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History — Chapter 1

The River Valley Civilisations

Class 6 - Effective History & Civics Solutions


With respect to the Harappan Civilisation name the following

Question 1

Two Harappan sites.

Answer

(a) Harappa in Montgomery district in Punjab.

(b) Mohenjo-daro in the Larkana district.

Question 2

Two parts of a Harappan city.

Answer

(a) The Citadel.

(b) The Lower Town.

Question 3

Two Public buildings.

Answer

(a) The Great Bath.

(b) The Granaries.

Question 4

Two sites where Granaries have been found.

Answer

(a) Harappa

(b) Mohenjo-daro

Question 5

Two crops grown by the Harappans.

Answer

(a) Wheat

(b) Barley

Question 6

Two animals domesticated by the Harappans.

Answer

(a) Sheep

(b) Goat

Question 7

Two deities worshipped by the Harappans.

Answer

(a) Mother Goddess

(b) Pashupati Mahadeva

Question 8

Two items of art and craft.

Answer

(a) Dancing Girl

(b) Bearded Man

Match the following

Question 1

Column AColumn B
1. Harappa(a) Lothal
2. Mohenjo-daro(b) Steatite
3. Kalibangan(c) Mohenjo-daro
4. Dockyard(d) R.D. Banerjee
5. Assembly hall(e) Rajasthan
6. Seals(f) Dayaram sahni

Answer

Column AColumn B
1. Harappa(f) Dayaram sahni
2. Mohenjo-daro(d) R.D.Banerjee
3. Kalibangan(e) Rajasthan
4. Dockyard(a) Lothal
5. Assembly hall(c) Mohenjo-daro
6. Seals(b) Steatite

Fill in the blanks

Question 1

The Indus Valley Civilisation is also known as Harappan civilisation.

Question 2

Mohenjo Daro was situated on the Indus river in Sind.

Question 3

A male deity shown on the Indus seals is Pashupati Shiva.

Question 4

Wheat was the staple food of the Harappans.

Question 5

The Harappan pottery was Reddish brown in colour with design in Black.

Question 6

The Harappans worshipped Mother Goddess and Pashupati Mahadeva.

Question 7

The Harappans were the first people in the world to grow Cotton.

Answer the following questions

Question 1

Why is the Indus Valley Civilisation also known as the Harappan Civilisation?

Answer

Indus Valley Civilisation is also known as Harappan Civilisation after the name of a major site of this civilisation in Harappa.

Question 2

How was the Harappan Civilisation discovered? Name the two archaeologists associated with this discovery.

Answer

In 1920, during the construction of a railway track near Harappa, the railway authorities noticed that the bricks which were used from a nearby ruin belonged to a very old Civilisation. The Archaeological survey of India working on this information carried out extensive excavations at the site which lead to the discovery of the Harappan Civilisation. The two archaeologists associated with this discovery are Dayaram Sahni and R.D. Banerjee.

Question 3

Mention three important features of Harappan town planning.

Answer

The three important features of the Harappan town planning were

  1. Each city was divided into two parts -
    1. The Citadel was a raised platform where the rulers and the nobles lived.
    2. The lower town had residential buildings for common people.
  2. The streets were quite wide varying from 9 feet to 34 feet in width.The streets intersected each other at right angles. Lamp posts discovered along the roads indicate that the cities probably had street lights. The main roads were wide and curved at the corners so that heavy carts could turn easily.
  3. The Harappans had a well planned drainage system. The house drains emptied waste water into the street drains. The drains were covered with bricks or stones. Manholes and inspection traps were provided at regular intervals.

Question 4

Describe the organisation of the citadel in the town planning of Harappa.

Answer

The Citadel was a raised platform, rectangular in shape and about 12 meters high. It was constructed with bricks and stones with watchtowers. It had massive walls and its height acted as a protection against floods. It is believed that the ruler along with his nobles lived here. Important public buildings like the great bath, the granary, the assembly hall and the workshops were located here.

Question 5

Explain how the Harappans maintained an efficient drainage system.

Answer

The Harappans had a well planned drainage system. The house drains emptied waste water into the street drains. The drains were covered with bricks or stones. Manholes and inspection traps were provided at regular intervals.

Question 6

What were the occupations and crafts of the Harappan people?

