“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in some monument but what is woven into the lives of others.” -Pericles
I visited two cemeteries in Athens; one new and one ancient. We’ve been marking the death of our loved ones with stones and tombs for thousands of years and I wonder if we do this for the living or for the dead. As I wandered the unearthed remains of ancient Keramikos I had the thought of people ten thousand years from now, perhaps, doing the same atop the buriesd sights of my departed ancestors. Some disaster may occur and bury our cities in rubble and dust for people in the far future to find while digging to build some fantastic high rise.
Here is a typical scene on a stone from Keramikos that shows the deceased shaking hands with a family member in a gesture of farewell.
Not much has changed over time. The wealthy had grand memorials while the less well off were buried with modest markers.
After enough time passes, no one is left on earth that remembers us and our markers become neglected and forgotten about.
If you could be in charge of your marker how would it look?