Cupule stone

  • Pierre à cupules


On the west of the Villard, is located a carved rock or called a « Pierre à cupules » (cupule stone).
This bloc of sandstone of thin grain, a triangular form measure 1.80 meters at his longest dimension. On the surface, we can count up to sixty isolated cupules that measure from 2 to 9centimetres.
Others cupules are the end points of figures, the most representative being two ploughs, a cross, a man…Around this carved rock, spreaded on the ledge, we can find seven other rocks of smaller dimension, having cupules as well but no representations on them. The meaning of some representation, like the set itself, is unknown for now.
« Les Pierres à Cupules » (coming from Latin « small cup ») or the bowls are erratic blocks, even often rocks or rocky outcrops on which some half-hemispherical cavities have been graved, more or less digged. These cavities are most of the time on the upper face of the rocks. It doesn’t matter which megaliths these cupules are on, they are generally placed on the slope exposed to the sun and on dominating places. These « Pierre à cupules » are all around Europe, mostly in the northern provinces and we can find them as far as India.
There are a lot in Rhône-Alpes ; were they used for astronomical initiation, for ritual ceremonies (cupules) or sacrifices (bowls) ? A lot of historians are left guessing what it really is about but we can place their origin in the Neolithic (between -5000 and -2500 BC), prehistory period marked by deep social and technical mutation, linked to the adoption by groups of human to an economy of production based on the agriculture and the cattle breeding implying most of the time settling down. The principal technical innovations are the generalization of the rock-polished tools. The Feissons-sur-Salins rock is of an exceptional quality.
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  • Main facilities :
    • Historic site and monument
  • Historical patrimony :
    • Historic patrimony
    • Ruins and remains
Cupule stone
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Pierres à cupules
GPS coordinates
Latitude : 45.474101
Longitude : 6.545387
  • Environment :
    • Mountain location


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