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Digging for Richard III : How Archaeology Found the King - Mike Pitts

Digging for Richard III

How Archaeology Found the King


Published: 1st May 2014
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The events of Richard III’s reign and his death in 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth are known worldwide through Shakespeare’s most performed, filmed and translated history play. Digging for Richard III is the page-turning story of how his grave was found, the people behind the discovery and what it tells us. It is the first complete narrative of a project that blended passion, science, luck and detection. Told by a noted archaeologist with access to all the parties involved, it follows the quest from an idea born in an Edinburgh bookshop to the day, fourteen years later, when two archaeologists carefully raised the bones from a car park in Leicester, and the scientific studies that resulted. The vivid tale of a king, his demise and now his rediscovery, this is also an insider’s gripping account of how modern archaeology really works, of how clues meticulously assembled and forensically examined are pieced together to create a narrative worthy of the finest detective fiction. Illustrated with photographs of the dig and its environs, specially drawn artworks of the skeleton, and maps and historic documents that set the scene.

About the Author

Mike Pitts is an archaeologist and award-winning journalist. He has been the editor of Britain’s leading archaeological magazine, British Archaeology, for the past ten years.




I couldn't wait to read a book about the discovery and forensic research on the remains of Richard III so I paid for a hard cover. This book gave the facts adequately enough. Left me wanting more so if you really want to 'dig deep' (sorry bad pun) maybe a more in depth book might suit you but if you want a brief well written story - this is your go to book.



Digging for Richard III

4.0 1


Huge interest. " An amazing story. " Highly recommended. [Mike] Pitts effectively conveys the excitement of the discovery, clearly and vividly describing the process and the personalities. Writing this book must have been the dream of a lifetime for him, and he has risen to the occasion. STARRED REVIEW As gripping as any detective fiction. . . . Pitts s book is proof that one doesn t need to be fascinated with Richard III to be enthralled by the story of his body s discovery." This remarkable cold-case-file narrative is a must for all English history buffs. Pitts recounts the exhilarating dig--in which the lead archaeologist promised to eat his hat if the skeleton actually turned up. Illuminates the tangled, bloody wars of 15th-century England and patient excavation work of 21st-century researchers....Informative. An amazing story. It reads like an Indiana Jones adventure, albeit without the obligatory bad guys. At its liveliest, Pitts' account reads like a police procedural, with clues, false leads, and finally a killing unraveled and a mystery triumphantly solved.... As much about the diggers as about who or what they dug up. As gripping as any detective fiction. . . . Pitts's book is proof that one doesn't need to be fascinated with Richard III to be enthralled by the story of his body's discovery. This compelling and easily accessible account of the dig for the remains of King Richard III of England will appeal to a broad cross-section of readers, including history, mystery, and archaeology buffs. Combining Richard's history and demise, the physical excavation itself, and cutting-edge forensic science involved, the author seamlessly weaves this centuries-in-the-making tale into a dramatic thriller. Pitts is an archaeologist himself, and his passionate enthusiasm for his subject matter is contagious. A readable archaeological perspective on the dig that led to the sensational discovery in 2012 of the skeleton of England's King Richard III, buried in 1485. . . . Highly recommended. This fascinating and informative book of the search for and discovery of the controversial king's remains in a parking lot incorporates English history, archaeology and forensics.

ISBN: 9780500252000
ISBN-10: 0500252009
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 208
Published: 1st May 2014
Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.9 x 16.0  x 2.3
Weight (kg): 0.56
Edition Number: 1