Buckeye Lake mammoth cupule stone #1 (of 2) was found in the disturbed soil of new subdivision road construction activities, on the south shore of Buckeye Lake, Perry County, Ohio. Cupules, often identified by mid-west American archaeologists and collectors as "nutting stones," or "paint cups," or "grinding hollows," often appear to have had very limited or no evidence of use as tools. The Buckeye Lake, Ohio, examples have discernible peck marks lining the cups, seemingly untouched by human action since the time they were created. The 3 cups on the 2 stones seem to have been created under a preconceived idealistic form within definable size and shape parameters. This raises the possibility they are in fact symbolic cupules and were never used to crack nuts open.
Visual arts Cork (Ireland) web page on prehistoric cupules
To date, only a few proboscidian images have been documented in North America. Examples are the Old Vero Beach Mammoth/mastodon (Purdy at. al. 2010), the Utah petroglyph recently described by Malotki and Wallace (2011), and Juan Armenta's 1959 find in Mexico. Please see Pleistocene Coalition News, several issues, link is on right screen panel for free newsletter. These images are all similar in that they are glyphic representations by use of incisions or organized pecking ("A line is a dot that went for a walk" -Paul Klee) made on stone or bone. They are essentially "line drawings" of proboscideans. Archaeological investigators would do well to consider the possibility of such imagery expressed in portable rock sculpture form, often "almost invisible" (A. Day), subtle to our visual-media-saturated brains, invoking only the most essential visual elements to allow one to "assemble a picture," often incorporating natural stone forms, which can signal recognition and signification of these awsome animals by America's earliest human inhabitants. All art requires some level of participation on the part of the receiver. My opinion is archaeologists need to participate a little more in order to begin to understand what art so far removed in time from us is all about. As Ohio figure stone investigator Alan Day of the Day's Knob site has taught, "Know what you see, don't just see what you know."
To establish precedent creation of single cupule, portable, zoomorphic sculptures, from Neolithic age in Europe please see Don's Maps site for photos of "Altar from house No. 45, Lepenski Vir Ib, carved in the likeness of a fish, possibly a carp. Photo: "Lepenski Vir" by Dragoslav Srejović 1972." The site is located in modern day Serbia.