added by archaeologs A prehistoric coffin containing either a body or ashes, usually made of stone or a hollowed-out tree, of Europe and Asia. The grave might be lined with stones and covered with slabs or enclosed on four sides by stone slabs standing upright and closed with a lid (dolmen). Cists were for one or several burials and could be totally or partly buried. Cist" has also been used in a more general sense to refer to the stone burial place itself. The term also referred to a storage place for sacred objects."