Word For The Day 3-28-2017

kistvaen

kist·vaen \ˈkistˌvīn\
Popularity: Bottom 10% of words

Definition

tomb or burial chamber formed from flat stone slabs in a box-like shape.

Did You Know

Used in late Neolithic and early Bronze Age, i.e. from c 2500 BC to c 1500 BC. Kistvaens have been found in many places, including Dartmoor, a 954 km (368 square miles) area of moorland in south Devon, England. The box-like stone tombs were created when the ancient people of the area lived in hut circles. Cists are often to be found in the centre of a cairn circle although some appear solitary which could be the result of the loss of an original slight mound. There are over 180 known cists on Dartmoor although there could be up to 100 that remain buried underneath unexplored cairns. In the South West there are no cists to be found on the Quantock Hills, only 2 to be found on Exmoor and 58 to be found on Bodmin Moor. The Dartmoor cists are unique in that about 94% have the longer axis of the tomb oriented in a NW/SE direction It appears that Dartmoor cists were positioned in such a way that the deceased were facing the sun.

Origin

1705-15; < Welsh cist faen stone coffin, equivalent tocist coffin (see cist) + faen, lenited form of maenstone; see menhir

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