"Among the societies of Central America, gold ornaments were important symbols of power and prestige that expressed authority and status in life and in death. Made to be suspended around the neck, gold pendants were still worn by local inhabitants of the Caribbean coast when Europeans encountered them at the turn of the 16th century. The Diquís archaeological zone on Costa Rica's southern Pacific coast became a major gold-working area after the technology diffused northward from the Northern Andes, probably about 300 to 500 CE. Goldsmiths of this region favored depiction of birds and animals of a dangerous or predatory nature, and craftsmen cleverly adapted the natural forms of totemic creatures to the functional demands of jewelry. Diquís art styles, both gold and ceramic, have much in common with those of the adjacent Chiriquí region of northwestern Panama—archaeologists often treat them together as the Greater Chiriquí subarea."