04 January 2013

Enigmatic rocks popularly called "nutting stones" may be art cupules with symbolic meaning in the tradition of the world's oldest rock art


Found while dredging soils during mineral prospecting and recognized as an artifact. These forms are regularly called "nutting stones" with the assumption they were used for placement of nuts to secure them for cracking them open.  However, they do not seem to exhibit the use wear from pounding one might expect on such nut crackers. They may be symbolic art pieces in a world-wide tradition of the earliest known rock art and with significant cultural meaning.

Illustration of a stone slab from La Ferrassie, France, a Neanderthal site where this piece covered a tomb as a sepulcher stone.


This example found by Paleojoe and posted on TreasureNet, Adams County, Ohio, may support Ken Johnston's hypothesis that some Ohio portable cupule stones were made on rough mammoth profile shaped rocks. It has a flat "base" it would stand upright on and then the mammoth profile may be seen with the artifact in that orientation (similar to the photo seen above).

Lynn Yoder's Indiana find (top photo) is plausibly also a rough mammoth profile with hind end at left and the curved trunk of a mammoth head at the edge on the right.

-kbj

1 comment:

  1. I found a chunk of sandstone, very similar to Lynn Yoder's here in Indiana as well. It has a center "divot" with several other ones quite symmetrically placed around the larger, center one. On the flip side, there are more divots aligned in two perpendicular lines creating a "cross." There are other holes placed on the sides, etc...but I have not been able to find anyone that can tell me exactly what it is except commonly called the "nutting stone." Anyone out there able to tell me more about this? I have pictures!

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