Kevin S Colls

Job Title and Responsibilities

Kevin Colls is a professional archaeologist working for the Centre of Archaeology at Staffordshire University as the lead Archaeological Project Manager. His responsibilities include the management of the Centre’s archaeological portfolio including fieldwork and publications. He also holds academic duties and teaches on a number of undergraduate and postgraduate modules across the University including forensic archaeology, a residential summer school in archaeology, conflict and genocide studies, and practical archaeology.

About Me

Kevin has always wanted to be an archaeologist - even from an early age. He has a keen interest in history and what it can tell us about the world we live in today. Kevin enjoys travelling, both for his job and for leisure and has visited numerous countries worldwide including Canada, Thailand, Borneo, Sri-lanka, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Egypt and many European destinations including Estonia, Serbia, Croatia, Poland, Czech Republic, Italy, Greece, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the Channel Islands.


  • MSc. Archaeological Sciences – University of Sheffield
  • BSc. Archaeological Science – University of Sheffield
  • A Levels and GCSEs – Four A levels, ten GSCEs
  • PGT012 Introduction to Learning and Teaching in Higher Education
  • Skills development course, University of Birmingham. ‘Research and getting published’
  • Skills development course, Tendering and Budget Management
  • British Red Cross First Aid in the Workplace.
  • Confined Space training/ Risk assessment training
  • Health and Safety at Work training/ CSCS card holder
  • CAA Drone Pilot (Theory and Practice)

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (MIFA)

  • Responsible Post-holder for Registered Organisation (RO) status for the Centre of Archaeology with the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA)

  • Committee member of the Archaeology and Shakespeare Research Advisory Board

  • Member of Hebridean Archaeology Forum


Kevin has directed and published archaeological projects throughout the United Kingdom and Europe and holds 20 years’ experience in research and professional development-le Kevin’s project portfolio includes major archaeological excavations in many of the UK’s urban centres including London, Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol, archaeological survey and remote sensing on Scottish Islands, and rural archaeological surveys in central Greece.d archaeology. His specialist subjects include archaeological field techniques, urban archaeology and forensic archaeology.

For the past eight years, Kevin has also worked closely with his wife (Dr Caroline Sturdy Colls) on a number of forensic research projects throughout Europe, including the aforementioned projects at Treblinka, Alderney and Staro Sajmiste. He is an active member of the Recording Cultural Genocide and Killing Sites in Jewish Cemeteries and Accessing Campscapes: Inclusive Strategies for Using European Conflicted Heritage projects, bringing his expertise in project management, archaeological field survey and the application of innovative non-invasive techniques to this research. He has also worked with numerous police forces as an external consultant associated with the search for buried human remains and is currently managing a diverse portfolio of major research and commercial projects.

Enterprise and Commercial Activities

Kevin is the Archaeological Project Manager for the Centre of Archaeology. The Centre of Archaeology was formed in October 2013 with the aims of developing both commercial and research activity in archaeology.  The Centre has demonstrated considerable success in responding to many agendas, including those of research, commercial activity, public engagement and outreach. To date, the Centre of Archaeology has successfully completed over 60 externally funded projects ranging from small archaeological work linked to planning archaeology through to large, multi-million pounds European research grants. These include:

  • Marie Curie Fellowship - £146,000 over 2 years to facilitate cutting edge research into visualisation of crime scenes and to enable Italian postdoc to work at Staffs. This project has already been shortlisted for an O2 NextGen Digital Challenge Award as a result of recent media appearances (including Crimewatch Roadshow)

  • HERA Uses of the Past (Campscapes) grant – €178,000 over 3 years from as part of a €1.2m cross-European collaborative project

  • International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (Cemeteries) grant – €67,900 over 2 years

Research Interests

Of his current and recent projects, the highest profile is the prestigious ‘Finding Shakespeare’ Project. This globally important research project focuses upon the novel and innovative archaeological techniques to uncover new evidence of the life of William Shakespeare. This included the excavation of the final residence of William Shakespeare (called New Place; the house in which the Bard passed away), and the first archaeological investigation of Shakespeare’s Tomb using a wide range of advanced non-invasive survey methods. This and other projects have led to several high profile appearances on television programmes for the BBC (Digging for Britain BBC2, and BBC Alba in Scotland), Channel 5 (Treblinka: Hitler’s Killing Machine) and an hour long Time Team special in 2012 (Channel 4)

