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The social role of decoration may be observed in its differentiated distribution. Differences were noted in presence and formal patterns between the housing complexes at Copán and its outskirts, as well as between individuals attributed to different social strata. In particular, patterns Ik and E are associated with elevated status. However, the incidence of decoration itself neither increases nor decreases with privilege, leading me to suppose that the simple presence or absence of the practice is not relevant as an indicator of social differentiation.

Dental decoration by filing; Dzibilchaltun, Yucatán, Mexico; Postclassic Period.