New World Archaeological Foundation

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"NWAF" redirects here. For the annual beer festival in the UK, see National Winter Ales Festival.

The New World Archaeological Foundation (NWAF) is an archaeological organization run by Brigham Young University.

The NWAF was organized in 1952 for the purpose of supporting archaeological research into pre-Columbian cultures of Mesoamerica. It was founded by Thomas Stuart Ferguson, Alfred V. Kidder and Harvard University professor Gordon Willey. It was initially incorporated in California as a private organization with Ferguson in charge of fund-raising. The first project by the NWAF was headed by Pedro Armillas with archaeological studies along the Grijalva River.[1]

As early as 1953 the NWAF received funding from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However it has always remained an archaeological foundation that includes many people not members of that church and does not attempt to address issues related to the Book of Mormon. Initially the only Latter-day Saint on the Foundation's advisory committee of five was M. Wells Jakeman. It also included Kidder, Willey, Armillas and Gordon F. Eckholm.[2]

The NWAF became part of BYU in 1961.

The foundation has since been heavily involved with archaeological studies at such locations as Izapa, San Isidro, El Mirador, Paso de la Amada, and most recently again at Chiapa de Corzo.

As of 2009 the NWAF was directed by Donald W. Forsyth, Professor of Anthropology at Brigham Young University. He succeeded John E. Clark who was the director for many years.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Peterson (2004), p.225
  2. ^ Peterson (2004), pp.231–232


Adams, Richard E.W. (2000). "Introduction to a Survey of the Native Prehistoric Cultures of Mesoamerica". In Richard E.W. Adams and Murdo J. Macleod (eds.). The Cambridge History of the Native Peoples of the Americas, Vol. II: Mesoamerica, part 1. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 1–44. ISBN 0-521-57392-0. OCLC 185315758.  Invalid |name-list-format=scap (help)
Peterson, Daniel C. (2004). "On the New World Archaeological Foundation" (PDF ONLINE REPRODUCTION). The FARMS Review (Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies) 16 (1): pp.221–233. ISSN 1550-3194. OCLC 55125778.  Invalid |name-list-format=scap (help)

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