CBSE NCERT Class VI (6th) | History Social Studies (Our Pasts-1) Unit Lesson : 4  

In the Earliest Cities 


New Crafts : Chapter Summary


People in the Harappan Civilization followed varied occupations. The administrators constructed special structures while traders were occupied with trading cloth and objects made of clay, gold, silver and precious stones.
The scribes created seals using the pictographic Harappan script. The seals were engraved with figures of animals and with script both. The craftsmen worked either at home or at special workshops and created metal and stone objects. Specialists were dedicated for only one kind of work. Metals like copper and bronze were used to make weapons, tools, ornaments and vessels while gold and silver were used for variety of ornaments. The Harappan people made ornaments from animal bones and shells apart from metals.

Tools and ornaments were also made from different stones. Chert, a type of sedimentary rock was used to make stone weights, Carnelian was used for making beads while Faience, an artificially produced material was used for making tiny vessels and ornaments.

Craftsmen made terracotta toys from real life inspirations while pottery was done using potter’s wheel with pots painted in red and black. Terracotta and faience spindle whorls were used for spinning thread.

Harappan Cities : Chapter Summary


Harappa is 4700 years old city in the subcontinent, discovered in 1920. After its discovery cities like Mohenjodaro, Lothal, Dholavira and Kalibangan have also been discovered and are known as the Harappan cities as were discovered after Harappa.

CBSE NCERT Class VI Revision Notes (6th) | History Social Studies (Our Pasts-1)  Unit Lesson : 4 - In the Earliest Cities  and CBSE / NCERT Chapter Summary of New Crafts, Harappan Cities, Finding Raw Materials and Food,  End of the Harappan Cities,

All these cities were discovered around river Indus and hence prove the existence of the Indus Valley Civilization.The city of Harappa was divided into a citadel and a lower town. The citadel was smaller but higher and was located on the west than the lower town located on the east. The citadel comprised granaries, religious buildings, public buildings and assembly halls while the lower town was divided in rectangular sections cut by wide roads at right angles to each other.

People built one or two story houses on either side of the roads with rooms built around a courtyard. The Harappan city had a well-planned drainage system where every house had a drain connected to the street drains which further were connected to the bigger drains. The drains were covered with stone slabs and laid in straight lines with inspection holes for cleanup. 

The different Harappan cities had unique characteristics. Dholavira was divided in a citadel, middle town and a lower town unlike the others. Mohenjodaro had the Great Bath surrounded with rooms on all sides. It had stairways on the northern and the southern end, with walls layered with natural tar.

Mohenjodaro, Harappa and Lothal also had huge store houses used for storing grains and hence were called granaries. Big fire altars are found at Kalibangan and Lothal used for performing sacrifices. Lothal, also has revealed a huge dockyard for loading and unloading of goods.

Finding Raw Materials and Food : Chapter Summary


Material found in nature or produced by farmers and herders which is further used for manufacturing finished goods is called Raw Material.

The Harappan artisans usually used the locally available raw materials and transforming precious stones and metals into objects of exquisite beauty was their hallmark. However, if required they also imported raw materials like copper from Rajasthan and Oman, tin from Afghanistan and Iran, Gold from Karnataka and precious stones from Iran, Gujarat and Afghanistan. 

The raw materials were packed in bags and packets and the harappans had a special technique of packing goods. This was done by pressing a seal against wet clay and applying on the bag. Goods were transported in ships or animals carts.

The city people got food from the farmers and herders living at the countryside. The farmers cultivated barley, wheat, peas, pulses, rice, sesame, mustard and linseed. The used wooden ploughs to dig, turn the soil and sow the seeds. For overcoming the problem with average rainfall, rain water was stored and later used for irrigation. The farmers also reared animals like sheep, goat, cattle and buffalo.


End of the Harappan Cities : Chapter Summary


i)Around 3900 years ago we find the beginning of a major change. People stopped living in many of the cities.
ii) Writing, seals and weights were no longer used.
iii)Raw materials brought from long distances became rare.
iv)In Mohenjodaro, we find that garbage piled up on the streets, the drainage system broke down, and new, less impressive houses were built, even over the streets.

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