Elements of the Kryptos Installation

The most famous part of the Kryptos installation is the copper screen, which has letters cut out of it. However, there are other elements in the installation that are important to solving the code.

The Zola International Spy Museum, based in Washington, DC, sells a miniature reproduction of the Kryptos copper screen. Included with the miniature is a note that says that to crack the codes, an understanding of the entire Kryptos ensemble is essential. This page lists all of the elements of the Kryptos installation.

Locations of the Elements

The Kryptos installation is on the grounds of the New Headquarters Building of the CIA in Langley, Virginia. Some of the elements are located along the walkway leading to the entrance of the New Headquarters Building. The remaining elements are located in the courtyard of the New Headquarters Building.

List of Kryptos Elements

Outside the New Headquarters Building

  • Three granite outcroppings
  • Copper plates with International Morse code, sandwiched between the granite slabs
  • A lodestone
  • A compass dial etched on a slab, with the needle pointing at the lodestone

Inside the Courtyard

  • Another granite outcropping, aligned with and parallel to the first three
  • A large, calm pool of water adjacent to the above outcropping.
  • The copper screen that is perforated with the encrypted message and Vigenèries Tableaux
  • A petrified tree that frames the copper screen.
  • A turbulent pool of water that frames the copper screen.