The gathering of existing things and the contemplation of their being with the aim of regaining the beginning. Such a reformulation would point to the shift of emphasis from knowing to being, from epistemology to ontology. The ontological perspective would also enable us to speak not so much of studying (analyzing) the past as of thinking about the past which opens to Being. Defined in this way, archaeontology would be a ‘prophetic’ discipline, directed at the future rather than the past. Speaking of ‘a prophetic discipline’, I do not mean, of course, that archaeontologists should predict the future on the basis of divinely imparted knowledge or their own superhuman abilities, but that their words might as it were ‘forthtell the future’.