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Modeling Cross-Cultural Interaction in Ancient Borderlands$
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Ulrike Matthies Green and Kirk E. Costion

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780813056883

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813056883.001.0001

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Conspicuous Consumption in Ancient Costa Rica and Panama

Conspicuous Consumption in Ancient Costa Rica and Panama

(p.143) 7 Conspicuous Consumption in Ancient Costa Rica and Panama
Modeling Cross-Cultural Interaction in Ancient Borderlands

Scott Palumbo

University Press of Florida

This chapter considers the mechanisms by which sumptuary art was deposited in mortuary contexts across southern Central America. Rather than indicating elite dominance, it is argued that the production and procurement of mortuary art promoted a factionalized political landscape. The burial of staggering quantities of goods may be interpreted as deflationary attempts to limit the capital available to rivals. Such practices may have promoted a zeitgeist of conspicuous consumption that frustrated attempts at further political consolidation in the Isthmus.

Keywords:   Sumptuary art, Mortuary art, Central America

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