While not exactly intuitive, the sympolic meaning of paper covering a rock dates back to ancient Chinese culture. When a petition was made to the Emperor, the petition was signified by a rock.Upon making a decision the Emperor would have his servants place a sheaf of paper either over or under the rock. If the sheaf was placed under the rock it would signify acceptance of the petition. If the sheaf was placed on top of the rock it signified denial of the petition. Over time the symbolic image of paper covering a rock became synonomous with defeat.