They may have been used as grinding basins or for ceremonial purposes, as some cultures still use them today.
However, as they are one of the most numerous forms of prehistoric carvings and served a wide range of purposes, it is reasonable to believe that at least some served an artistic or aesthetic purpose.
The oldest example is found in the Bhimbetka Caves in central India.
Because of telling conditions in the cave, at least two of the cupules almost certainly date back to the Lower Paleolithic, and there is evidence that the remaining nine examples all come from a similar period.
Art is almost as old as people, and at our best, we seek to protect and preserve it wherever we find it.The older it is, the more precious it is, because of what it can teach us about people long gone.