A chambered cairn is a burial monument, usually constructed during the Neolithic, consisting of a sizeable (usually stone) chamber around and over which a cairn of stones was constructed. Some chambered cairns are also passage-graves. They are found throughout Britain and Ireland, with the largest number in Scotland.
Typically, the chamber is larger than a cist, and will contain a larger number of interments, which are either excarnated bones or inhumations (cremations). Most were situated near a settlement, and served as that community's "graveyard".
During the early Neolithic (4000–3300 BC) architectural forms are highly regionalised with timber and earth monuments predominating in the east and stone-chambered cairns in the west. During the later Neolithic (3300–2500 BC) massive circular enclosures and the use of grooved ware and Unstan ware pottery emerge. Scotland has a particularly large number of chambered cairns; they are found in vario