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

In the Earliest Cities 

CBSE NCERT Solved Question Answer

Q.1 What do you know about the discovery of the Harappan Civilisation?

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.
2. To them, it seemed like a mound that was a rich source of readymade, 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.
3. Then, about eighty years ago, archaeologists found the site, and realized that this was one of the oldest cities in the subcontinent.
4. As this was the first city to be discovered, all other sites from where similar buildings (and other things) were found were described as Harappan. These citiesdeveloped about 4700 years ago.

Q2.Where were the Harappan cities found?

These cities were found in the Punjab and Sind in Pakistan, and in Gujarat,Rajasthan, Haryana and the Punjab in India. Archaeologists have found a set of unique objects in almost all these cities: red pottery painted with designs in black, stone weights, seals, special beads, copper tools, and long stone blades.

Q3.Describe the general layout of the Harappan cities. i)Many of these cities were divided into two or more parts.

1. Usually, the part to the west was smaller but higher. Archaeologists describe this as the citadel.
2. Generally, the part to the east was larger but lower. This is called the lower town. iv)Very often walls of baked brick were built around each part.

Q.4 What do you know about the arrangement of bricks in the construction of buildings in the Harappan cities?

A.4 i) Very often walls of baked brick were built around the citadel and the lower town.
ii) The bricks were so well made that they have lasted for thousands of years.
iii)The bricks were laid in an interlocking pattern and that made the wallsstrong.

Q.5 Write a note on the Great Bath in Mohenjodaro.

In Mohenjodaro, a very special tank, which archaeologists call the Great Bath, was built in the citadel 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 i t 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.

Q6.Name the cities where fire altars have been discovered.
In Kalibangan and Lothal, fire altars have been discovered, where sacrificesmay have been performed.

Q7.Name the cities where store houses have been discovered.
A.7 Some cities like Mohenjodaro, Harappa, and Lothal had elaborate store houses.

Q.8 How did the Harappan houses look like?
  •  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.

Q.9 Discuss the Harappan Drainage System
A.9 i) Many of the Harappan cities had covered drains which were laid out, in straight lines.
ii) Each drain had a gentle slope so that water could flow through it.
iii)Very often, drains in houses were connected to those on the streets and smaller drains led into bigger ones.
iv) As the drains were covered , inspection holes were provided at intervals to clean them. All three — houses, drains and streets — were probably planned and built at the same time.

Q.10 Describe the different types of occupations practiced by the Harappan people.
i) T here were people who planned the construction of special buildings in the city.These were probably the rulers.
ii)It is likely that the rulers sent people to distant lands to get metal, precious stones, and other things that they wanted.
iii)They may have kept the most valuable objects, such as ornaments of gold and silver, or beautiful beads, for themselves.
v) And there were scribes, people who knew how to write, who helped prepare the seals, and perhaps wrote on other materials that have notsurvived.
v)Besides, there were men and women, crafts persons, making all kinds of things— either in their own homes, or in special workshops .
vii) People were travelling to distant lands or returning with raw mater ials and, perhaps, stories.
viii) Many terracotta toys have been found and a long time ago children must have played with these.

Q.11 Describe the use of metals by the Harappan people.
CBSE NCERT Class VI (6th) | History Social Studies (Our Pasts-1)  Unit Lesson : 4 - In the Earliest Cities, CBSE NCERT Solved Question Answer and CBSE / NCERT Chapter Summary of New Crafts, Harappan Cities, Finding Raw Materials and Food,  End of the Harappan Cities and CBSE NCERT Class VI Revision Notes.i) Most of the things that have been found by archaeologists are made of stone, shell and metal, including copper, bronze, gold and silver.
ii)Copper and bronze were used to make tools, weapons, ornaments and vessels. iii)Gold and silver were used to make ornaments and vessels.
iii) Perhaps the most striking finds are those of beads, weights, and blades.

Q.12 How do archaeologists know that cloth was used in the Harappan civilization?

i) Cotton was probably grown at Mehrgarh from about 7000 years ago.
ii) Actual pieces of cloth were found attached to the lid of a silver vase and some copper objects at Mohenjodaro.
iii)Archaeologists have also found spindle whorls, made of terracotta and faience. These were used to spin thread.
iv)A stone statue of an important man found from Mohenjodaro shows him wearing an embroidered garment.

Q.13 Who is a specialist? Discuss in context of Harappan civilization.
i) 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.
ii)Not everybody could have been a specialist. We do not know whether only men were specialists or only women were specialists in the Harappan civilisation.

Q.14 What is a raw material?

