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Class VI - social: The First Cities - Vedic period and Chalcolithic Settlements
One Word Answer Questions:
Q) The culture which was born in the valley of Indus river is known as?
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Q) In which city, The Great Bath was located?
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Q) The Indus Valley Civilisation was also known as?
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Q) Name the metal which was not known by the Indus people?
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Q) What is the key feature of civilisation?
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Q) Name the first site which was discovered during the Indus Valley Civilisation.
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Q) In which country is Harappa situated in modern times?
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Q) What was the main occupation of the people of Harappa?
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Q) Kalibangan is in which modern state of India?
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Q) Till date, how many sites of the Harappan Civilization have been discovered?
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Short Answer Questions:
Q) Why the Indus Valley Civilisation is also known as the Harappan Civilisation?
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Q) What is the Citadel? Explain briefly its significance.
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Q) How do archaeologists know that cloth was used in the Harappan civilisation?
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Q) How can you say that farming was being done in Harappa?
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Q) How was the roads and drainage system planned during the Indus Valley Civilisation?
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Q) How can you say that people of Harappa knew how to write?
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Q) Why were metals, writing, the wheel, and the plough important for the Harappans?
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Long Answer Questions:
Q) Give two examples for the advancements of arts in the Indus civilisation?
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Q) How were the houses planned during the Indus Valley Civilisation?
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Q) What factors contributed to the decline of the Indus civilisation?
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Q) What factors indicate that farming was an occupation of the people living in the Indus valley?
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Q) How was trade during the period of Indus civilisation?
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Q) How the paintings of the Stone Age depicted the life of the people?
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Q) What were the possible reasons for the decline of the Harappan cities?
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Q) Write a note on the important sites of the Indus Valley Civilisation.
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Q) Explain about the salient features of the Indus Valley Civilisation.
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Q) What were the various occupations followed by the people of the Indus Valley Civilisation?
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And Then,The First Cities
  • Advanced agriculture, division of labour and knowledge of writing are some of the features of any civilisation.
  • The earliest civilisations came up around 5000 BC in river valleys. The Indus civilisation was one of them.
The Settlement Pattern of the Harappa Civilization
  • The Indus Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age Civilisation.
  • The Indus Valley civilization covered a large area - from Baluchistan (Pakistan) to Gujarat (Republic of India). The first city to be discovered by excavation (digging up) was Harappa and therefore this civilization is also known as 'Harappan Civilization'.
  • The Harappan culture was the largest of the ancient civilisations.
  • It was spread over 650,000 sq. km, which is more than twice the area of the Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilisations.
Town Planning
  • The Indus cities are based on excavations at Mohenjodaro and Harappa.
  • Like most of the Indus towns, Mohenjodaro also was a grid planned city.
  • One part was at a high level. It was built on a massive platform constructed of baked bricks.
  • It might have been the administrative centre of the city where all the large public buildings were located.
  • The lower part of the city consisted of the houses of the common people.
Mohenjodaro Planning

The Great Bath
  • The bathrooms were attached to the rooms of the Harappa people.
  • The ruins of the sight show that the Harappa civilization people were skilfull designers and good builders.
  • Their buildings had two or sometimes more storeys. One of the unique features of the city was its elaborate drainage system. A brick-lined drainage channel flowed alongside every street.
  • Removable bricks were placed at regular intervals for easy cleaning and inspection.
  • The people of the city used to have a bath before attending important functions and ceremonies.
Great Bath

The Granary
  • To the west of the bath, a massive brick platform has been excavated.
  • The shape and size of this structure suggested that it might have been a granary.
  • A large granary has been excavated at Harappa too.

Houses, drains and streets
  • Generally, houses were either one or two storeys high, with rooms built around a courtyard.
  • Each house had a single entrance.
  • Most houses had a separate bathing area, and some had wells to supply water.
  • Some of the houses were double storied.
  • The drains in houses invariably led to a cess-pool or manhole.
  • The drains along the main roads were covered and were inspected and cleaned regularly.
  • The drains in houses were connected to those on the streets and smaller drains led into bigger ones.
  • All three - houses, drains and streets - were probably planned and built at the same time.

Life in the city
  • The Indus cities were well planned, with straight roads, walled citadels and well-maintained drains.
  • There was a high standard of administration.
  • Many people lived in the cities; others living in the countryside grew crops and reared animals.
  • These farmers and herders supplied food to craftspersons, scribes and rulers in the cities.
  • People of Indus civilisation consumed barley, wheat, pulses, millets, fish, meat, milk and fruit.
  • Spindles made of clay have been found in many sites which were used for spinning the cotton thread.
  • Men wore flowing lengths of cloth and the women wore skirts.
  • Both man and women seem to have draped a shawl over their shoulders.
New crafts in the City
  • They wore ornaments made of gold, silver, and precious stone like jade, lapis lazuli and agate.
  • Bangles, earrings and necklaces have been popular in the age of Indus civilisation.
  • They women used kajal for their eyes.

  • The Indus people alloyed copper and tin to make bronze, which was more malleable and stronger than copper.
  • Knives, axes, and chisels were made of stone.
  • Copper tools like razors, hooks, sickles, nails, needles and axes were made.
  • They had no knowledge of iron.
Copper or Bronze weapons

Pottery and Seals
  • Pot making was the most popular occupation in the Indus Civilisation.
  • A variety of pots have been found.
  • Many seals have been found in the Indus Valley, mainly made of steatite.
  • Most of them show figures of animals, with writing on the top portion.
  • Most of the seals were square in shape, a few round and some cylindrical.

Craft Production
  • The discovery of statues, figurines of men and women in terracotta, stone and metal indicate that people of the area were great artists.
  • Among the stone images found in Harappa two male statues are noteworthy. One of them is artistically decorated while the other is kept naked. The first statue is that of a yogi, draped in a shawl worn over the left shoulder and under the right arm.
  • The other figure is a torso of a human male. It is beautiful piece of sculpture made of red stone.
  • The Harappan artists knew the art of bronze casting.
  • Many terracotta figures of animals, carts, toys and human figures were recovered from the side.
Priest King

  • Seal representing a male figure sitting in the form of a yogi, a figure like a mother goddess and pipal trees tell us a little about the faith of the people.
  • The people of the Indus valley may have worshiped Pasupati, an early form of Shiva.
  • Evidence of burial practices has been found at cemeteries at Harappa and few other sites.
  • The dead were buried wearing ornaments and with a few pots.
Figurine Goddess

  • The Indus civilisation had a well-established system of trade through road and sea.
  • The two large structures at Harappa and Mohenjodaro identified as granaries suggest the storage grains.
  • The grains probably came from villages and the villages may have traded the grain for some of the goods produced in the cities.
  • Besides roads, the Indus river system must have been used for trade.
The End of the Indus Civilisation
  • The cities might have been destroyed by earthquakes or floods.
  • Another factor could be the falling quality of the soil due to excessive deforestation.
  • The civilisation might have been destroyed by invading Aryans.
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