Can we envisage an archaeology of the contemporary past? And if so, in what context? To consider the limits of the archaeological field is to ask, in fact, what is the specificity of the discipline: what is archaeology’s project and on what kind of materials and information is it based? Such an approach calls into question established situations, on which the conventional practice of the discipline depends, without overturning presuppositions that have established their authority. For what constitutes the specificity of an archaeology interested in the vestiges of a past still near to us is the relation of proximity maintained regarding places, objects, ways of life or practices that are still ours and still nourish our collective identity. In these conditions, where are the limits to be fixed; where does archaeology begin and end? And to what extent does the archaeological approach to places and things of the present affect our relation to them? Finally, must we approach these remains of the recent past in the same way that we would approach more ancient vestiges of our collective history? Or is it necessary to imagine something else, to conceive of another archaeology and another approach to the remains of the past, one that would take account of the particular situation of the remains of the contemporary past? These are some of the questions to which we should attempt some kind of an answer and which we shall try to grasp as they occur in concrete examples: the mass graves of Argentina or Croatia, the restoring of Auschwitz and, in France, the preservation of the ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane.