Research and text by Majorie Webster

Who created the inscribed stone’s makings? Theories abound.
We know that similar stones in the area are attributed to the Wampanoag but experts are not certain that this was true for the Arnold’s Point Stone.
The experts do agree that the holes were definitely manmade employing a time consuming process with rudimentary tools. They also agree that the carvings show considerable age.

In place at Arnold’s Point

Underlying the uncertainty is that the holes are deeper than traditional cups and the connecting grooves are even cruder than the cups.
One theory is that it is a true cup stone! – but that the cups were “enhanced” in the 1880s leaving the channels untouched.

Could this have been done, just as we trace over fading writing with an effort to preserve rather than to vandalize or deceive?
Could coal miners in the area have used their tools in their idle moments to alter the cups?

This is but one theory. We recognize that if true, an altered artifact relocated from its original location is not ideal. Yet we are grateful that it is preserved and that you are able to view it on the grounds of the Portsmouth Historical Society today.