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Soviet ship carrying crates holding Komar guided-missile patrol boats on their way to Cuba, September 1962

Crateology was the 'science' of identifying the contents of Soviet shipments to the Island of Cuba carried out by the Central Intelligence Agency during the Cuban Missile Crisis.[1]

Crateology has declined as a discipline in recent years due to globalisation and the decline in the usage of custom made wooden crates in favour of standard metal shipping containers. As well as making the world 'flatter' and smaller', globalisation has resulted in the loss of not merely a science, but a 'beautiful art form'.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kessler, R. (1994). Inside the CIA. Pocket Books. ISBN 978-0-671-73458-9.
  2. ^ D. Salisbury (2009). The Crate Escape: Packaging and its Typonomy and Taxonomy Throughout The Cold War.