Digging for Richard III: The Search for the Lost King

Digging for Richard III: The Search for the Lost King

by Mike Pitts


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The story of the archaeology behind the dig that found Richard III, told through a fascinating array of photographs, diagrams, and firsthand accounts

In August 2012 a search began and on February 4, 2013 a team from Leicester University delivered its verdict to a mesmerized press room, watched by media studios around the world: they had found the remains of Richard III, whose history is perhaps the most contested of all British monarchs.

History offers a narrow range of information about Richard III which mostly has already been worked to destruction. Archaeology creates new data, new stories, with a different kind of material: physical remains from which modern science can wrest a surprising amount, and which provide a direct, tangible connection with the past. Unlike history, archaeological research demands that teams of people with varied backgrounds work together. Archaeology is a communal activity, in which the interaction of personalities as well as professional skills can change the course of research. Photographs from the author’s own archives, alongside additional material from Leicester University, offer a compelling detective story as the evidence is uncovered.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780500252000
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Publication date: 11/11/2014
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Mike Pitts has been the editor of British Archaeology, Britain’s leading archaeology magazine, for over fifteen years, following and reporting on an extraordinary number of discoveries and scientific breakthroughs. He is an award-winning journalist and archaeologist who has researched subjects ranging from Easter Island to Stonehenge.

Table of Contents

Prologue 6

Act I England, 1452-85 9

Act II Looking for Richard III 31

Scene 1 Leicester. A Bridge 32

Scene 2 The same. A friary 52

Scene 3 The same. A university 71

Act III Excavation in 2012 91

Scene 1 Greyfriars. A car park 92

Scene 2 The same. A grave 112

Act IV An Autopsy 137

Act V An Inquest 159

Epilogue: A battlefield, and a burial 184

Notes 194

Further Reading 202

Acknowledgments 204

Sources of Illustrations 204

Index 205

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