class 6 social science CBSE Notes

In The Earliest Cities – class 6 social science CBSE Notes

In The Earliest Cities
The Cities of Harappa and Mohenjodaro
The cities of Harappa and Mohenjodaro developed about 4,700 years ago in the Punjab area of present day Pakistan. Other cities in which developed alongside Harappa and Mohenjodaro are Lothal, Dholvira and Surkotda (present Gujarat), Kalibangan (present Rajasthan), Chanhudaro (present Pakistan) etc. The civilisation encompassing these cities came to be known as the Indus Valley Civilisation as it developed on the banks of the River Indus and its tributaries.
Discovery of the City of Harappa
While building the railway line in Punjab, about one hundred and fifty years ago, many bricks of high quality were collected from one of the nearest sites. This was the city of Harappa in the present day Pakistan. As this was the first city to be discovered, all the other sites where similar buildings were found came to be known as Harappa.
 

Town planning in the Harappan Civilisation
Following were the main features of town planning in the Harappan cities:
Citadel
• Many cities were divided into two parts- the lower town and the upper town.
• The western part of the city was built on a higher platform known as
citadel. The eastern part was usually built on the lower parts

 


Great Bath of Mohenjodaro

• In Mohenjodaro, a tank called the Great Bath was found.
• This Great Bath was made up of bricks and then coated with plaster and a layer of natural tar to avoid any seepage of water.
• Steps leading to the Great Bath were constructed on both the sides.  It was surrounded by rooms on all the sides.
• It has been concluded that the water in the Bath was brought in from a well and drained after use. It was probably used for ceremonial occasions when important people took a dip in it.

  

Fire Altar and Store Houses
•    From many other cities such as Kalibangan and Lothal, fire altars have been discovered where sacrificial rituals were performed.
•    Archaeologists have discovered various store houses for storing grains in the cities of Harappa and Mohenjodaro.
 
 

  
Houses
•    Houses found in the cities were either one storey or two storeys. Rooms were built around the courtyard.
•    Most of the houses had a separate bathing area and in some houses wells were also discovered.

 
 

 
Drainage System
•    The cities of Harappa are known for their well-developed drainage system. Drainage was laid out in straight lines and had gentle slope so that water could flow through it.
•    House drains were connected to the bigger drains in the streets.
•    The drains were covered and had inspection holes at regular distances in order to clean them.

 
 

 
Roads
Roads of the Harappan civilisation were well laid in straight lines which intersected each other at right angles.

 

 The People of the Harappan Civilisation
From the ruins and remains of the cities, many conclusions have been drawn about the people and their activities such as:
•    There was a class of people who were rulers as many special buildings were discovered. The rulers probably lived in these special buildings.
•    The rulers had objects made up of valuable materials like gold and silver ornaments, beads etc.
•    There were perhaps other classes of people known as scribes who probably knew to read and write and who might have prepared the seals. Harappan writing has not been interpreted till date.
•    Some men and women may have been crafts persons.
•    People perhaps also travelled to distant lands in search of raw materials so that finished goods could be made out of them.
•    Copper, silver, tin and precious stones were brought in through trade from far off places.
•    It is concluded that the Harappans might have brought copper from the present day Rajasthan and Oman in West Asia.
•    Tin was perhaps brought from Afghanistan and Iran.
•    People might have brought gold from Karnataka and precious stones from Gujarat, Iran and Afghanistan.

 

Craftsmanship in the Cities
In the Harappan cities, various objects have been found which seem to be the works of skilled craftsmen.
•    Many objects made up of stone, shell and metals (copper, bronze, gold and silver) have been found.
•    While copper and bronze were used for making tools, weapons and vessels, gold and silver were used for making ornaments.
•    While copper and bronze were used for making tools, weapons and vessels, gold and silver were used for making ornaments.
•    Many beads, weights and blades have also been discovered. Many rectangular seals have been found with the carvings of animals on  it.
•    Various pots with beautiful black designs have been found.
•    Cotton was known to the people and it was probably grown at Mehrgarh. Archaeologists have found spindle whorls made up of terracotta and faience.
•    It is also assumed that many people were specialists in their own areas.

