History - Class 6

Our Past - I

Chapter 3: In the Earliest Cities

Intext Questions:

Question 1. Very often, old buildings are pulled down to make way for new construction. Do you think it is important to preserve old buildings?

Answer: Yes, It is important to preserve old buildings because every old building has historical and cultural value. They help in the development of the culture of community. It helps in preservation of one’s heritage and traditions. It helps archaeologists in understanding our past.

Question 2. List at least two differences between the houses described here and those that you studied about in Chapter 2.

Answer: The differences between the houses are

  1. Harappan civilization houses were built with bricks or stones whereas pit houses were made of mud
  2. Harappan houses were either one or two storeys high, with rooms built around a courtyard. They had a separate bathing area and some had wells to supply water. But pit houses were dug into the ground, with steps leading into them. They had evidences of cooking hearths, both inside and outside the huts.
  3. At Mehrgarh, near Bolan Pass remains of the square and rectangular houses have been found.

Question 3. Make a list of the people who lived in the city. Were any of these people listed as living in villages such as Mehrgarh?

Answer: The people who lived in the city were

  1. Rulers, who planned the construction of the city
  2. Traders and merchants who travelled to distant lands to get metal, precious stones etc.
  3. Scribes, people who wrote and helped to prepare seals and wrote on other materials also.
  4. Craftsperson – including both men and women who made ornaments, vessels, beads, toys, pots.

Mehrgarh was one of the earliest villages. Here the people had learnt to grow cotton, barley and wheat and rear sheep and goats.Here craftsperson like weavers, farmers, herders, tool makers, ornament makers, pot makers were existed.

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Question 4. Was metal used in the villages you learnt about in Chapter 2? Was stone used to make weights?

Answer: Those villages belong to Stone Age. No metal was used in those villages. They used stones to make tools. There was no knowledge about weights in that period.

Question 5. How were goods carried from one place to another? Can you suggest what the modes of transport used by the Harappans were? Did you come across illustrations of wheeled vehicles in earlier lessons?

Answer: Goods were carried from one place to another through animals or by wheeled vehicles drawn by animals. The modes of transport used by the Harappans were bullock carts. The evidence of bullock carts was terracotta toys which were available in the sites of Harappa.

No, we did not come across any wheeled vehicles in the earlier lessons. The discovery of wheel happened just before Harappan civilization.

Question 6. Seals are used even today. Find out what theyare used for.

Answer: Today seals are used to stamp bags or packets containing goods that were sent from one place to another. If the seal was intact, one could be sure that arrived good is safe. These days seals are used by banks or government to seal houses, properties, etc.,.

Question 7. Do you think kings would have needed these things after death?

Answer: A large number of objects were buried along with kings dead bodies show their belief in life after death. These include food, drinks, animals, clothes, ornaments, weapons, slaves. I do not think these things would have been needed after death.

Question 8. Do you think this was the body of a chief? Give reasons for your answer.

Answer: Most probably this was the body of a chief because he had a different type of burial from file rest of the people. He was found buried in a large, four-legged clay jar in the courtyard of a five-roomed house (one of the largest houses at the site) in the centre of the settlement.

This house also had a granary. The body had a cross-legged position where as others were buried in the ground, laid out straight, with head towards the north.

Question 9. How do you think he found out about the human body in such great detail?

Answer: Charaka mentions in his book Charaka Samhita that the human body has 360 bones. Charaka arrived at this figure by counting the teeth, joints, and cartilage. He may have made a detailed study of the skeletal remains of the human body. He may have taken bony structure from the burial places.

Question 10. Use this evidence to list the possible occupations of the people at Inamgaon.

Answer: Archaeologists have found seeds of wheat, barley, rice, pulses, millets, peas, and sesame. Bones of a number of animals, many bearing cut marks that show that they have been used as food have also been found. They include cattle, buffalo, goat, sheep, dog, horse; ass, pig, sambhar, Antelope hare, and mongoose, besides birds, crocodiles, turtles, crab, and fish.

