You can create a simple java webapp with this, noting the archetypeArtifactId.
mvn archetype:create -DgroupId=your.namespace -DartifactId=yourwebapp -DarchetypeArtifactId=maven-archetype-webapp
This is create very simple project, with the web descriptor in src/main/webapp/WEB-INF/web.xml. This is where you configure the app, but at the moment there's on the display-name in, which if ever used is only used in IDEs and such descriptively. The src/main/webapp/index.jsp is just some simple HTML, bigger apps it would have java commands delimited with <% %>.
To run this quickly, instead of setting up Tomcat or whatever, you can install the jetty plugin for maven, allowing you to start a small web server to see the webapp quickly. Put this in your pom.xml within the build tag:
<plugins> <plugin> <groupId>org.mortbay.jetty</groupId> <artifactId>maven-jetty-plugin</artifactId> <version>6.1.26</version> </plugin> </plugins>
Now you can run mvn jetty:run and your webapp will be available at http://127.0.0.1:8080/yourwebapp/
Obviously this has not servlets or anything, so it's very basic!