 
 

 Occupation of the People
The people living in the countryside grew crops and herded animals. They grew wheat, barley, rice, sesame and mustard. Since the city of Harappa does not receive adequate rainfall, various means of irrigation were used. The people reared animals such as sheep, goat, buffaloes and other cattle. They also collected forest products such as fruits and honey. Fishing was an important activity. Apart from cultivation, people also hunted wild animals.

 
 

Harappan Towns in Gujarat
Some of the Harappan towns situated in Gujarat were Dholvira and Lothal.
Dholvira
•    This city was located on the Khadir Belt in the Rann of Kutch since fresh water and fertile soil was available there.
•    Dholvira was divided into three parts, each surrounded by big stone walls with an entrance through the gateways.
•    A large open area was found in the settlement where perhaps public ceremonies were held.
•    Many large letters of the Harappan script were found carved out on white stones.

 
 

Lothal
•    The city of Lothal was located beside the tributary of the River Sabarmati near the Gulf of Khambat.
•    Various semi precious stones were available in these areas.
•    Many objects made out of stones, shells and metals were found.
•    A store house was also been discovered in the city. Many seals and sealings were found in this store house.
•    A building which was probably a workshop for making beads was discovered. Various types of stone tools and finished beads were found here.

 
 

Reasons for the End of the Harappan Civilisation

Following are the reasons which were concluded by archaeologists and historians for the destruction of the Harappan civilisation.

 

 

 
 
However, the above reasons are only probable causes which might have led to the end of the Harappan civilisation.
 

Important Questions
    Multiple Choice Questions:
Question 1. Colour of faience was:
(a) Red
(b) Blue or sea green
(c) Yellow
(d) Black
Question 2. Spindly whorls were used for:
(a) To spin thread
(b) Making the vessels
(c) Polishing the beads
(d) All of these
Question 3. Which thing was found in the Harappan cities?
(a) Silver vase
(b) Beads and stone blade
(c) Seal and terracotta toys
(d) All of these
Question 4. Seal found in Harappa was:
(a) Rectangular
(b) Round
(c) Triangular
(d) Square shape
Question 5. Seal found in the Harappan cities is made of:
(a) Wood
(b) Stone
(c) Leather
(d) Baked clay
Question 6. Terracotta toys were containing:
(a) Picture of animals
(b) Picture of fire
(c) Picture of King
(d) Picture of well
Question 7. These were available around the settlement:
(a) Grain’s stores
(b) Experts
(c) Water and pasture
(d) None of these
Question 8. Many of beads were made of:
(a) Carnelian, a beautiful blue stone
(b) Carnelian, a beautiful red stone
(c) Chert
(d) None of these
Question 9. Use of seal was for:
(a) Stamping bags or packets containing goods
(b) Stamping the animals
(c) Sealing houses
(d) Sealing unexpected objects
Question 10. The cities were divided into:
(a) One or more parts
(b) Two or more parts
(c) Three or more parts
(d) Four or more parts
Question 11. Cities which had elaborates store houses
(a) Harappa, Kalibangan and Lothal
(b) Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa and Lothal
(c) Surkotada, Harappa and Lothal
(d) Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa and Kalibangan
Question 12. Which of the following is not the earliest cities in the sub-continents
(a) Sotkakoh
(b) Dholavira
(c) Mehrgarh
(d) Lothal
Question 13. Harappans also made pots with beautiful
(a) Green designs
(b) Black designs
(c) Blue designs
(d) Yellow designs
Question 14. The Harappans probably got copper from present-day_____ , and even from ______ in West Asia
(a) Rajasthan and Oman
(b) Gujarat and Oman
(c) Rajasthan and Egypt
(d) Gujarat and Egypt
Question 15. Cities, such as Kalibangan and Lothal had found
(a) Special tools
(b) Fire altars
(c) Store houses
(d) Great bath
    Match The Following:
 

