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A wave of new research is supporting this second view. Charles Stanish and Abigail Levine, archaeologists at the University of California, Los Angeles, have traced the rise of the pristine states that preceded the Inca empire. The first villages in the region were formed some 3,500 years ago. Over the next 1,000 years, some developed into larger regional centers, spaced about 12 to 15 miles apart. Then, starting around 500 B.C., signs of warfare emerged in the form of trophy heads and depictions of warriors, the two archaeologists report in last week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.