History - Class 6

Our Past - I

Chapter 4: What Books and Burials Tell Us

Intext Questions:

Question 1. List the languages you have heard about and try and identify the families to which they belong.

Answer: The languages which i have heard in and around my state are-

  1. Telugu- Dravidian family
  2. Tamil- Dravidian family
  3. Malayalam- Dravidian family
  4. Hindi- Indo Aryan family
  5. Marathi- Indo Aryan family
  6. Gujarati – Indo Aryan family

Question 2. Do you think chariots were also important? Give reasons for your answer. Read the verses and find out what are the modes of transport that are mentioned.

Answer: Yes, Chariots were also important because they were the important mode of transport during those times. The modes of transportation mentioned in the verses were chariots and carts.

Question 3. Look at Map 1 (page 2) and list 5 rivers that are not mentioned in the Rigveda.

Answer: The rivers which are not mentioned in the Rigveda are Mahanadi, Narmada, Tapi, Periyar, Krishna are five rivers among the few rivers which are not mentioned in Rig Veda.

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Question 4. Read the previous section once more and see whether you can find out what the rajas did.

Answer: The rajas did not have capital cities, palaces or armies, nor did they collect taxes. Generally the sons did not automatically succeed fathers as rajas. The assemblies chose leaders who were often brave and skillful warriors.

Question 5. Do any of these names sound familiar?

Answer: The word ‘jana’ sounds familiar. It was used during Janapada age in ancient India to describe people or the community as whole. It is still used in Hindi and some other languages to denote ‘the common people’. The word ‘vish’ was also used in the same period but now it is not in common use.

Question 6. There were several things that people did to make megaliths. We have made a list here. Try and arrange them in the correct order: digging pits in the earth, transporting stones, breaking boulders, placing stones in position, finding suitable stone, shaping stones, burying the dead

Answer: The correct order is –

  1. Digging pits in the earth
  2. Finding suitable stones
  3. Breaking boulders
  4. Transporting stones
  5. Shaping stones
  6. Burying the dead
  7. Placing stones in position

Question 7. Was iron used in the Harappan cities?

Answer: The Harappans did not know the use of Iron. Iron was not discovered by the Harappa people. Since it was a Bronze Age civilization, it had made many metallurgical advances in copper and bronze but not in Iron.

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

Answer: Yes, because he had a different type of burial from the rest of the people. He was found 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 was placed in a cross-legged position.

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

Answer: About 2000 years ago, there was a famous physician named Charaka who wrote a book on medicine known as the Charaka Samhita. There he states that the human body has 360 bones. This is a much larger number than the 200 bones that are recognised in modern anatomy Charaka arrived at this figure by counting the teeth, joints and cartilage.

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 they may have been used as food, have also been found. These include cattle, buffalo, goat, sheep, dog, horse, ass, pig, sambhar, spotted deer, blackbuck, antelope, hare, and mongoose, besides birds, crocodile, turtle, crab and fish. There is evidence that fruits such as her, amia, jamun, dates and a variety of berries were collected.

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

Answer: Rigvedic rajas generally included wise persons, brave citizens who were experienced and brave chosen by the society. They don't have land, army, collect taxes. They were not hereditary.

While later rajas during mahajanapad had land, army and they collect taxes from the people also. They also fought wars to conquer other kingdoms. Kings performed sacrifices and yagnas


Question: 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: In Inamgaon, the chief has died last night. I, along with my parents attended the funeral ceremony. Some of the villagers dug the burial pit and placed the dead body in it. Along with the dead body many items were placed in the burial pit. Food items made of wheat, barley, rice, pulses, millets, peas were placed. Food made of animals like cattle, buffalo, goat, sheep, ass, pig, sambhar, spotted deer, black buck, antelope, hare and mongoose, crab and fish. Fruits like ber, amia, jamun dates could be also placed.

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