Disadvantages of radiocarbon dating
Instead, there were potentially a series of candidates whose legitimacy was validated through success.
One series of sons or even brothers of the deceased ruler would compete with one another, politically and perhaps even militarily, to take over the position of leader of the society.
For example, they moved around a large fraction of the population—somewhere in the range of three million people, maybe as many as five million.They did this by resettling people in agriculturally productive areas or in areas that were military hotspots.Or they broke groups up as a means of diffusing the potential for political insurrection.[The late anthropologist] John Murra made an argument some years ago that the way the Incas presented their notion of leadership to the people who they were trying to incorporate into the empire was by saying that they, the Incas, were really nothing more than local lords written on a grand scale.
There were mutual obligations, in which the local, non-Inca lord owed hospitality, protection, and military and sacred leadership to the local society, and the society owed its labor and allegiance in return.If we can draw an analogy, if we think of the exploits of Alexander the Great, who's thought of as being one person who created a great empire basically on his own, we have to remember that his father, Philip of Macedon, had actually spent several decades developing the military tactics and the political strategies that allowed him to incorporate all of Macedonia and Greece, which became the launching pad for Alexander. We can't think of any societies that were larger than maybe 40,000 or 50,000 people maximum at the time the Incas began their expansion.