Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717–1768) was a German classicist. The son of a shoemaker, Winckelmann was born in Stendal, near Berlin. Between 1738 and 1742 he studied theology, medicine, and science in Halle and Jena. He taught in Seehausen from 1742 to 1746, and he later became a librarian. Winckelmann had long been interested in classical literature and in 1755 he received a grant to study in Rome. He visited Naples four times, and witnessed the excavation of Herculaneum which was buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79. Winckelmann's account of the excavations in 1762 were important in bringing the site to international attention.
- Winckelmann, Johann Joachim (2011). Translated by Carol C. Mattusch. Letter and Report on the Discoveries at Herculaneum. Los Angeles: Getty Publications. pp. 2–4. ISBN 978-1-60606-089-6.
- Renfrew, Colin & Bahn, Paul (2004). Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice, 4th edition. Thames & Hudson. pp. 24–25. ISBN 0-500-28441-5.