The National Portrait Gallery has discovered a 400-year-old secret hiding beneath layers of paint. A portrait of Elizabeth I originally depicted the queen holding a coiled serpent, but the anonymous artist painted over the snake at the last minute. [DailyMail]
I absolutely LOVE this kind of stuff.
There's history all over the place, hidden, just waiting to be discovered. This is a great example.
I read about something rather like this earlier in the week, where conservators at Salisbury Cathedral in England were moving a statue commemorating the death of a royalist supporter in the Civil War, and they discovered what they believe to be the oldest example of written English in a church, dating to some time before the Reformation. They haven't figured out what it says yet, but the fact that it was there all that time, and only discovered now is, I think, pretty damn cool.
Makes me want to be an archaeologist.