The 2001 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage represents a major step forward in the field of international law. New archaeological rules as well as a comprehensive co-operation system among the States concerned are set up by the new Convention. Despite the negative attitude assumed by few States at the moment of voting for the text of the Convention, this new international instrument is welcome by the great majority of States.This volume focuses on the main aspects of the Convention. It is divided in two parts, to describe the situation before and after the adoption (and the forthcoming into force) of the Convention. In the first part the contradictions resulting from the regime established under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea are analysed together with the undesirable results of the application of the rules of admiralty (law of salvage and law of finds) to the underwater cultural heritage. In the second part the negotiation process is described, both in its general aspects (the myths surrounding the draft) and in its specific results (the drafting of each single provision).