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History — Chapter 1

The Harappan Civilisation

Class 9 - Total History & Civics Solutions


Short Answer Questions

Question 1

Name two important sources of information about the Harappan Civilisation.

Answer

The two important sources of information about the Harappan Civilisation are:

  1. The Great Bath which indicates the high degree of perfection of the art of the building.
  2. The Citadel which points to the planning and development of cities in Harappan civilisation.

Question 2

Name one important public building of Indus Valley Civilisation and its importance.

Answer

The Great Bath is an important public building of Indus Valley Civilisation. The importance of The Great Bath lies in the fact that it indicates the perfection in the art of building, religious, economical and social development of the society and efficient planning of structures.

Question 3

Give any two characteristic features of the citadel.

Answer

Two important characteristic features of the citadel are:

  1. Citadel was built on mud brick platform and hence it was a raised area.
  2. Citadel had important buildings like the houses of ruling class, the great bath, the granary and the assembly hall.

Question 4

How were seals used? What information do they give about Harappan trade?

Answer

The seals were used by the traders to stamp their goods. The goods were packed and tied and the knot was covered with wet clay and the seal was pressed on it.
The seals indicate that the Harappan trade had spread over a vast area.

Question 5

Briefly describe granaries at Harappa.

Answer

The granaries at harappa were built on raised platforms to protect them from floods. There were two rows of six granaries each. To the south of granaries there were rows of circular floors which probably were working platforms for threshing. The granaries also had two-roomed barracks which possibly accommodated labourers. The granary had ventilation to prevent grains from becoming mildewed.

Question 6

Briefly describe the ornaments worn by the Harappans.

Answer

Ornaments were worn by both men and women. The ornaments were made up of gold, silver, precious stones and ivory. Some common ornaments were necklaces, finger-rings, bangles, armlets, anklets, fan-shaped head dress and earrings.

Question 7

Briefly describe the statue of the dancing girl.

Answer

The statue of a dancing girl, made up of bronze was found at Mohenjo-daro. The right hand of the dancing girl rests on the hip and the heavily bangled left arm, holding a bowl rests on her left leg. The statue is a masterpiece of art and shows the high degree of development in field of art of sculpture. The figurine shows vigour, variety and ingenuity.

Question 8

Mention the types of dress worn by the Indus Valley people.

Answer

The Indus Valley men used to wear a dhoti and a shawl was used to cover the upper part of the body. The women wore a skirt and used a cloak to cover arms and shoulders. The discovery of needles and buttons at some sites show that they wore stitched clothes too.

Question 9

State two features of the internal trade in the Indus Valley Civilization.

Answer

The features of the internal trade in the Indus Valley Civilization were:

  1. All exchanges carried through barter system.
  2. There were important centres of different products, for example Lothal, Harappa and Mohenjo-daro were centres for metallurgy; Balakot and Chanundaro were centres for bangle-making.

Question 10

State any two evidences that show the Harappans also had trade relations with foreign countries.

Answer

The evidences that show the Harappans also had trade relations with foreign countries are:

  1. The Mesopotamian records from about 2350 BC onwards refer to trade relations with Meluha, which is the ancient name given to Indus region.
  2. The depictions of ships and boats on seals also indicate foreign trade. Mesopotamian texts refer to Meluha as a land of seafarers.

Question 11

Name the four animals depicted on the Pashupati seal.

Answer

The four animals depicted on the Pashupati seal are an Elephant, a Tiger, a Buffalo and a Rhinoceros.

Question 12

State any two causes that led to the decline of the Harappan Civilisation.

Answer

Two causes that led to the decline of the Harappan Civilisation were:

  1. Floods and Earthquakes
  2. Deforestation

Question 13

What types of weights and measures did the Indus people use ?

Answer

The Indus people used a set of cubical stone weights. The basic unit was 16 (equal to 14 grams). Larger weights were multiples of 16 like 32, 48, 64, 128 and so on. The smaller ones were all fractions of 16.

Question 14

State any two ways to show the value of Indus script as a source of historical information.

Answer

The Indus script indicates that the script was pictographic as it uses signs of birds, fishes and humans. Although not yet deciphered, the script is found inscribed on a number of seals, copper tools, rims of jar, copper and terracotta tablets, jewellery and on an ancient signboard. This indicates that the Harappan civilisation was an advanced urban civilisation.

