New World Archaeological Foundation
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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. 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 Foundations advisor committee of five was M. Wells Jakeman. The NWAF became part of BYU in 1961.