Female flower and cupule
structure in Balanopaceae, an enigmatic rosid family.
These include the face motifs, the visual similarity in form between cupules
and dentate impressions in pottery, the use of curvilinear designs, and stylistic traits such as concentricity (Wilson 2002: 210).
At maturity, the husks or cupules of all of these species dehisce, and the nuts fall to the ground, where nut harvesters have easy access to them.
The inflorescence of Fagus and Castanea, and the evolution of the cupules of the fagaceae.
The relatively small (10-15 mm diameter), ovoid-triangular nuts are produced in a four-valved, leathery cupule that is usually covered with short, recurved appendages.
Analogous to the way in which the clapping of hands, the stamping of feet, and the sound of rattles assist shamans to cross the threshold between mental states during trance performances, the incessant percussive noise resulting from the striking of rock gongs and from the manufacture of cupules
and pecked engraved images may have had a similarly trance-inducing effect (e.
It has been argued that cupules represent a very early art form in Australia (Bednarik 1993; Welch 1993) and in other parts of the world (Bednarik 1996; Kumar 1996; see also Tacon et al.
It is therefore likely that these radiating forms functioned differently from the adjacent mazes, grids and cupules that may have earlier origins.
True cupules are cup-shaped non-utilitarian marks (Flood 1997: 145-6).
We classify cupules as a form of 'rock-art', in contrast to Rosenfeld (1992), Flood (1997; in press) who would argue they are a form of 'rock-mark' that includes such things as hand stencils, incised and abraded grooves, battered or pounded rims, and so forth, made under socially different circumstances.
On the other hand, pecked cupules
are a more secure or direct form of evidence for rock-art than ochre in sediments.
Some archaeologically visible parts of acorns, particularly the cupules
and shells, may never reach residential bases if they are removed prior to transport (Metcalfe & Barlow 1992).