Andrea Berlin, the archaeologist who wrote the catalogue entry for this terra cotta baking dish, recorded its color as “bright orange (2.5YR 6/8).” While the verbal description “bright orange,” is essentially a subjective interpretation, the parenthetical notation “2.5YR 6/8” is a precise, quantifiable, scientific designation. This designation refers to a specific color chip listed in the Munsell Soil-Color Charts, which archaeologists use to record the colors of soil layers and artifacts made from earthen materials. The charts emerge from the work of American painter and art teacher Albert Henry Munsell (1858-1918), who developed a method of systematically communicating color. Munsell based his system on how colors are perceived, using three different properties: hue (a specific color), value (a measure of how light or dark the color is), and chroma (the intensity of the color). Specialized versions of Munsell’s system—like the Soil-Color Charts developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture—are widely used in the sciences. For this pan, “2.5YR” indicates a hue that is 2.5 steps along a yellow-red spectrum; the value “6” locates the color on the lighter end of the chart; and the chroma “8” gives it high intensity. There you have it: “bright orange,” scientifically quantified.
 Berlin in TA II, i, p. 106.
 For an overview of Albert Munsell’s development of his color system, see Edward R. Landa and Mark D. Fairchild, “Charting Color from the Eye of the Beholder: A Century Ago, Artist Albert Henry Munsell Quantified Colors Based on How They Appear to People; Specializations of His System Are Still in Wide Scientific Use,” American Scientist 93, no. 5 (2005): 436–43.