A.14 i) Raw materials are substances that are either found naturally (such as wood, or ores of metals) or produced by farmers or herders. These are then processed to produce finished goods.
ii)For example, cotton, produced by farmers, is a raw material that may be processed to make cloth.

Q.15 What were the sources of the raw materials for the Harappans?
i) While some of the raw materials that the Harappans used wereavailable locally, many items such as copper, tin, gold, silver and precious stones had to be brought from distant places.
ii)The Harappans probably got copper from present-day Rajasthan, and even from Oman in West Asia.
iii) Tin, which was mixed with copper to produce bronze, may have been brought from present-day Afghanistan and Iran.
iv) Gold could have come all the way from present-day Karnataka, and precious stones from present - day Gujarat, Iran and Afghanistan.

Q.16 Discuss the evidence of food-production in the Harappan civilization.
i) We know from remains of plants that the Harappans grew wheat, barley, pulses, peas, rice, sesame, linseed and mustard.
ii)A new tool, the plough, was used to dig the earth for turning the soil and planting seeds.
iii) While real ploughs, which were probably made of wood, have not survived, toy models have been found.
iv) 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.

Q.17 Besides farming, what were the other occupations practiced by the Harappans?
i) Besides farming, the Harappans reared cattle, sheep, goat and buffalo.
ii)Water and pastures we re available around settlements.
iii) However, in the dry summer months large herds of animals were probably taken to greater distances in search of grass and water.
iv) They also collected fruits like ber, caught fish and hunted wild animals like the antelope.

Q.18 What do you know about the excavations at the cities of Dholavira and Lotal in Gujarat?
i) The city of Dholavira was located on Khadir Beyt in the Rann of Kutch, where there was fresh water and fertile soil.
ii)Dholavira was divided into three parts, and each part was surrounded with massive stone walls , with entrances through gateways.
iii) There was also a large open area in the settlement , where publicceremonies could be held.
iv) Other finds include large letters of the Harappan script that were carved outof white stone and perhaps inlaid in wood. This is a unique find as generally Harappan writing has been found on small objects such as seals.

i)The city of Lothal stood beside a tributary of the Sabarmati, in Gujarat, close to the Gulf of Khambat.
ii) It was situated near areas where raw materials such as semi-precious stones wereeasily available.
iii) This was an important centre for making objects out of stone, shell and metal. iv)There was also a store house in the city.
v) Many seals and sealings (the impression of seals on clay) were found in this storehouse.
vi) A building that was found here was probably a workshop for making beads: pieces of stone, half made beads, tools for bead making, and finished beads have all been found here.

Q.19 What are seals?
A.19 i) Seals are the clay tablets which have been found from various Harappan sites.They have figures of animals, trees and certain letters carved on them.
ii) Seals may have been used to stamp bags or packets containing goods that were sent from one place to another.
iii)After a bag was closed or tied, a layer of wet clay was applied on the knot, and the seal was pressed on it.
iv)The impression of the seal is known as a sealing. If the sealing was intact, one could be sure that the goods had arrived safely.

Q.20 What symbolize the end of the civilsation?
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 drainagesystem broke down, and new, less impressive houses were built, even over the streets.

Q.21 What are the possible factors which brought about the end of the civilization?

 i)Some scholars suggest that the rivers dried up.
ii)Others suggest that there was deforestation. This could have happened because fuel was required for baking bricks, and for smelting copper ores.
iii)Besides, grazing by large herds of cattle, sheep and goat may have destroyed the green cover.
iv)In some areas there were floods.
But none of these reasons can explain the end of all the cities.
vi) It appears as if the rulers lost control new cities emerged about 1400 years later.

Q.22 Write short notes on:
a) Stone weightsThese were made of chert, a kind of stone. These were probably used to weigh precious stones or metals.

b) Use of writingThe Harappans were efficient traders. To keep a record of their transactions, the scribes might have used writing on the seals. The Harappan script has not been deciphered yet.

c) Wheel
Goods were transported from place to place in wheeled vehicles. Moreover, people made clay pots so the Harappans were also using potter’s wheel. We have found toy bullock carts, which further prove the existence of wheels.

d) Faience
Unlike stone or shell, that are found naturally, faience is a material that is artificially produced. A gum was used to shape sand or powdered quartz into an object. The objects were then glazed, resulting in a shiny, glassy surface. The colours of the glaze were usually blue or sea green. Faience was used to make beads, bangles, earrings, and tiny vessels.

e) Harappan beadsMany of the beads were made out of carnelian, a beautiful red stone. The stone was cut, shaped, polished and finally a hole was bored through the centre so that a string could be passed through it.

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