 
    Fill in the blanks:
1.    Great Bath has been discovered in __________.
2.    People living in the _________ grew crops and reared animals.
3.    The alloy of tin and copper is called ________.
4.    Usually in the Harappan cities, the part to the west was smaller but higher and was known as _________.
5.    Gold and silver were used to make _________ and __________.
6.    _________ are the impression of seals on clay.
    Write true (T) or false (F):
1.    Many of these cities were divided into two or more parts.
2.    The city of Lothal stood beside a tributary of the Ganga, in Gujarat.
3.    Great Bath was made water-tight with a layer of natural tar.
4.    Usually in the Harappan cities, the part to the east was larger but lower and is called the upper town.
5.    The Harappans also made seals out of stone.
6.    All the raw materials that the Harappans used were available locally.
    Very Short Questions:
1.    How old are the Harappan cities?
2.    What were the objects in Harappan cities made of?
3.    List some uses of ‘Faience’.
4.    Where fire altars have been discovered?
5.    Which two metals form the alloy bronze?
6.    When and where cotton cultivation has started?
7.    Make a list of what the Harappans ate.
8.    Name the terracotta toys have been found during excavations.
9.    How bricks were arranged to build walls in Harappan cities?
10.    Why plough was used?
11.    Name the cities which had elaborate store houses.
12.    Who is a specialist?
13.    What were the seals used for?
14.    What do you understand by ‘Raw Material’?
15.    Discuss the term ‘Citadel’.
    Short Questions:
1.    What types of houses was found in the earlier cities?
2.    How Dholavira was different from Harappan cities?
3.    How do archaeologists know that cloth was used in Harappan civilization?
4.    Write about crafts practiced by Harrappan.    
5.    Discuss the farming methods of the Harappa.
6.    Why archaeological evidence is the only source to study the Harappan civilization?
    Long Questions:
1.    When and how Harappa civilization was discovered?
2.    What was special about “Great Bath” of Mohenjodaro?
3.    Write about the houses, drains and streets of Harappan cities.
4.    The Harappans can be called great architects and engineers. Do you agree? Give reasons in support of your argument.
5.    How the life of farmers and herders who supplied food to the Harappan cities was different from that of the farmers and herders?
6.    What was special about Harappan cities?

ANSWER KEY –
 
    Multiple Choice Answer:
1.    (b) Blue or sea green
2.    (a) To spin thread
3.    (d) All of these
4.    (a) Rectangular
5.    (b) Stone
6.    (a) Picture of animals
7.    (c) Water and pasture
8.    (b) Carnelian, a beautiful red stone
9.    (a) Stamping bags or packets containing goods
10.    (b) Two or more parts
11.    (b) Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa and Lothal
12.    (c) Mehrgarh
13.    (b) Black designs
14.    (a) Rajasthan and Oman
15.    (b) Fire altars
    Match The Following:
 

