- Hardcover: 208 pages
- Publisher: Thames and Hudson Ltd; 01 edition (14 April 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0500252009
- ISBN-13: 978-0500252000
- Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 2.8 x 24.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 486,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Digging for Richard III: How Archaeology Found the King Hardcover – 14 Apr 2014
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An entertaining, knowledgeable and forensic examination of one of the most extraordinary archaeological digs ever! --Sir Tony Robinson
Pitts has created an utterly compelling read. --The Independent on Sunday, Will Gore
Mike Pitts tells a compelling story: the resurrection of one of England's most controversial monarchs. 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
Cuts through the hype and hysteria about Richard III. It gives a balanced view of all the historical and archaeological evidence, but at the same time it's a real page-turner. I couldn't put it down. A must for anyone interested in English history. --Francis Pryor, author of 'Britain BC' and 'Britain in the Middle Ages'
Well-crafted, fine-grained ... 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 utterly compelling book ... This is 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 might be dusting down your trowel and setting out for the nearest dig. --The Independent on Sunday
Mike Pitts [deploys] a battery of techniques for building drama and tension ... a potential bestseller. --Society of Antiquaries Newsletter
A terrific slice of archaeological investigation. --Books Monthly
A fascinating account of history, science and collaboration. --Your Family Tree
[A] wonderfully entertaining exploration of the incredible story, including insights from all the main characters ... Beautifully and knowledgeably written, moving and funny, it's a real page-turner I wasn't able to put down. --Family Tree Magazine
Vividly describes the 2012 excavation. As Pitts stresses in the prologue, it was not a typical dig, and he describes it blow-by-blow; for me it was as good as being there. Excellent stuff. --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
About the Author
Mike Pitts is an archaeologist and award-winning journalist. He has directed his own excavations and conducted scientific research, from Stonehenge to an Easter Island statue, and for the last ten years has edited Britain's leading archaeological magazine, British Archaeology.
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Top Customer Reviews
Their investigation had two aims - to find the site of the long demolished Grey Friars in the centre of Leicester and also to try and find Richard III's grave. Richard Buckley, the head of the archaeological unit thought finding Richard III's grave was a totally outside chance but he did believe they would find Grey Friars as all the records pointed to the area where they were going to dig.
The book is well written with plenty of notes at the end of the book and a bibliography for those who want to read more about Richard III and the investigation. I was completely absorbed in this book to the extent that I read for about three hours yesterday afternoon without moving. It is that sort of book. If you've every watched Time Team or similar archaeological programmes you will love this.
One disappointing feature is the lack of colour in the illustrations. Perhaps this is a result of economies at the publishers? Whatever, the subject cries out for colour.
Pitts is a professional archaeologist, and clearly has close links to the Leicester University team. There is quite a lot of technical detail which he explains in a lucid and uncomplicated way for the lay reader. He has a keen analytical eye for the human interactions, too - he understands and to an extent sympathises with the Ricardians - seeing that their romanticised and passionate advocacy of the King would inevitably create tensions with the extensive forensic investigation that followed the discovery. Neutral he may not be, but he's honest and generous with the credit he gives to all those involved and rightly so.
If I had the teensiest criticism with the book, it is that the technical detail tends to leave you wanting more, for instance he introduces the issue of the remarkable preservation of the bones, not only from the almost constant redevelopment of the area around the Greyfriars Priory, but also that Leicester's geology (the lack of building stone means from Roman times onwards, one era's buildings were plundered and recycled to build the next) preserved the bones when in other places they would have dissolved away ... and leaves that hanging.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A beautifully written book covering the history, previous archaeology, and the finding of Richard without all the hype. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Alison 46
I got this for course work on archaeology. Interesting and enjoyable.Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
Really enjoyed this account of the search for King Richard lll! Very easy read and informative!Published 16 months ago by RJORDAN
If you buy one book about the celebrated Richard 111 discovery, this is it. I have admired Mike Pitts' writing for a long time, both for style and readability but also trustworthy... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Greg
I admit I was surprised at the praise lavished on this book. Unfortunately much of the discovery is a skewed account. The person who discovered Richard was Philippa Langley. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Mrs. P. Pogmore
This book gives a fascinating account of the archaeological dig which unearthed the bones of Richard III under a car park in Leicester. Read morePublished 24 months ago by S Riaz
Superb! If you watched the television documentary about the dig in the Leicester car-park, you may think you don't need to read this book. You do! Read morePublished on 8 Jan. 2015 by Mr. D. R. Goodman
The section on the background history is a bit questionable, but the part on the archaeology is interesting.Published on 2 Dec. 2014 by Caroline Selwyn-Jones