There is evidence that fruits such as ber, amla, Jamun dates, and varieties of berries were collected. From this, we can conclude that the main occupation of the people.

  1. Farming
  2. Hunters
  3. Collection of fruits and berries

Question 11. List one difference between the raja of the Rigveda and these kings.

Answer: The “Raja” of the Rigveda did not live in palaces. They did not have capital, cities, and armies, as the Chinese kings of the same time.


Question 1. You are travelling with your parents, about 4000 years ago, from Lothal to Mohenjodaro. Describe how you would travel, what your parents might carry with them, and what you would see in Mohenjodaro.

Answer: We would travel for lothal to mohenjodaro by walk. My parents would have carried some cotton clothes, mud pottery filled with wheat, barley, meat to use them during journey. In Mohenjodaro I would have seen public bath, great granary, citadel, planned city grid architecture with proper drainage system.

Question 2. You live in Inamgaon, 3000 years ago, and the chief has died last night. Today, your parents are preparing for the burial. Describe the scene, including how food is being prepared for the funeral. What do you think would be offered?

Answer: The chief had died last night. The whole community had gathered near his house to pay their last homage. Maybe they are wearing white-coloured clothes. In the fields outside people had collected things needed for the burial. The fire is lighted and some people are cooking food.

Maybe the rice is being cooked along with vegetables in the mud pot or they may be cooking that food which was relished by the chief. The people may be chanting the holy prayers; otherwise, there was silence all around.

Let's recall

Question 1. How do archaeologists know that cloth was used in the Harappan civilisation?How do archaeologists know that cloth was used in the Harappan civilisation?

Answer: Traces of cotton cultivation were found in Mehrgarh. Actual pieces of cloth have been found in Mohenjodaro, attached to the lid of a silver vase and some copper objects. Spindle whorls which are used to spin thread were also available in some places. Through all these evidences archaeologists came to a conclusion that cloth was used in Harappa.

Question 2. Match the following:

1)Copper a) Gujarat
2)Gold b) Afghanistan
3)Tin c) Rajasthan
4)Precious stones d) Karnataka

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

Question 3. Why were metals, writing, the wheel, and the plough important for the Harappans?

Answer: Metals, writing, the wheel and the plough were important for the Harappans because of following reasons:

Metals like copper, tin, bronze were used for making tools, weapons and gold is used for making ornaments.
Writing was important as a source of communication.
Wheel was important for pottery and used for drawing carts
Plough was used in agriculture for digging and turning the soil and planting seeds.

Let’s discuss

Question 4. Make a list of all the terracotta toys shown in the lesson. Which do you think children would have enjoyed playing with the most?

Answer: Terracota toys like animal figures, model cart, model plough were mentioned in the lesson.

Children love playing with toys. Even today children play with many number of toys.

Question 5. Make a list of what the Harappans ate, and put a tick mark against the things you eat today.

Answer: People of Harappa ate various types of grains like:

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Pulses
  • Rice
  • Peas
  • Sesame
  • Linseed
  • Mustard
  • Fruits like ber
  • Fish
  • Wild animals like antelope

Question 6. Do you think that the life of farmers and herders who supplied food to the Harappan cities was different from that of the farmers and herders you read about in Chapter 2? Give reasons for your answer.

Answer: The life of farmers and herders of harappan cities is different from their predecessors in many ways:

In terms of TOOLS, Harappans were using wooden tools like plough for turning the soil and planting seeds whereas earlier farmers and herders used tools like mortar and pestle made of bones.

In terms of IRRIGATION, Harappans used where as not in use during earlier period

In terms of STORAGE, Harappans used well built granaries which were evident in Harappa and Mohenjodarowhere as earlier farmers used clay pots and baskets.

In terms of RESIDENCE, planned cities were present during Harappan Civilization where as no planned cities during early phase.

Let’s do

Question 7. Describe three important buildings in your city or village. Are they located in a special part of the settlement (e.g. the centre)? What are the activities that take place in these buildings?

