One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An ancient coffin or burial chamber made from stone or a hollowed tree.
coffin, boxView synonyms
- ‘The cremation graves at Vronda all have multiple burials within the same cist grave.’
- ‘Excavations revealed a sarsen stone cist containing a cremation burial accompanied by a bronze awl and a jet pendant.’
- ‘He pointed at long flat slabs resting on stone kists.’
- ‘They were located at one end of a stone burial cist, which was covered with a cairn.’
- ‘Some bodies were laid out straight, some crouched; some in stone cists, others in hollows in the rubble.’
2A box used in ancient Greece for sacred utensils.
Early 19th century: from Latin cista, from Greek kistē ‘box’; sense 1 via Welsh.
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