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Small stone-built coffin-like box, ossua or dolmen / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A cist (/ˈkɪst/; also kist /ˈkɪst/;[1][2] from Greek: κίστη, Middle Welsh Kist 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. Several cists are sometimes found 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.

Kistvaen on the southern edge of Dartmoor in Drizzlecombe (England) showing the capstone and the inner cist structure.

This old word is preserved in the Nordic languages as "kista" in Swedish and "kiste" in Danish and Norwegian, where it is the word for a funerary coffin.[7][8][9] In English it is related to "cistern".[10]