The NWAF papers are reports of field work and of studies of subjects related to Mesoamerican (southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and western Honduras) archaeology. The Papers are written by archaeologists as reports of their work. The Papers are published irregularly as the reports are completed.

The New World Archaeological Foundation was organized in 1952 with the stated purpose of studying Preclassic archaeology (from about A.D. 200 and earlier) in Mesoamerica. Although there are exceptions, most of the reports have dealt with this early period. The NWAF is the foreign archaeological organization with the longest continued presence in Mexico. The Foundation has an excellent reputation among other archaeologists working in Mesoamerica. Its publications are referenced extensively by others.