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From pyramids to pixels: the evolution of legacy in the digital age

KR: The Egyptian pharaohs built pyramids and elaborate tombs to pass on their significance and memory to posterity.

Today, digital monuments in the form of websites can transcend death. Please try to compare the depictions of the pharaohs with the inexpensive options that people have today when they leave websites on the internet for posterity.

ChatGPT: The comparison between the monumental tombs of the Egyptian pharaohs and today’s digital monuments on the internet shows both the cultural and technological differences as well as the common efforts to preserve memory and meaning beyond death. Here is a detailed look at these two approaches:

  1. Cultural significance and purpose

Pharaonic pyramids and tombs:

  • Symbol of power and eternity: The pyramids were an expression of divine power and the pharaohs’ claim to eternal life. They served not only as tombs, but also as monuments of strength and kingship.
  • Complexity and resources: Building a pyramid required enormous resources, labour and time. The pyramids were masterpieces of engineering and symbolised the importance of the pharaoh.
  • Care of the estate: In addition to the pyramids, extensive burial practices were often also practised, such as the veneration and care of the tomb over centuries.

Digital monuments today:

  • Personal memories and legacies: Websites and digital memorials offer everyone the opportunity to document their lives and memories and preserve them for posterity. This ranges from biographical information to multimedia content, stories and photos.
  • Access and individuality: Unlike the exclusive and expensive monuments of the pharaohs, digital monuments can be created by almost anyone, often with minimal effort and cost. They allow a personal and individual representation of a person’s life and values.
  • Continuous interaction: Digital monuments allow friends and family to interact continuously, share memories and keep the memory alive, which is often only possible through visits to physical monuments.
  1. Technological implementation

Pyramids and ancient architecture:

  • Construction and innovation: The construction of the pyramids required advanced techniques and logistical skills. The precision and size of the pyramids are still impressive today and testify to the technical abilities of the ancient Egyptians.
  • Preservation and longevity: These monuments were built to last and have often survived for thousands of years, emphasising their role as a lasting reminder.

Digital memorials:

  • Easy to create and maintain: Modern content management systems and websites make it possible to create digital memorials quickly and cost-effectively. Platforms such as WordPress, social media or specialised memorials offer user-friendly solutions.
  • Flexibility and up-to-dateness: Digital memorials can be easily updated and expanded. Multimedia content such as videos, images and texts can be added to convey a comprehensive picture of the deceased.
  • Long-term storage: While digital content can theoretically exist indefinitely, its long-term preservation depends on the maintenance of the digital infrastructure and migration to future technologies.
  1. Social and personal impacts

Pharaohs and social structures:

  • Hierarchy and elitism: The monuments of the pharaohs were closely linked to the social hierarchy and were only available to the elite. They represented the power structure and religious system of ancient Egypt.
  • Community and religion: The pyramids also served as places of worship and were a central part of the religious practices of the community.

Modern digital memories:

  • Democratisation of memory: Today, anyone can create a digital memorial, regardless of social status or wealth. This democratisation enables a broader representation and recognition of individual stories.
  • Global access and networking: Digital memorials are accessible worldwide and enable global networking and participation. Families and friends from all over the world can participate and share their memories.
  • Personal freedom of expression: Digital platforms offer everyone the opportunity to tell their own story from their own perspective and to preserve their own identity after death.
  1. Costs and effort

Pharaonic buildings:

  • Enormous costs and resources: Building a pyramid was an immense investment in terms of time, labour and materials. Resources from all over the country were mobilised to erect these monuments.
  • Long-term investments: Construction often took decades, and the maintenance and protection of the tombs over centuries also required considerable resources.

Digital memorials:

  • Low cost: Creating a website or a digital memorial is comparatively cheap and often even free. Platforms often offer simple and cost-effective solutions.
  • Easy maintenance: Digital content requires less physical effort in maintenance, but relies on technological maintenance and updates to remain accessible in the long term.


While the pyramids of the pharaohs serve as enduring symbols of the power, religion and social order of ancient Egypt, modern digital monuments provide an accessible and flexible way to preserve personal memories and stories. The digital world democratises heritage, enabling anyone, regardless of wealth or status, to create and preserve a lasting memory for future generations. The techniques may have changed, but the human need to be remembered beyond death remains a constant cultural and personal motivation.

Source text

The right-hand part of the title image is taken from Konrad Rennert’s diploma thesis and complements the image created with Dall E3, which was created with the help of the designer based on the text above.

Course offering

The author plans to offer a course from September onwards, in which registered authors can familiarise themselves with the use of AI on the website The registration fee for the first 10 participants is 10 euros. If there are more than 10 participants, the course fee increases by 1 euro per active author on the platform mentioned. The duration is unlimited. There are no further costs for active authors/participants. An author’s/participant’s access to the platform will automatically expire if no publication has been made within the last 30 days that has been commented on by at least 10% of the other authors.

This article was written in German and translated into English using the DeepL translator: