Understanding new technologies takes time. Typically, we progress in gradual stages of understanding, beginning with a metaphorical stage, in which we compare new processes to others that we already understand and ending with a thorough knowledge of the technology in itself. We know in some detail how certain works have survived from ancient times to the present day, having crossed cultural and political boundaries in both space and time, and outlasted not only the cultures that created them, but also many of the societies that passed them on. It seems reasonable then to wonder whether there are examples we can apply to digital sustainability to help us begin to understand how digital works might be preserved indefinitely.