Digging for Richard III: The Search for the Lost King
by Mike Pitts
Thames & Hudson, 2014 ($29.95)
One of the most surprising archaeological finds in recent history was the discovery of the skeleton of 15th-century English king Richard III buried underneath a parking lot in Leicester in 2012. For centuries archaeologists thought the king's remains had been lost, with his bones most likely having been scattered into the River Soar. Yet a small group of scholars pursued the hope of finding his grave, mounted an excavation, and uncovered the ruins of a friary church and the dead monarch, all within two weeks of breaking ground. Archaeologist and journalist Pitts recounts the exhilarating dig—in which the lead archaeologist had promised to eat his hat if the skeleton actually turned up—and the revelations about Richard III that followed from the discovery.