Mortuary Theatrics and Chiefly Power in Panama and Costa Rica

Author(s): Scott Palumbo; Laura Brodie

Year: 2016


This paper explores the mechanisms by which sumptuary art was deposited in mortuary contexts in parts of southern Central America. Rather than signal the existence of ”eliteness” or chiefly office, it is argued that the production and procurement of mortuary art was one feature of a factionalized political landscape. The burial of staggering quantities of this artwork 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.

Cite this Record

Mortuary Theatrics and Chiefly Power in Panama and Costa Rica. Scott Palumbo, Laura Brodie. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403262)


Geographic Keywords
Central America

Spatial Coverage

min long: -94.702; min lat: 6.665 ; max long: -76.685; max lat: 18.813 ;