Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, Vol 4, No 1 (2017)

Material Life Histories of the Missile Crisis (1962): Cuban Examples of a Soviet Nuclear Missile Hangar and US Marston Mats

Anders Gustafsson, Javier Iglesias Camargo, Håkan Karlsson, Gloria M. Miranda González
Issued Date: 4 Dec 2017


This article presents new findings from a contemporary archaeology project that has been exploring the Missile Crisis (1962) and its material and immaterial remains in Cuba since 2005. The project is a cooperation between Swedish archaeologists and Cuban archaeologists, anthropologists and historians, and its primary aim is to complement the dominant narrative of the crisis with material and immaterial remains and memories in a way that approaches and explains the event “from below”. The current text focuses on the life histories of a Soviet nuclear missile hangar located at El Cacho, one of the former Soviet nuclear missile sites located in Los Palacios, and of the US Marston mats that can be found at a number of locations in farmsteads and villages surrounding the former missile sites in the Los Palacios and San Cristóbal areas. The life histories of these objects in western Cuba present the reader with new insights concerning the crisis that until now have been more or less concealed and unknown, contributing new complementary dimensions to the understanding of the Missile Crisis while also challenging the stereotypes constructing the dominant narrative.

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DOI: 10.1558/jca.31181


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