CBSE / NCERT Revision Notes of Class 6 Social Science

Vital Villages, Thriving Towns

Development of Villages : Chapter Summary

With the kings and kingdoms flourishing in India, development of villages also began. By this time, iron had been discovered and was used to make iron tools for farming. Iron axes were used to clear forest and create fields, iron shovels tongs, picks, sickles and ploughs were used to increase the yield. 
New irrigation methods were also implemented like tanks, dams, wells, canals and artificial lakes were built for better crop production. Better agricultural facilities benefitted the farmers who easily paid their taxes and revenues, which was then used by the kings to raise armies and built palaces and forts.

However, not every farmer owned a land. The rich farmers were called as grama bhojaka in the north while in south they were called as vellalar, who looked at the village administration. Small, independent farmers were in north known as grihapatis and in south as uzhavars. The landless labourers were called as dasa karmakara and kadaisiyar or adimai in north and south respectively and worked in the farms owned by the rich farmers.

Every Indian village apart from the laborers and farmers had potters, carpenters, weavers and blacksmiths. Certain powerful men were also appointed as the village heads and tax collectors by the king. 

Reconstructing History : Chapter Summary

Every city has its own unique history. The history of city can be traced by studying istorical evidences like artefacts, coins, manuscripts, buildings and inscriptions found by archaeological excavations.

For instance, the iron pillar in Qutub Minar helped scientists learn about the metals used and manufacturing methods of the Gupta Dynasty. 
Sangam literature is a compilation of Tamil poems comprising details regarding the culture, life, trade, governance and battles at that time. Cities like Vaishali, Magadh and Patliputra have been mentioned by many travellers in their writings including the Chinese monks Hiuen Tsang and Fa-Hien.

The Greek traveller Magasthenes also wrote a book describing the political and social life in India, called Indika.also, stories and folklore like the teachings of Buddha, called the Jatakas, tell about the ordinary lives in the past. These tales have been depicted in ancient sculpture. 

Buildings and sculptors from different times have often depicted the lives of the people through the carvings. 

Important Cities  : Chapter Summary

Mathura situated on the banks of river Yamuna, is well known as the birth place of Lord Krishna. In the ancient times, Mathura was significant owing to its coveted location. It was located at the crossroads of the two main trade routes i.e. from the north-west to the east, and from the north to the south.

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Owing to its significant location trade flourished and hence Mathura became the capital of Kushana Kings. The craftsmen and merchants formed trade associations known as Shrenis and produced finished goods by procuring raw materials. These finished goods were then traded by the merchants.

Shrenis were also used like a bank by the rich people to deposit money. Part of the money was invested and the interest was either returned or used in construction of institutions like monasteries and temples as per request.

Arikamedu was another important city in ancient India for trade and art centre. Various pottery styles have been discovered at the archaeological excavations at Arikamedu like Arretine ware, which was made by pressing wet clay in to a stamped mould. This style is named after an Italian town Arrezo in Tuscany and has a red, glazed look. 

Amphorae is another form of pottery which is a type of ceramic vase having two handles and a long neck narrower than the body. This was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans for transporting wines and oils. The pottery which was locally made indicates strongly at the use of Roman designs that time.

Archaeologists have also discovered small tanks indicating being used as dyeing vats. This means that cloth manufacturing and dyeing was known in the industry that time. Discovery of Roman glassware, lamps and gems at Arikamedu indicates strongly at the Roman influence.

It is also believed that Arikamedu manufactured beads made of glass and semi-precious stones and traded it same with the Romans. Ruins of warehouses indicate that Arikamedu was also a port and was used as loading and unloading of goods from ships.

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