Radiometric and visual techniques are compared as quantitative methods for determining pottery color. An analysis of 52 prehistoric sherds selected at random from a multicomponent site indicates an increase in the accuracy and efficiency in determining color using a spectroradiometer over subjective visual observations. Further, radiometric data can be transformed to CIE chromaticity coordinates and Munsell color from spectral reflectance curves and analyzed directly to access quantitative accuracy. The color, or spectral reflectance, of filter paper samples and a subset of the sherds measured by a standard field radiometer were strongly correlated with measurements of color derived from a low-cost, PC-based color sensor traditionally used in graphic arts applications. Radiometric data were compared with visual observations of Munsell color conducted by two archaeologists. The two methods were most similar in estimates of value and chroma. The human observers differed widely in their estimates of hue. The radiometric approach provides more consistent and exact measurements of color than does visual observation, providing archaeologists with an efficient, effective, and a potential low-cost method to determine an important common attribute of artifacts.