Answer: The important buildings in our village are Government high school, Government Hospital and a Public library.

Government high school is located in the centre of the village. It provides education to students from class 6 to class 10.
Government Hospital is located on the outskirts of the village. It is the only Primary Health Centre in our surroundings. It provides medical facilities to patients.
A public library is located in the centre of the village. It provides physical and digital access to resources for all sections of the village.

Question 8. Are there any old buildings in your locality? Find out how old they are and who looks after them.

Answer: Old buildings in our locality were temples constructed during 9th – 10th century by Eastern Chalukyas. They are now looked after by archaeology department of India.

Let’s recall

Question 1. Match the columns:

1)Sukta a) Stone boulder
2)Chariots b) Sacrifice
3)Yajna c) Well-said
4)Dasa d) Used in battles
5)Megalith e) Slave

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

Question 2. Complete the sentences:
  1. Slaves were used for ________ .
  2. Megaliths are found in _________ .
  3. Stone circles or boulders on the surface were used to ________ .
  4. Port-holes were used for ________ .
  5. People at Inamgaon ate ________ .


  1. Work
  2. South India, North East, Kashmir
  3. Indicate the exact place for burial
  4. Burying the other member of the same family at the same place
  5. Wheat, rice, pulses, barley, sesame, peas, etc.,.

Let’s discuss

Question 3. In what ways are the books we read today different from the Rigveda?

Answer: The main difference between today’s books and rigvedic books are:

  1. Now a days books are written and read instead rigvedic books were memorized by the students which were written after hundreds of year.
  2. Rigvedic was composed in Sanskrit while most of the modern books are either in English or in any other modern languages.
  3. Rigveda contains hymns in praise of gods and goddesses unlike today’s books.

Question 4. What kind of evidence from burials do archaeologists use to find out whether there were social differences amongst those who were buried?

Answer: Archaeologists found that in some burials the skeletons found were buried with lots of pots, food and some with fewer pots. So they concluded that people were buried according to the status.

Question 5.  In what ways do you think that the life of a raja was different from that of a dasaor dasi?

Answer: The raja was on the highest position while Dasa/Dasi was on the lowest position. Dasa was use as slaves for work, they were treated as the property of owners. Actually they were captured during wars and made slaves.

Let’s do

Question 6. Find out whether your school library has a collection of books on religion, and list the names of five books from this collection.

Answer: The five books on religion are:

  1. Gum Granth Sahib – Sikhs
  2. Zoroastrianism – Zend-Ei-Avesta
  3. Islam – Quran
  4. Christians – Bible
  5. Judaism – Old Testament

Question 7. Write down a short poem or song that you have memorized. Did you hear or read the poem or song? How did you learn it by heart?

आओ बच्चों तुम्हें दिखाएँ
झाँकी हिंदुस्तान की|
इस मिट्टी से तिलक करो,
ये धरती है बलिदान की

We heard the poem and learned it by heart with the help of a teacher.

Question 8. In the Rigveda, people were described in terms of the work they did and the languages they spoke. In the table below, fill in the names of six people you know, choosing three men and three women. For each of them, mention the work they do and the language they speak. Would you like to add anything else to the description?

Answer: In the Rig-Veda, people were described in terms of the work they did and the language they spoke. In the table below fill the names of six people you know, three men and three women. For each of them, mention the work they do and the language they speak Would you like to add anything else to the description.

Name Work Language Anything else
1. Teacher in my school (female) Teaching English and Hindi Sometimes they act the scene with the help of the children.
2. Doctors (Male) Gives medical treatment Generally Hindi sometimes English Sometime gives a dose of injection.
3. Vegetables Sellers (Male) Sells vegetables Hindi Gives extra chillies
4. Maid-Servant (Female) Does Households work Hindi Very often takes leaves
5. Driver (Male) Drive our car Hindi Drop us to schools
6. Salesgirl in the Shop (Female) Display the goods in the shops and show them to customers English and Hindi. Tries to sell the goods as quickly as possible