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This paper examines the seabed's role as alternately an archive of technological feats and failures, and as a resource frontier. Beginning with nautical archaeological paradigms of cultural heritage and their enactment in politically motivated salvage expeditions, I explore how the deep seabed is simultaneously understood as a resource frontier, framing both salvage and seabed mining vis-à-vis settlement frontier imaginaries. I show that within legal regulation of the deep seabed, universal narratives of shared inheritance act in concert with opportunistic recoveries of minerals and archaeological objects. This leads me to posit a salvage-extraction dynamic, in which notions of the archive are superimposed onto the seabed and its extractive possibilities, producing it as a static reserve through which historical as well as progressive narratives emerge.