See caption
Bronze Age cist at Drizzlecombe in Devon, showing the capstone
Wikimedia Commons

A cist, from the Latin cista, meaning “box” or “chest”, is a prehistoric stone-built chamber used to contain the bodies of the dead. It may have been excavated in the rock, or formed by stone slabs set on their sides, topped by one or more horizontal slabs.[1]

Cists are often concealed beneath a cairn,[2] or barrow mound.[3] Among long barrows in northwestern Europe the chamber might be divided into a series of compartments, a type of structure known as a segmented cist.[4]