Global impacts of Holocaust archaeology

Staffordshire University is committed to making a difference through its research and impact in communities.


International law defines knowing the fate of missing persons and the right to a marked burial place as a ‘basic dignity’. However, little is known about the fate of millions of people who died as a result of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution or what happened to their remains. Professor Caroline Sturdy Colls responded to this unmet need with research that uses forensic archaeological methods to identify, study and protect Holocaust sites.

Since its formation in September 2013, the Centre of Archaeology at Staffordshire University has developed a non and minimally invasive methodology to investigate and record Holocaust sites whilst accounting for key ethical concerns.


The Centre of Archaeology has undertaken interdisciplinary research using forensic archaeological methods to find, characterise and protect Holocaust sites at more than 50 locations across Europe (2013-present). Work at these sites has influenced communities, survivors and descendants affected by the Holocaust:

  • The research has led to new memorials (22), commemorative events and volunteering opportunities (approximately 500 individuals in 6 countries).
  • We have raised awareness of the causes and consequences of genocide by developing new Holocaust education materials for students and teachers, new international exhibitions (in 7 countries), and media documentaries, which have reached over 8,500,000 viewers worldwide.
  • Reach has been extended through our impact on global professional practice. Our ethical methodologies are endorsed and used by practitioners and specialists in multiple countries.

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The Research, Innovation and Impact Services team can provide information about all aspects of research at Staffordshire University.

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