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Class VI - social: Different Ways Of life: The Vedic Period and Chalcolithic Settlements
One Word Answer Questions:
Q) Name the sacred religious literature of the Aryans?
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Q) Name the animal which the Aryans brought with them?
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Q) Which was the first Veda to be composed?
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Q) The chief of tribe of the Aryan society is known as?
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Q) Megaliths are found in _____ sites?
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Q) Stone circles or boulders on the surface were used to serve as ____?
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Q) The Aryans came from which part of the world?
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Q) Black and red wares were found from which site?
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Q) Inamgaon is in which modern-day state of India?
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Q) The Aryans initially settled around which river?
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Q) People who composed the Vedas called themselves by which name?
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Q) Who was called as the dasa or dasyu during the Vedic Age?
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Q) What is the total number of Vedas?
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Short Answer Questions:
Q) Write a short note on the Rig Veda.
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Q) Where are the Aryans believed to have originated from?
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Q) How many hymns are present in Rig Veda?
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Q) How do Historians Study the Skeleton?
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Q) Write a short note on Inamgaon.
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Q) What was the significance of Raja during the Vedic period?
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Q) In what ways are the books we read today different from the Rigveda?
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Q) What kind of evidence from burials do archaeologists use to find out whether there were social differences amongst those who were buried?
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Long Answer Questions:
Q) Name the various religious books of the Vedic people?
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Q) What were the various families of languages during the Vedic Period?
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Q) Name the two types of pottery associated with the Vedic people?
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Q) Explain the nature of the occupation of the Vedic society?
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Q) Explain about the Megaliths.
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Q) Give an account of the distinctive status of the Aryan people.
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Q) Explain the life of the Chalcolithic people of Inamgaon?
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Q) What was the main occupation of the people of Inamgaon? Give reasons.
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Q) What was the importance of hymns in the Rig Veda?
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Q) What was the significance of Raja during the Vedic period?
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The Vedic and Chalcolithic Settlements
The coming of the Aryans
  • Around the time the Indus civilisation declined, new groups of people came into Indian subcontinent from the north-west. They are known as Aryans.
  • We know about the Aryans from their sacred religious literature called the Vedas. This period of Indian history is therefore also known as the Vedic Period.
  • The Aryans are thought to have originated in the areas surrounding the Caspian Sea in southern Russia.
  • They were basically pastoralists (people who kept cattle).
  • The Aryans spoke a language which is believed to be the root of Greek, Persian, Sanskrit and German.
  • There are several words in common between these languages.
  • The Aryans brought with them the horse and the horse-drawn chariot.
  • They are also believed to have brought the use of iron into India. Hence, their arrival marks the beginning of the Iron Age in northern India.
A Chariot used by Aryans

The Evidence for the Coming of Aryans
  • There is some archaeological evidence of this period.
  • Archaeologists identify two types of pottery that are believed to be associated with the Aryan settlers.
  • One is black and red ware that is found in the Indo-Gangetic divide and the upper Ganga-Yamuna doab (The land between two rivers).
  • The second is painted grey ware. It has been found in the middle and eastern Gangetic Plain.Grey coloured ware is typically painted with black or red geometric patterns.
Painted Grey Ware
Where did they live?
  • The first book of the Vedas is Rig Veda tells us that after crossing the Himalayas, the Aryans first settled down in the region surrounding the Indus and its tributaries.
  • They called this land the SaptaSindhu or the land of the seven rivers.
  • The people were grouped into tribes. Cattle was their main source of wealth and it gave them milk, ghee and meat.
  • From 1000 BC to around 600 BC, the Aryans spread from the SaptaSindhu region into the Indo-Gangetic plains.
  • They cleared the thick forest by cutting and burning them. The land was then used for cultivation and settling.
  • The people lived in wattle and daub houses.
How were they ruled?
  • The rajan was the chief of the tribe. He was chosen by the people.
  • He was assisted by the commander-in-chief of the army, known as the senani,and the priest or the purohit.
  • The rajan was also advised by two assemblies of elders known as the sabha and samiti.
  • From various texts and epics we know that Kuru and Panchala were powerful tribes.
  • The rajan performed sacrifices like the Rajasuya and Ashwamedha to gain supremacy over other chiefs.
How was society categorised?
  • Sometimes, the people who composed the hymns described themselves as Aryas and called their opponents as Dasas or Dasyus.
  • These were people who did not perform sacrifices, and probably spoke different languages. Later, the term dasa came to mean slave.
  • Slaves were women and men who were often captured in war. They were treated as the property of their owners, who could make them do whatever work they wanted.
  • Aryan society was also classified on the basis of occupation into four classes.
  • The Brahmins were the priests, the Kshatriyas were the rulers and the vaishyas were the traders, cultivators and skilled workers. The shudras served the other three groups and did menial jobs.
  • However, over a period of time, it became difficult for people to move out of the varna or class they were born into.
  • They system was no longer based on one's profession. It had become hereditary.
  • At the top were Brahmins and they held high position because they were necessary for conducting all rituals.
  • Next the Kshatriya or the warriors by acquiring more lands, had become powerful.
  • The Vaishyas were the next to the Kshatriya. They had become wealthy and powerful due to their trading activities.
  • Shudras were the next to the vaishayas.
  • The Aryans led a simple life. Cattle rearing and agriculture were their important occupations.
  • The people grew rice, wheat and barley. People also worked as potter, weavers, carpenters and chariot makers.
  • After 1000 BC, agriculture became the most important occupation.
  • With improved technology and a better lifestyle, a variety of occupation like leather making and jewellery making came up.
  • The people started trading with places across the sea.
Cattle Rearing
Their worship
  • The Aryans worshipped the sky, the wind, the rain, fire and other elements of nature as gods and goddess.
  • The god of thunder and war was Indra. Other gods worshipped included Surya, the Sun god, Varuna, the god of rain, Prithvi, the goddess of the Earth and Agni, the god of fire.
  • Aryans slowly spread across northern India; they started worshipping new gods like Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
  • Goddess like Saraswati and Lakshmi were also worshipped.
Worship of nature
Religious Books
Religious books of the Aryans
  • The Vedas were the main religious books of the Aryans. The Vedas composed in Sanskrit.
  • There are four Vedas - The Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sama Veda and the Atharva Veda. It consists of 1028 hymns.
  • Apart from the Vedas, the other religious books of the Aryans included the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas, the Upanishad, the Puranas and the epics - the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
  • These books tell us about the life of the Aryans.
Religious Book

Chalcolithic Settlements in the Rest of India
  • Around the time the Indus Valley settlements were declining in the north-west, and the Aryans started coming into India, the agriculture-based life had started in other parts of the country.
  • More than a thousand Neolithic and Chalcolithic sites that flourished between 2000 BC and 500 BC have been discovered in various parts of the country.
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