  • Secret History: Shakespeare’s Tomb, Channel 4. Televised March 2016.
  • Time Team special. Unearthing Shakespeare. Televised March 2012
  • Radio 4 interview regarding work in Poland. Aired Jan 2012
  • ‘Digging for Britain series 2’ 360 Productions presented by Alice Roberts. The Vikings Episode to feature excavations in the Hebrides, 2011. BBC 2
  • Joint lecture with Michael Wood – Stratford Upon Avon Winter School, Jan 2011
  • ‘Digging for Britain series 1’. 360 Productions presented by Alice Roberts. Episode 4 ‘The Tudors’ featured Dig for Shakespeare. BBC2
  • ‘Sacred Soil’ Featured Colls, Harris excavations. BBC ALBA
  • ‘Midlands Today’ March 2010 – Dig for Shakespeare
  • Buzz Magazine (123) front cover and article. University of Birmingham
  • Newspaper articles and references in 2010 includes, the Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, Birmingham Mail, the Coventry Echo, Stratford Herald, Stratford Observer, Stornoway Gazette
  • Radio interviews for BBC Coventry and Warwickshire, BRMB
  • Filming for ‘Inside out’ documentary for the Dig for Shakespeare Project. Midlands Today

Selected Publications

Recent papers

Colls, K.S and Carrick Utsi, E. 2017. The GPR Investigation of the Shakespeare Family Graves. Archaeological Prospection 2017; 24: pp 335-352. Wiley. London

Edmonton, P. Colls, K. and Mitchell, W. 2016. Finding Shakespeare’s New Place. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Paul, S. Colls, K. and Chapman, H. 2015. ‘Living with the Flood: Mesolithic to Post-Medieval Archaeological Remains at Mill Lane, Sawston, Cambridgeshire a Wetland/Dryland Interface. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

Colls K. and Hunter J. 2015. ‘A Changing Hebridean Landscape: Recent Survey And Excavation Along The West Coast of Harris’ International Journal of the North Atlantic, Volume 9, 108-124.

Colls, K. and Mitchell, W. 2013 ‘A cycle of Recession and Recovery AD 1200-1900: Archaeological Investigations at Much Park Street, Coventry’. British Archaeology Report series. Archaeopress

Colls, K. and Hunter J. 2011 ‘Defining the archaeological resource on the Isle of Harris: an assessment of the impact of environmental factors and topography on the identification of buried remains’. In The International Journal of Research into Island Cultures Volume 4, number 2

Colls, K. and Halsted, J. 2010 ‘New evidence for monument reuse in Bronze Age Wales: Archaeological excavation at Llanymynech, Powys, 2007’ Archaeologia Cambrensis 158 69-96

Colls, K. 2011 ‘The Avon Floodplain at Bristol: Excavations at Templar House, Temple Way, in Bristol 2004 and 2005’. Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucester Archaeological Society vol 128 pp 75-122

Colls, K. & Adams, J. 2007  ‘Out of darkness, cometh light. Excavations in the overflow burial ground of St. Peter’s Church, Wolverhampton. British Archaeology Report series 442. Archaeopress
Conference Presentations

  • Finding New Place: Shakespeares’s Lost Family Home
  • Director of Studies: Archaeology of Shakespeare. University of Oxford Centre for Continuing Education, Rewley House, Oxford. January 2012
  • Current Archaeology Conference, British Museum Feb 2011, presenting Dig for Shakespeare
  • European Archaeology Association (EAA) Conference
  • Institute for Archaeologists (IFA) conference
  • Hebridean Archaeology Forum (HAF) Conference
  • Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG) Conference
  • Award winner (best presentation) at Postgraduate Colloquium (University of Birmingham)

Current Teaching

Kevin teaches on a number of undergraduate and postgraduate modules across the University including forensic archaeology, a residential summer school in archaeology, conflict and genocide studies, and practical archaeology.


Kevin Colls
Archaeological Project Manager
Centre of Archaeology
Department of Humanities and Performing Arts
Staffordshire University
L214, Flaxman Building

t: +44 (0)1782 294037