writing material used one or more times after earlier writing has been erased; or, something with diverse layers or aspects apparent beneath the surface
"Rome, the old hands always say, is a palimpsest. For folks like you and me, that means layer upon layer of history, buried right there in the Eternal City clay." Paddy Agnew, The Irish Times, June 23, 2010
About the word:
the Greek palimpsēstos means "scraped again." Romans wrote on wax-covered tablets called palimpsestus that could be smoothed clean and reused; modern architects have extended the meaning of palimpsest to refer to buildings where the ghosts of earlier construction are visible.
Photo: DubyDub2009 / flickr