There are many theories about the meaning of cup and ring marked stones. Independent researcher Ronald Morris listed 104 possibilities, marking each out of 10 in order of most likely. They included: sacred food and wine holders (5/10) and gaming boards (3/10).
Archaeologists try to understand the carved stones in terms of their archaeological and natural surroundings. They were made between about 6000 and 3500 years ago; their use may have changed over this time.
18.5% Commemorative markers—memorial stones
19% Maps of settlements or field systems
16% Territorial marks
29.8% Purely decorative
16.7% Something else