According to the June 13, 2012 edition of the French newspaper La République, excavations in the Henri IV courtyard of the château de Fontainebleau unearthed a hairpin possibly belonging to queen Catherine de Medici.
The Henri IV courtyard, also known as the Cour des Offices, was built between 1606 and 1609 to house domestic and administrative services. Historians thought the area unimportant before construction of the buildings that enclosed it. However, two meters below the surface, archeologists discovered a former latrine that has yielded all sorts of discarded objects: bones, coins, crockery, a small gold cross. The most significant find has been a hairpin that probably belonged to the queen. Vincent Droguet, curator of the château, explains that the pin features two interlaced C's, the arms of Catherine de Medici. "It's a stunning find," he says, "as jewels belonging to Catherine de Medici are very rare." (Photo at the original article.)
The article goes on to speculate how this precious object wound up in the latrine. A hidden crime? A careless mistake? The mysteries of the Quartier Henri VI have yet to be resolved.
Food for thought and possible plot points for historical novelists...