Question 15

In what two respects is Harappan Civilisation our greatest heritage?

Answer

Harappan Civilisation is our greatest heritage as:

  1. The Harappan way of making baked pottery, bricks, beads, jewellery, textiles, etc. was adopted by the later civilisations. Cultivation of cotton was the biggest achievement of Harappan civilisation which adopted by Egyptians after several centuries.
  2. In the religious sphere, the worship of Pashupati Shiva, the female deity as Mother Goddess, sacred trees, animals, serpents, religious symbols, etc. which were prevalent during the Harappan period, some of them have continued to this day.

Structured Questions

Question 1

With reference to the sources of information about the Harappan Civilisation, answer the following:

(a) Three significant features of the Great Bath.

(b) Social classification of Harappans as pointed out by the citadel.

(c) Religion of the Harappans as depicted by the Seals.

Answer

(a) Three significant features of the Great Bath are:

  1. It is one of the largest public buildings at Mohenjo-daro having a large rectangular tank in a courtyard surrounded by a corridor on all four sides. There are two flights of steps one in the north and the other in the south leading into the tank.
  2. To make the pool watertight, burnt bricks and mortar lined with bitumen and gypsum were used for construction.
  3. The design of the Great Bath portrays the efficient planning in the structural features relating to water supply and sewage disposal.

(b) The citadel was the raised area of city. It had houses of ruling class and important buildings like the Great Bath, the assembly hall, the granary and the workshops. The presence of specific buildings and houses of the ruling class indicate some sort of social classification.

(c) Harappan seals provide useful information about the religion and beliefs of the Harappans. Seals of Pashupati show that people believed in Shiva. It shows a three-faced deity wearing a buffalo-horned head dress, seated cross-legged on a throne and surrounded by an elephant, a tiger, a buffalo and a rhinoceros, with two deer at his feet. This diety has been identified as Pashupati Mahadeva.

Question 2

With reference to Harappan Culture, answer the following questions:

(a) Discuss briefly the indigenous origin of the Harappan Civilisation.

(b) Describe the extent of the civilisation.

(c) Name any four cities of the Harappan Civilisation and a significant feature of each city.

Answer

(a) The Harappan Civilisation had its roots in Indian soil.The civilisation evolved in areas near the Indus river and expanded over the time.The urban culture which has been observed was just the extension of local village culture along with effect of trade relations with Mesopotamia.The historians found some marked similarities between the pre-Harappan and proto-Harappan culture at Kot Diji, Amri and Kalibangan in terms of granary, defensive walls and long distance trade in these settlements.

(b) The Harappan Civilisation was the largest of all ancient civilisations covering a triangular area of 1.3 million sq.km . It extended from Suktagendor (Baluchistan) in west to Alamgirpur (U.P.) in the east and from Manda (Jammu) in the north to Bhagatrav (Narmada Estuary) in the south. The Harappan Civilisation covered parts of Punjab, Haryana, Sindh, Baluchistan, Gujarat, Rajasthan and fringes of western Uttar Pradesh.

(c) The four important cities of the Harappan Civilisation are:

  1. Harappa — It is situated in Montgomery district of Punjab on the left bank of Ravi river. It was the first site to be discovered in 1921. It measured around 5 km in circuit and was an important centre of Metallurgy.
  2. Mohenjo-daro — It is situated in Larkana district of Sindh on the right bank of Indus river. It was the second site to be discovered in 1922. The main feature of this city is it's drainage system and it's roads. It is linked to Harappa through Indus river.
  3. Chanhudaro — It lies about 130 km south of Mohenjo-daro. It was probably the industrial hub with bangle and beads making industries. Copper and Bronze models of carts with seated drivers were also found from this city.
  4. Lothal — It is situated in Gujarat. A rectangular dockyard was discovered here. Lothal was an important trading and manufacturing centre of the Indus Valley Civilisation and was used for carrying out overseas trade.

Question 3

With reference to the chief features of the Harappan Civilisation, answer the following:

(a) Any three characteristic features of town planning.

(b) Three special features of the houses of the people.

(c) Mention any two common elements between Mohenjo-daro and Harappa.

