino Alcubierre and then his assistant Carlo Weber. A basic plan of the town was mapped out and much of the portable remains removed but eventually these tunnels collapsed and were closed down. The modern towns of Resina and Portici grew up over the site and knowledge of where the entrances to the tunnels were was lost to the scientific community.