If you are writing fast and hastily erase something not quite all the way and continue writing right over the smudgy bit, then you’ve created a palimpsest — which means you can see traces of the earlier writing mixed in with the new.

The noun palimpsest originally described a document, such as a page from a manuscript written on parchment, that had been rubbed smooth so it could be used again, with traces of the original writing showing through. The word still carries that meaning, but ancient manuscripts are rare these days, so you’re more likely to hear palimpsest used to describe something that has traces of early stages showing through, like "the palimpsest of an urban neighborhood" — in which hints of earlier styles and designs are still evident among the new highrises.

Definitions of palimpsest
  1. noun
    a manuscript (usually written on papyrus or parchment) on which more than one text has been written with the earlier writing incompletely erased and still visible
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    type of:
    holograph, manuscript
    handwritten book or document
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