Colour Schemes for Archaeological Data Visualization

Colour schemes for archaeological data visualization. This package provides Paul Tol's colour schemes and several thematic palettes (geologic timescale, land cover, FAO soils, etc.) with scales for 'ggplot2'.

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khroma is a utility package: it provides usefull colour schemes for archaeological data visualization. khroma provides Paul Tol's colour schemes and several thematic palettes (geologic timescale, FAO Soil Reference Groups, etc.) with scales for ggplot2.


Install the released version of khroma from CRAN:


Or install the development version from GitHub with:



Paul Tol's Colour Schemes

Paul Tol offers carefully chosen schemes, ready for each type of data, with colours that are:

  • distinct for all people, including colour-blind readers;
  • distinct from black and white;
  • distinct on screen and paper;
  • matching well together.

All the scales presented in his 2018 technical note [1] are implemented here, for use with graphics or ggplot2.

Qualitative data

Diverging data

Sequential data

Scientific colour schemes

The following scientific colour schemes are available:

  • International Chronostratigraphic Chart
  • FAO Soil Reference Groups

More will be added in future releases (suggestions are welcome).

[1] Tol, Paul (2018). Colour Schemes. SRON. Technical Note No. SRON/EPS/TN/09-002. URL:


Reference manual

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1.1.3 by Nicolas Frerebeau, 15 days ago,,

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Browse source code at

Authors: Nicolas Frerebeau [aut, cre] , Brice Lebrun [ctb]

Documentation:   PDF Manual  

GPL-3 license

Imports ggplot2, grDevices, scales

Suggests covr, testthat

Suggested by tabula.

See at CRAN