stelae; steles

An ancient, upright stone monument is called a stele. Many stelae were carved with inscriptions and used as grave markers.

These tall slabs played an important role in the traditions of ancient Greece, Egypt, Somalia, and more. In addition to its potential use as a gravestone, a stele might be used as a territory or boundary marker, or even a way to publicize new laws or a ruler's military successes. The word derives from the Greek stēlē, "standing block." In botany, a stele is the upright core of a vascular plant.

Definitions of stele
  1. noun
    an ancient upright stone slab bearing markings
    synonyms: stela
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    Rosetta Stone
    a part of an inscribed granite stela that was originally about six feet tall and was set up in 196 BC; the inscriptions in hieroglyphics and Demotic and Greek gave the first clues to the decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphics
    type of:
    an artifact surviving from the past
    building material consisting of a piece of rock hewn in a definite shape for a special purpose
  2. noun
    the usually cylindrical central vascular portion of the axis of a vascular plant
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    type of:
    vascular tissue
    tissue that conducts water and nutrients through the plant body in higher plants
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