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Digging for Richard III

The Search for the Lost King

Mike Pitts


The page-turning story of one of the most remarkable excavations of recent times: the discovery of the burial site of King Richard III in a council car-park

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Take a cast of archaeologists and historians who inhabit different worlds. Add a medieval king who died in battle, and was revived by Shakespeare as the ultimate anti-hero. Throw in a forensic quest with almost unbelievable twists, and a theatrical modern burial with no parallel, and you have the material for an irresistible story for our times.

In the hands of a leading archaeologist and award-winning journalist, the search for a king’s grave becomes the entertaining, informed narrative that makes Digging for Richard III the must-read book on the most sensational archaeological find for generations.


'An utterly compelling read ... a book which tells us as much about modern archaeology and the personalities of those who found Richard, as it does about a long dead king. By the end you may well be dusting down your trowel and setting out for the nearest dig'
Will Gore, Independent on Sunday

'This book is about far more than the mere killing of a king. It’s about life, discovery and death … original and intriguing … as good as being there'
BBC History Magazine

'The vivid tale of a king, his demise, and the thrilling rediscovery of his remains … an insider’s account of how modern archaeology really works, and how it was used to piece together the mystery of Richard’s resting place'
Military History

'Not so much a who-dunnit, as a what- why- and how-dunnit: history’s most remarkable cold case, and a fascinating glimpse into the 21st-century world of faith, science and publicity. Compulsively readable'
David Miles, former Chief Archaeologist at English Heritage

'Spellbinding … Pitts’s narrative gives us changing moods, exact dialogue, expressions on faces - and mounting amazement as the uncovering of the skeleton proceeded'
British Archaeology

'An entertaining, knowledgeable and forensic examination of one of the most extraordinary archaeological digs ever'
Sir Tony Robinson, actor and amateur historian

'Pitts arguably puts forth the most balanced, unbiased account of the discovery'

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Edition Type: Revised and expanded edition

Size: 19.8 x 13.0 cm

Extent: 246 pp

Publication date: 2 September 2015

ISBN: 9780500292020

Contents List

Prologue • Act I: England, 1452–85 • Act II: Looking for Richard III • Act III: Excavation in 2012 • Act IV: An Autopsy • Act V: An Inquest

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 over a decade.