This chapter offers an economic analysis of international and US laws governing recovery of archaeological data from historic shipwrecks. The framework combines values of treasure salvage and archaeological knowledge. It is suggested that US salvage law – sometimes extended to international waters – gives insufficient protection to archaeological value, but that UNESCO’s Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage goes too far in the other direction. Two other legal regimes (government–salvager and inter-state agreements) are shown to have potential to further increase the social values recovered from historic shipwrecks. It is also suggested that a move toward maximizing social values would be promoted if the US admiralty courts tied the size of salvage awards more closely to the quality of the archaeological work performed.