Cists

For the Mediterranean flower, see Cistaceae. For the American Civil War general, see Henry M. Cist. For a sac of tissue in the body, see Cyst.


A cist (/ˈsɪst/ or /ˈkɪst/; also kist /ˈkɪst/;[1][2] from Greek: κίστη or Germanic Kiste) is a small stone-built coffin-like box or ossuary used to hold the bodies of the dead. Examples can be found across Europe and in the Middle East.[3][4][5][6] A cist may have been associated with other monuments, perhaps under a cairn or long barrow. It would not be uncommon to find several cists close together within the same cairn or barrow. Often ornaments have been found within an excavated cist, indicating the wealth or prominence of the interred individual.

In Devonshire a local word for a cist in Modern Cornish is kistvaen. There are numerous Dartmoor kistvaens.

In the Welsh language (whose origins, like Cornish, are from the ancient British or Brythonic language line), cist is also used for such ancient graves, but in modern use, can also mean a chest, a coffer, a box,[7] or even the boot / trunk of a car.[8]

Regional examples

Scotland
  • Balblair cist, Beauly, Inverness
  • Dunan Aula, Craignish, Argyll and Bute
  • Holm Mains Farm, Inverness

See also

References

External links

  • Pretanic World - Chart of Neolithic, Bronze Age and Celtic Stone Structures

Template:Prehistoric technology

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