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 has directed and published archaeological projects throughout the United Kingdom and Europe and holds over 20 years' experience in research and professional archaeology.

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

Dr Rachel Bolton-King

Associate Professor

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

David Edwards

Course Director

Dave is an experienced technical artist and academic. He teaches on many of the earlier levels of the Games Art degree, using his expertise in 3D character and environment art, 3D scripting, and level design in the Unreal Engine.

David's profile

Fiona Graham

Associate Professor

Fiona is a Senior Lecturer and Producer, with a background as a factual documentary producer/director and television studio producer. Fiona has a background in print journalism, BBC radio and television including BBC1, ITV1, ITV2, Channel 4, STV…

Fiona's profile

Alex Haycock

P/T Lecturer (Hrly)-Crimi Just Forensic

Dean Northfield

Senior Lecturer

Dean worked for West Yorkshire Police as a VIPER Officer (2 Years) then an Imaging Officer (6 years). He progressed to Senior Imaging Officer, before finishing his time at West Yorkshire Police in the Forensic Multimedia Unit

Dean's profile

Paul Ottey

Senior Lecturer

Paul developed his passion for film and moving image during the video boom of the 1980's consuming a wide range of mainstream and more obscure and alternative films with a particular love of low budget B movie horror. His practical and technical…

Paul's profile

Ermelinda Trinder

P/T Lecturer (Hrly)-Crimi Just Forensic

UK University

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

for Job Prospects

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

for Student Satisfaction

Complete University Guide 2022

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

for Course Content

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

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

Research Excellence Framework 2021