    Fill in the blanks:
1.    Mohenjodaro
2.    Countryside
3.    Bronze
4.    Citadel
5.    Ornaments and vessels
6.    Sealings
    Write true (T) or false (F):
1.    True
2.    False
3.    True
4.    False
5.    True
6.    False
    Very Short Answer:
1.    Harappan cities were developed about 4700 years ago.
2.    Objects in Harappan cities made of out of stone, shell and metal.
3.    Faience was used to make beads, bangles, earrings, and tiny vessels.
4.    Fire altars have been discovered in Kalibangan and Lothal.
5.    Tin and copper forms the alloy bronze.
6.    Cotton cultivation started at Mehrgarh about 7000 years ago.
7.    Wheat, barley, pulses, peas, rice, sesame, linseed, mustard and fruits.
8.    Toy cart and Toy plough.
9.    The bricks were laid in an interlocking pattern and that made the walls strong.
10.    The plough was used to dig the earth for turning the soil and planting seeds.
11.    Some cities like Mohenjodaro, Harappa, and Lothal had elaborate store houses.
12.    A specialist is a person who is trained to do only one kind of work, for example, cutting stone, or polishing beads, or carving seals.
13.    Seals may have been used to stamp bags or packets containing goods that were sent from one place to another.
14.    Raw materials are substances that are either found naturally (such as wood, or ores of metals) or produced by farmers or herders.
15.    Many of these cities were divided into two or more parts. Usually, the part to the west was smaller but higher. Archaeologists describe this as the citadel.
    Short Answer:
1.    Generally, houses were either one or two storeys high, with rooms built around a courtyard. Most houses had a separate bathing area, and some had wells to supply water.
2.    Unlike some of the other Harappan cities, which were divided into two parts, Dholavira was divided into three parts, and each part was surrounded with massive stone walls, with entrances through gateways.
3.    Actual pieces of cloth were found attached to the lid of a silver vase and some copper objects at Mohenjodaro. Archaeologists have also found spindle whorls, made of terracotta and faience. These were used to spin thread.
4.    Most of the things that have been found by archaeologists are made of stone, shell and metal, including copper, bronze, gold and silver. Copper and bronze were used to make tools, weapons, ornaments and vessels. Gold and silver were used to make ornaments and vessels.
5.    Plough was used to dig the earth for turning the soil and planting seeds. As this region does not receive heavy rainfall, some form of irrigation may have been used. This means that water was stored and supplied to the fields when the plants were growing.
6.    Harappan script is the earliest form of writing known in the subcontinent. Scholars have tried to read these signs but we still do not know exactly what they mean. Thus, archaeological evidence is the only source to study the Harappan civilization.
    Long Answer:
1.    Nearly a hundred and fifty years ago, when railway lines were being laid down for the first time in the Punjab, engineers stumbled upon the site of Harappa in present-day Pakistan. To them, it seemed like a mound that was a rich source of ready made, high quality bricks. So they carried off thousands of bricks from the walls of the old buildings of the city to build railway lines. Many buildings were completely destroyed. Then, about eighty years ago, archaeologists found the site, and realised that this was one of the oldest cities in the subcontinent.
2.    Great Bath:
•    In Mohenjodaro, a very special tank, which archaeologists call the Great Bath, was built in this area.
•    This was lined with bricks, coated with plaster, and made water-tight with a layer of natural tar.
•    There were steps leading down to it from two sides, while there were rooms on all sides.
•    Water was probably brought in from a well, and drained out after use.
•    Perhaps important people took a dip in this tank on special occasions.
3.    There were three basic occupations of people living in Harappan cities:
•    Generally, houses were either one or two storeys high, with rooms built around a courtyard.
•    Most houses had a separate bathing area, and some had wells to supply water.
•    Many of these cities had covered drains. Each drain had a gentle slope so that water could flow through it.
•    Drains in houses were connected to those on the streets and smaller drains led into bigger ones.
•    As the drains were covered, inspection holes were provided at intervals to clean them.
4.    The Harappans can be called great architects and engineers because:
•    They built massive walls and gateways surrounding the city area to protect the city from flood and control illegal trade.
•    Most of these roads and streets were paved with fire brunt bricks. The main streets intersected at right angles, dividing the city into squares or rectangular blocks each of which was divided length wise and cross wise by lanes.
•    The drainage system was excellent. Drains were covered and had a gentle slope so that water could flow through it. Inspection holes were provided at intervals to clean them.
All three — houses, drains and streets  were probably planned and built at the same time.
5.    Following are the difference:
•    Harappan farmers and herders used wooden plough to dig the earth for turning the soil and planting seeds. Earlier farmers and herders used mortars and pestle for grinding grains.
•    Harappan farmers and herders used some form of irrigation. Water was stored and supplied to the fields when the plants were growing. Earlier farmers and herders did not practice irrigation.
•    Harappan farmers stored grains in well-built granaries. Earlier farmers stored grains in clay pots, basket etc.
•    Harappan farmers and herders lived in the countryside. There were no cities in earlier times.
6.    Special feature about Harappan cities:
•    Many of these cities were divided into two or more parts. Usually, the part to the west was smaller but higher and is called the citadel. Generally, the part to the east was larger but lower and is called the lower town.
•    Very often walls of baked brick were built around each part. The bricks were laid in an interlocking pattern and that made the walls strong.
•    In some cities, special buildings were constructed on the citadel. For example, in Mohenjodaro, a very special tank called the Great Bath, was built in this area.
•    Other cities, such as Kalibangan and Lothal had fire altars, where sacrifices may have been performed.

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