Answer

The occupations and crafts of the Harappan people were:

  1. Agriculture — Most of the Harappan people were farmers. They grew wheat, barley, pulses, peas, rice, sesame, linseed and mustard. The Harappans reared cattle, sheep, goat and buffalo.
  2. Pottery — The Harappans knew the use of the potter's wheel. They made pots with fine clay, glazed and decorated with beautiful black designs.
  3. Crafts — They were skilled crafts persons and artists making all kinds of things such as a large variety of clay toys, seals, beads, ornaments of copper, bronze, gold and silver and statues.
  4. Spinning and weaving — The discovery of spindle whorls made of Terracotta and woven cloths attached to the lid of a silver vase suggests that the Harappans were skilled in the art of spinning and weaving.
  5. Building-Construction — The presence of large number of individual houses and public buildings and the discovery of a number of kilns for baking bricks found at a variety of Harappan sites indicate that building industry provided employment to a large number of people.

Question 7

Explain briefly the nature of the Harappan trade.

Answer

The Harappans carried out both internal and external trade. The internal trade was carried out through land routes by bullock-carts. Within India, they got precious stones, metals and other articles from many towns.
The Harappans had commercial relations with Mesopotamia and other West Asian countries. The Harappans used to obtain gold from south India and metals like silver, tin and copper from Persia, Oman, Afghanistan and Mesopotamia. The small boats depicted on the seals indicate that the external trade was carried out by sea.

Question 8

What were religious beliefs and practices of the Harappans?

Answer

The religious beliefs and practices of the Harappans can be known from the seals and objects of sculptures. The animals like humped bull, elephant, rhinoceros, tiger, lion and trees like peepal and acacia depicted on the seals tell us that these plants and animals were considered sacred by the Harappans. Discovery of a large number of terracotta female figures show that worship of Mother Goddess was quite popular. Among the male gods, the most significant is a three-faced deity wearing a horned dress and surrounded by elephant, tiger, buffalo and rhinoceros. This God has been identified as Pashupati Mahadeva.

Question 9

What factors were responsible for the decline of the Harappan Civilisation?

Answer

Various factors were responsible for the decline of the Harappan Civilisation. Some of these are the followings

  1. Natural Calamities like floods and earthquakes caused havoc and destroyed human habitation.
  2. The invading Aryans destroyed Indus settlements.
  3. Deforestation due to the excessive use of wood for making copper and bronze, to bake bricks, pottery, stone wear and to make boats and furniture, led to drying up of land and rendered it infertile.
  4. Decrease in fertility because of increasing salinity of the soil caused by the expansion of the neighbouring desert.
  5. Changes brought about in the course of the river Indus lead to the flooding of the hinterland of Mohenjo-daro and its ultimate decline.

Question 10

Write short notes on the following:

(a) Granaries.

(b) Dress and Ornaments worn by the Harappans.

Answer

(a) Granaries — Granaries were found at Harappa, Mohenjo-daro, Lothal and Kalibangan. The largest granary was found at Mohenjo-daro which measured 45.71 metres in length and 15.23 meters in breadth. At Harappa, there were two rows of six granaries with a wide passage between them. The granaries were used to store surplus grain. Near these granaries, circular brick platforms have been found. They were probably meant for threshing grain. These granaries were built close to rivers so that grains could easily be transported by boats to other places.

(b) Dress and Ornaments worn by the Harappans — The Harappans mostly used to wear cotton clothes. The rich people used woollen clothes in winter. The women wore some kinds of skirts and covered upper part of their body with a cloak. They used to cover their head with a scarf. Men used to wear a dhoti, and a shawl around the shoulders. Both men and women used to wear ornaments made of beads or shell. The rich people wore gold and silver ornaments. These included necklaces, amulets and finger rings. The women also wore head-dresses, girdles bangles and ear rings.

Picture Study

Question 1

Study the picture and answer the following questions:

Study the picture and answer the questions. Name the structure shown in the picture. Give its location. Describe the details of the structure. State its purpose. The River Valley Civilisation, Effective History and Civics Solutions ICSE Class 6.

(a) Name the structure shown in the picture.

(b) Give its location.

(c) Describe the details of the structure.

(d) State its purpose.

Answer

(a) The structure shown in the picture is The Greatbath.

(b) This is located at Mohenjo-daro.

(c) The Great Bath at Mohenjo-daro is the most important building of the Harappan civilisation. It was a huge rectangular tank with a flight of steps on the northern and southern sides, leading to the bottom of the tank. The water for the bath was provided by a well in an adjacent room. To make the pool watertight, burnt bricks and mortar lined with bitumen and gypsum were used for construction. The tank was surrounded by rooms which were either used as living rooms by the priest or were meant for changing clothes.

(d) It is generally believed that this Great Bath was used on religious occasions for ritual bathing.

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