Archaeology is the systematic study of material artifacts in order to glean information not otherwise known. The analysis of material remains and their context can provide us with an additional opportunity to examine history beyond written texts
Historical research focusing on written documents or recorded oral histories provides details and depth to the reconstructions possible through the analysis of material remains. In the same way, the material remains can correct, corroborate, add depth and detail to written documentation and accounts as well as most importantly provide information on individuals, groups, and events which are either not recorded or ignored or obfuscated in written accounts. Therefore the richest retelling and investigations of the past and our best path to examining and querying the past is through a combination of historical and archaeological analysis.
Drew University is situated in an area rich in history both in first nations as well as a center of early European colonization and later industrialization and manufacturing. The major watercourses, and in particular the Passaic River, provided a draw for both the Lena Lenape and early European settlers. In the 19th century, the area became a center for mills and early manufacturing.