1st Student's Major

History, Anthropology, Honors Program, Geography

1st Student's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Students' Professional Biography

Marius Vold is a Nontraditional, International, Honors student from Skien, Norway, majoring in Anthropology and History, with a focus in Archaeology and World History, and with a Certificat in Geoarchaeology. Marius is also in the Accelerated Advanced Degree Program for Anthropology, allowing him to start working on his Masters of Science Degree in Anthropology and Graduate Certificat in GIS, while finishing up his Batchelor Degree. Outside of his education, he is also involved in the university's supplementary instructions program, MavPASS, as both a Leader and Peer Mentor. His long-term goal is to pursue a Ph.D., and go into research and teaching in higher education.

Mentor's Name

Chad McCutchen

Mentor's Email Address


Mentor's Department


Mentor's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences


The ruling elite amongst the indigenous groups of the Andes region, often referred to as the Incas, were, before European contact, a non-literal society. Therefore, our understanding of their religious beliefs pertaining to the relationship between life and death, and the intricate relationship between this belief system and the environment surrounding the Inca is heavily influenced by post-European contact, often clouded by European propaganda and a lack of cultural relativism. This project aims at exploring the relationship between the hydrological cycle and the Incan empirical and nonempirical worlds by comparing and synthesizing post-European contact written records, ethnohistorical records, archeological evidence, and geophysical data, looking at it through the lens of environmental archeology, anthropology of religion, and ethnohistory, by looking at how this relationship is reflected in the Inca concept of places connected to the nonempirical world known as wak’as, such as the Incan mummies known as mallki. By examining and analyzing these connections we gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of how the Incan spiritual beliefs reflected their adaptation to the environment surrounding them, and, thus, gain insight into how human belief systems shape and are shaped by the environment surrounding cultures due to the pressures the environment puts on them.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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