BAJR Federation Archaeology
Munsell Charts - Printable Version

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Munsell Charts - BAJR Host - 23rd December 2008

Just a thought... as people often ask where to get these...

was updating my links and resources .. and although they cost 75 quid.. you really should ! shouldn't ya!

"Gie's a Job.."
Prof. 'Dolly' Parton

Munsell Charts - Gilraen - 23rd December 2008

Ah no! No soil charts - ahhh!

Munsell Charts - Oxbeast - 23rd December 2008

Some sort of childhood trauma there, Gilraen? I remember arguing with a colleague for ages over Munsell numbers before we both realised that he was a bit colour blind.

Munsell Charts - monty - 23rd December 2008

You should really ..though they seem not to be used at all in recent years.,.and everyone sees colours differently!

Munsell Charts - BAJR Host - 23rd December 2008

its all 10 YR anyway!

"Gie's a Job.."
Prof. 'Dolly' Parton

Munsell Charts - - 23rd December 2008

I am not convinced that there is a place for Munsell charts in fieldwork at all. I'm sure that if a study were carried out, there would be a significant degree of inter-observer error.

And really, how precise do we *need* to be with our descriptions of colour on context sheets? It all depends on lighting/ moisture/ extent to which the deposit has weathered since being exposed, and what does colour really tell anyone anyway? Sure something like vivianite or a gley deposit might not be recorded as such by an inexperienced digger, and so it's good for the supervisor to see 'blue' on a context sheet and take a look, but does anyone really care if your brown is a 10 YR 3/4 or 10 YR 3/3.

Munsell Charts - monty - 23rd December 2008

Im sure some curators used to insist on the use of Munsell chart colours on context sheets ..?

Munsell Charts - 1man1desk - 23rd December 2008

The point is not to pretend that there isn't variation between observers, but to try to reduce that source of error, and introduce some standardisation in description.

After all, without Munsell, one person's 'green velvet stool' is another person's 'khaki' and a third person's 'greenish buff'.


to let, fully furnished

Munsell Charts - Digitaldigging - 23rd December 2008

£75? What colour is Bovidae faeces?

Munsell Charts - chert - 24th December 2008

Our Unit purchased some soil colour charts that were not Munsell, but used the Munsell number/letter system, but without the "light greenish grey" type description. The beauty of these is they are totally waterproof, printed on plastic, smaller, and I imagine a fraction of the cost. I don't know, but I suspect we may have imported them from the States when the exchange rate was more favourable. As I do not have one to hand I cannot tell you the make.

If you have one person recording on site, then there is less call for a Munsell, as the main call is to distinguish one soil from another. Once you get more than one person recording, you need an agreed common system. Try writing up urban excavations where more than one recorder was involved. It is truly amazing how the same layer can be described in so many different ways and yet be blatantly the same layer in section, plan and photograph!