Centre of Archaeology



We offer world-class services in research, consultancy and community archaeology – all supported by cutting-edge equipment and facilities – and we are committed to education and dissemination of our research beyond academia.

Our aim

The Centre of Archaeology (CoA) was formed in October 2013 with dual aims: to develop research activity and consultancy in applied archaeology. The CoA is now an international centre of learning and knowledge exchange with an emphasis on engagement that extends beyond academia.

We are dedicated to developing research excellence and professional practice with a focus on the application of novel techniques to the investigation of the recent and ancient past. In particular, we apply our expertise to the investigation of the Holocaust and other genocides, and to missing persons investigations across the world.

We research, and are guided by, the unique ethical challenges posed in these circumstances and have developed an interdisciplinary methodology that accounts for the religious, social and cultural issues that surround the sites connected to these crimes. Our work has resulted in the first archaeological investigations at sites such as the Nazi-German extermination and labour camps in Treblinka (Poland), forced and slave labour camps and cemeteries in Alderney (UK), Semlin concentration camp (Serbia) and numerous killing sites in Ukraine and Poland, as well as state-of-the-art surveys at other sites in Germany, Norway, The Netherlands and the Czech Republic.

We have also carried out innovative research connected to the life of William Shakespeare, resulting in the excavation of his final home at New Place and ground-breaking non-invasive surveys to investigate the graves of the Shakespeare family.

Our commitment to community engagement is reflected in our portfolio of community archaeology projects and publications in this area, and our involvement in interdisciplinary research is demonstrated by our staff who work across a number of fields such as archaeology, forensic investigation, virtual reality and 3D visualisation, film and TV and fine art.


Group leader

Professor Caroline Sturdy Colls

Professor Of Conflict Archaeology

Prof. Sturdy Colls' pioneering research focuses on the application of interdisciplinary approaches to the investigation of Holocaust landscapes. Caroline is the Course Leader for the Forensic Archaeology masters.

Caroline's profile

Researchers within Centre of Archaeology

Kevin Colls

Associate Professor

Kevin is a professional archaeologist, forensic investigator, and researcher at Staffordshire University. The Course Leader for MSc and MA programs in Forensic Archaeology and Genocide Investigation.

Kevin's profile

William Mitchell


William has worked on a number of forensic research projects throughout Europe, including sites of the Holocaust in Germany, Ukraine and Poland. Using non-invasive geophysical techniques, he has developed his specialism in the search and recover…

William's profile

Rachel Bolton-King

Visiting Fellow

I am an Associate Professor (Tef) and I specialise in forensic firearm identification and ammunition, ballistics imaging, and shooting incident reconstruction.

Rachel's profile

Michael Safaric Branthwaite

Course Director - Associate Prof.

I am a Contemporary Fine Artist as well as an active researcher in integrated practices. My main area of interest is the use of technology and the digitisation of History and Heritage

Michael's profile

Dr Sarah Irving


Dr Sarah Irving is a Lecturer in modern Middle Eastern history, specialising in the social and cultural history of Late Ottoman and Mandate Palestine and the broader Levant region.

Sarah's profile

Alun Thomas

Associate Professor

Alun's research interests cover the history of Russia and the Soviet Union and Central Asia; imperialism, colonialism, decolonisation, refugeedom, itinerance; nomadism,nationalism, state-building, urbanisation, memory and patrimonialisation.

Alun's profile

Daria Cherkaska

Post-Doctoral Researcher

Andrew Wedgbury


Andrew is an esports lecturer and a researcher interested in digital leisure and its future impact in the ever-evolving landscape of esports, culture and gaming.

in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021