History - Class 6

Our Past - I

Chapter 1: What, Where, How and When

Intext Questions:

Question 1.  Now find the Sulaiman and Kirthar hills? Where did the people first grow crops?

Answer:  Sulaiman and Kirthar hills are to the north-west of India. Men and women first began to grow crops, such as wheat and barley are located here. It was about 8000 years ago.

Question 2.  Locate the Garo hills and Vindhyas.

Answer:  Garo hills lie to the north-east of India. The Vindhyas are in Central India. These are the areas where man developed agriculture.

Question 3.  Look at the map given on page 2 of the textbook. Locate the river Indus and name its tributaries.

Answer: The main tributaries of the river Indus are the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej. Some of the earliest cities flourished on the banks of the river Indus and its tributaries, about 4700 years ago.

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Question 4.  Name the tributary of the Ganga? Which area was known as Magadha?

Answer:  The tributary of the river Ganga is the son. In ancient times the areas along this river to the south of the Ganga were known as Magadha.

Question 5. Why do people travel nowadays?

Answer: Nowadays people travel for both personal and professional works.

  1. Personal works like meeting family, friends or for attending any functions, marriages. They also include visiting temples, tourist places or in search of adventure, food and culture.
  2. Professional works include travelling in search of job, education, money earning or for any business visit.

Question 6. Can you think of the advantages of writing on a hard surface? And what could have been the difficulties?

Answer: Advantages of writing on hard surface are it lasts for long time. It is very hard to erase. It is not affected by pests or any microorganisms. But the major difficulty in writing on a hard surface is it takes lot of time and effort to inscribe matter on the surface. Sometimes it may take months and years for writing. Writing letters in perfect shape on hard surface is also very difficult.

Question 7. In what ways is the coin different from the ones we use today?

Answer: The coins that were in use about 2500 years were made of precious metals like silver, gold or copper. But present coins are made of steel. Old coins are heavy weighted whereas new coins are less weighted. The shape of new coins is all circles whereas the old ones have various shapes like rectangle, Imperfect Square or circle. The images on old coins were animals, kings, gods, goddesses but in new coins the value of coins is printed in it.

Question 8. Do you think cloth is found frequently by archaeologists?

Answer: Yes, cloth has been found in various ancient civilizations. Cotton, silk cloth, etc., have been found in India. Cloth fibre is preserved in many civilizations. It helped in knowing the social life and time period of that civilization.

Question 9. Find two dates mentioned on page 3. Which set of letters would you use for them?

Answer: The two dates mentioned on page 3 are 4700 and 2500 years ago. So the letters BP which means Before Present would be suitable to use.


You have to interview an archaeologist. Prepare a list of five questions that you would like to ask her/him.

I would ask the archaeologist the following questions:

  1. How do archaeologists find the dates of civilisations?
  2. What are the objects you have found in excavations?
  3. How do archaeologists know which place to explore?
  4. What does archaeologists do?
  5. Where do the archaeologists keep the historical objects they found?

Let's recall

Question 1. Match the following:

1)Narmada Valley a) The first big kingdom
2)Magadha b) Hunting and gathering
3)Garo hills c) Cities about 2500 years ago
4)Indus and its tributaries d) Early agriculture
5)Ganga Valley e) The first cities

Answer: 1-b, 2-a, 3-d, 4-e, 5-c

Question 2. List one major difference between manuscripts and inscriptions.

Answer: Manuscripts are books that were written by hand (this comes from the Latin word “manu” meaning hand). These were usually written on palm leaf, or on specially made bark of birch tree, which grows in the Himalayas.
Inscription means writings on relatively hard surfaces like stone or metal. Kings orders or the work done by men and women were inscribed on these inscriptions.

Let’s discuss

Question 3. Return to Rasheeda’s question. Can you think of some answers to it?

Answer: We can know about the past by reading the books that were written in the pasts. We can also know through manuscripts, inscriptions, coins, tools, cloth, pottery and other archaeological evidences.

Question 4. Make a list of all the objects that archaeologists may find. Which of these could be made of stone?

Answer:  Archaeologists may find these things like Sculptures, Inscriptions, Pottery, Ornaments, Tools, Toys, Cloth, Pillars, bricks, buildings, structures etc.,.
Out of these, sculptures, inscriptions, toys, tools, pillars, structures, buildings can be made of stone.

Question 5. Why do you think ordinary men and women did not generally keep records of what they did?

Answer: Ordinary men and women did not generally keep record of what they do because they were not considered as significant activities by them. They do not have time to make a note of these activities and they may not be able to afford extra cost to record.

Question 6. Describe at least two ways in which you think the lives of kings would have been different from those of farmers.

Answer: The main difference between king and farmer is in their life style. King lives in palaces but farmers live in huts. Farmers work day and night in the farm lands to produce food whereas king protects the people of the land by fighting battles and by promoting peace and justice in the kingdom.

Let’s do

Question 7. Find the word crafts persons on page 1. List at least five different crafts that you know about today. Are the crafts persons — (a) men (b) women (c) both men and women?

Answer: The crafts persons mentioned on page 1 are hunters, herders, farmers, rulers, merchants, priests, crafts persons, artists, musicians, and scientists. The crafts persons that exist today are-1) Tool makers (men), 2) Hunters (men), 3) Fishermen, 4) Painters (men), 5) Scientists (both men and women), 6) Carpenters (men).

Question 8. What were the subjects on which books were written in the past? Which of these would you like to read?

Answer:  Books were written on topics like science, chemistry, astronomy, medicinal herbs and plants, ayurveda, religious beliefs, stories of kings and queens. I would like to read books on astronomy because I am curious about space related things.