Answer

(a) Three Characteristic features of town planning of Harappan Civilization are:

  1. Each city was divided into two parts- the raised area (citadel) and the lower town.
  2. House drains emptied all waste water into the street drains.
  3. The streets crossed the main road at right angles, dividing the roads into square or rectangular blocks.

(b) Three special features of the houses of the people are:

  1. The buildings had a deep foundation and were constructed according to a set plan on high mounds in order to protect them from floods.
  2. The houses were made of brick and wood. Each house had doors, windows and ventilators. Doors and windows opened on the side of the streets and not on the main roads.
  3. The size of houses varied from a single room tenements to bigger houses with courtyards, upto twelve rooms, private wells and toilets. Each house had covered drains connected to street drains.

(c) The two common elements between Mohenjo-daro and Harappa are:

  1. Both cities are located on river banks — Mohenjo-daro on the right bank of the Indus, and Harappa on left bank of the Ravi.
  2. Both measured around 5.0 km in circuit.

Question 4

With reference to art and sculpture of the Indus Valley people answer the following questions:

(a) Describe any important object of sculpture made by the Harappans.

(b) How did Indus pottery reflect the potter's artistic skill?

(c) Name and briefly describe the process by which sculpture in metal was done.

Answer

(a) Harappans were skilled sculptors. A large number of stone images have been found. Among these, the statue of a bearded man found in Mohenjo-daro is most remarkable. The statue has a shawl worn over the left shoulder and the eyes are half-closed. This sculpture is of high artistic value.

(b) The pottery produced by Harappans were glossy and shining.Earthen vessels and pottery was crafted on the potter's wheel. These earthen vessels were decorated with black geometrical designs. Large vessels with narrow necks and red pots with black decoration reflect artistic skills of potters.

(c) The sculpture in metal was done through the special "lost wax process". In this process wax figures were covered with clay coating. Then wax was melted by heating and the hollow mould thus created was filled with molten metal which took the original shape of the object.

Question 5

Study the picture of the seal and answer the question that follow:

Identify the seal in the given picture. Why were the seals used? Of what material were these seals made? Name any four animals whose pictures were inscribed on the seals. What do the seals reveal about the Harappans? The Harappan Civilisation, Total History and Civics Solutions ICSE Class 9.

(a) Identify the seal in the given picture. Why were the seals used?

(b) Of what material were these seals made? Name any four animals whose pictures were inscribed on the seals.

(c) What do the seals reveal about the Harappans?

Answer

(a) The seal in the given picture is seal of Pashupati.
The seals were used by the traders to stamp their goods. After a pack with goods was tied, the knot was covered with wet clay and the seal was pressed on it.

(b) The seals were made of terracotta, steatite and agate, etc.
The four animals whose pictures were inscribed on the seals are Elephant, Tiger, Buffalo and Rhinoceros.

(c) The seals of Harappans reveal their artistic skills, their mythological and religious inclination and their script etc. The use of seals also depict their efficient and organised trade system that had spread over a vast area.

Question 6

Study the picture and answer the questions that follow:

Study the picture and answer the questions that follow. Identify the structure. List any two of its characteristic features. State the importance of this structure as a source of information about Harappan Civilisation. Name another architectural structure of this period. How does this structure show that Harappan Civilisation was highly developed? The Harappan Civilisation, Total History and Civics Solutions ICSE Class 9.

(a) Identify the structure. List any two of its characteristic features.

(b) State the importance of this structure as a source of information about Harappan Civilisation.

(c) Name another architectural structure of this period. How does this structure show that Harappan Civilisation was highly developed?

Answer

(a) The given structure is the Great Bath. Its two characteristic features are:

  1. It has a large rectangular tank in a courtyard surrounded by a corridor on all four sides.
  2. There are two flights of steps one in the north and the other in the south leading into the tank.

(b) The Great Bath is an important source of information about the life of people and their culture. The design of the Great Bath reflects an efficient planning and drainage system. It also suggests that there was a ruling class which could mobilise labour, collect taxes and build such large public buildings.

(c) The Citadel was the other structure of this period. It was a raised area of the city on which the important buildings like the houses of ruling class, the granary, the Great Bath and the assembly hall were made. The Citadel shows that there was a classification or stratification in Harappan society. It also indicates that the Harappans were developed and their civilisation was an urban one.

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