Definitions for kistvaen
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word kistvaen
A stone coffin in the form of a pit covered with earth and surrounded by stones.
a Celtic monument, commonly known as a dolmen
Origin: [W. cist-faen.]
A kistvaen or cistvaen is a tomb or burial chamber formed from flat stone slabs in a box-like shape. If set completely underground, it may be covered by a tumulus. The word is derived from the Welsh cist and maen. The term originated in relation to Celtic structures, typically pre-Christian, but in antiquarian scholarship of the 19th and early 20th centuries it was sometimes applied to similar structures outside the Celtic world. One of the most numerous kinds of kistvaen are the Dartmoor kistvaens. These often take the form of small rectangular pits about 3 ft. long by 2 feet wide. The kistvaens were usually covered with a mound of earth and surrounded by a circle of small stones. When a body was placed in the kistvaen, it was usually lain in a contracted position. Sometimes however the body was cremated with the ashes placed in a cinerary urn.
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