Claire Conrad

PhD Researcher

Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies
Room 3.016
Niebuhrstraße 5
D-53113 Bonn
+49 228 73 62566

Member of
© Barbara Frommann

Academic Profile

The Andes are an environment filled with living beings, humans and non-humans alike. The sphere of non-humans presents many similar traits to human society, including a hierarchy, characters with individual personalities and motivations, and therefore these beings interacted on a regular basis with the human sphere. These non-humans were a variety of landscape features of different sizes as well as human-made objects. Regular interactions between individual humans and communities with these entities was necessary to gain protection from them. As such, especially the most important non-humans, mountain peaks called apus, were in a reciprocal relationship with communities living in their vicinity and within their sphere of sight. Visibility and sight are an important trait in this relationship, because everything within the view of an apu could be considered as being in its sphere of influence and thereby could be impacted positively or negatively depending on its temper.

This doctoral investigation focusses on the connection between the Andean communities and this living landscape, especially the powerful apus, and how the Inka state used architecture in order to interrupt this link. By constructing new settlements and complexes with state functions, the Inka changed the chains of visibility and thereby could influence the perception of powerful non-humans in the landscape. Additionally, architectural structures such as canals and terraces were a way to restrict the body of these entities, heightening the superhuman power that permitted the Inka to bring order to a perceived chaotic world.

Ph.D. in Anthropology of the Americas, Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies, University of Bonn, Germany

M.A. in Anthropology of the Americas, University of Bonn, Germany

M.A. in Archaeology and Heritage, University of Leicester, England

B.A. in Ancient American Studies, Ethnology and Archaeology, University of Bonn, Germany

since 2020             
Research Associate in Research Group The Archaeology of Dependency (ArchDepth): Resources, Power and Status Differentiation, University of Bonn, Germany

Student Assistant, Department for Anthropology of the Americas, University of Bonn, Germany

Student Assistant in the archaeological project "Beni/Bolivien" at the Commission for Archaeology of Non-European Cultures (KAAK), Bonn, Germany

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