According to the New York Times, atican officials in Rome have confirmed that buried under layers of paint, in one of the papal chambers, are what could be the earliest known images of American Indians created by Europeans.
It is believed that the fresco was painted only a few years after Christopher Columbus 'discovered' North America, and — according to the director of the Vatican Museums — is "consistent with the descriptions that Columbus gave in his letters of the indigenous people he saw upon his arrival in the Americas". The figures appear to be nude and dancing (click link above to view an image of the fresco) and were painted into a work called Resurrection of Christ y an artist called Pinturicchio.
Why should you care?
These images were created at a time when history was communicated through art and not always the written word. Discoveries like this are literally like having a snapshot of what people believed or knew at the time. What is even more fascinating is the fact that these images exist at all... how many other lost pieces of history are hiding under a few layers of paint on walls all over Europe? I ALWAYS like a good mystery!