ICSE Solutions for Class 6 History and Civics – The River Valley Civilisations: Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Chinese Civilisations
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I. Fill in the blanks:
- The Egyptian kings were called Pharaohs.
- Mummification is the process of preserving dead bodies.
- Mesopotamia is situated in Western Asia now Iraq.
- The first code of laws were made by Hammurabi.
- The Chinese script is Pictographic.
- The Chinese worshiped a God called Shang Ti.
II. Match Column A with Column B
III. Write True or False against the following statements
- The Egyptians perfected the art of embalming.
- The Egyptians developed a lunar calendar.
- Two famous pyramids have been found at Cairo.
- The star Sirius appeared in Egypt whenever there were floods.
- The Sumerians developed a system of writing known as Cuneiform.
- Hammurabi built the Hanging Gardens.
- The Chinese invented the seismograph which recorded earth quake.
IV. Answer the following questions in a few sentences.
1. With what name is the old kingdom of Egypt also known?
Ans. This is known as the period of the construction of pyramids.
2. Mention the contribution of ancient Egyptians.
Ans. Ancient Egyptians developed a photographic script called hieroglyphics. They built pyramids, sphinxes, and knew how to preserve mummies. They knew about basic mathematical calculations and circulation of blood. They developed the solar calendar.
3. Name two gods of the Egyptians.
Ans. Ra, Isis, Osiris, Homs, etc.
4.What is Egyptian writing known as?
5.Name the four dynasties that ruled China.
Ans. The four dynasties that ruled China were: Shang, Chou, Chin and Han.
6.Name two Mesopotamian city states.
Ans. Ur and Babylon.
V. Answer the following questions briefly:
Name the four River Valley Civilisations. Mention their common features.
The four River Valley Civilisations were:
- Harappan civilisation
- Chinese civilisation
- Mesopotamian civilisation
- Egyptian civilisation
- They were located on the banks of rivers.
- Their main occupation was agriculture.
- They developed their own art of writing.
- All of them had strong political organisations.
- They had many cities.
Why is the Egyptian Civilisation called the Gift of the Nile?
The Egyptian civilisation flourished on the banks of the river Nile. Without the River Nile Egypt would have been a desert and an uninhabited region. There is hardly any rainfall in Egypt. The alluvial soil deposited by Nile makes the region fertile. Therefore, the Egyptian civilisation is called the gift of the Nile.
What was the position of the king in the Egyptian society?
The king occupied the top position in the Egyptian society. He had absolute powers over his people. People worshiped him as God and his statues were placed in temples. King’s achievements were described on their wails. The king was called the ‘ Pharaoh’.
What do you know about the Sphinx?
It is a fine example of Egyptian sculpture. It is a mythological animal with the body of a lion and the head of a man. It is carved out of a single large stone. It was meant to guard the pyramids.
Describe the contribution of Egyptians in astronomy.
Egyptians developed the first solar calendar. They made the first known calendar of 365 days in a year of 12 months, each month of 30 days.
What is a Ziggurat? Describe it and give an example.
Mesopotamian city was divided into three main areas — the sacred area, the walled city on a mound and an outer town. The sacred area had the main temple called Ziggurat dedicated to the patron God of the city. The temple had multi-storeys each smaller than the one below it. The temple area was also the administrative centre.
Why is Hammurabi famous in history?
The greatest king of Babylon was Hammurabi who became famous for first ever codification of laws, called Hammurabi’s Code of Laws. The laws were 282 in number and were carved on both sides of an eight feet stop pillar. The pillar was placed in the temple of Marduk – the Sun God. The punishments depended on the nature and circumstances of crimes and the position of the offender in society. Other ancient nations took lead from these laws.
Describe the contribution of the Chinese civilisation in various fields.
The Chinese were the first to grow tea and produce silk from silkworms. They were also the first to make porcelain or Chinaware and to produce paper. They made the seismograph and recorded earthquakes. They used both solar and lunar calendars. They also invented the mariner’s compass, gun powder, the umbrella and kites. They also invented an astronomical clock. The Great Wall of China, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, extending over 2400 km, was built by the Chinese. The pagodas made of wood are another example of fine Chinese architecture.
Describe the religion of the people of the Chinese civilisation.
Like in other contemporary civilisations, the Chinese also worshiped various forces of nature. They worshiped a god called Shang Ti or the ‘ruler above’. They believed in ancestor worship, Taoism and Confucianism’ were the two most popular religions and philosophical systems founded by Lao-tze and Confucius respectively.
VI .Write short notes on
- Contribution of Mesopotamian in the field of science
- The Great Pyramid &
- Great Wall of China
- Contribution of Mesopotamians in the field of science:
The Mesopotamians made great progress in the field of science. They were expert in mathematics, medicines and astronomy, and were the first to develop algebra and geometry. They also used the figure of 60 for measuring time in hours, minutes and seconds. They were the first to divide a circle into 360° and the day and night into 12 hours each. They invented a calendar of 12 months with 30 days each.
- Mummification: The Egyptians believed in life after death. They believed that the body should be preserved so that the soul might live within it. They developed the art of preserving the body to great perfection — a process called mummification. The embalmed body (mummy) was placed in a coffin and put inside a pyramid.
- The Great Pyramid: The Great Pyramid at Giza near Cairo was the largest pyramid. It was built by Pharaoh Cheopa (Khufu) in 2650 BC. It is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and it took over 20 years to be built.
- Great Wall of China: The Great Wall of China is a fine example of engineering skills of ancient Chinese. It is the highest and longest wall in the world. It extends over 2400 km and is eight meters high and seven meters wide. There are 16,000 towers across the length of the wall. Each tower is built at an interval of 150 meters and is 14 feet high. The Great Wall of China is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
VII. Tell Us Why/How:
The floods of the river Nile benefited the Egyptians.
The Nile was the only source of water without which Egypt would have been a desert. Egypt hardly receives rainfall and the region would have been barren but for the fertile alluvium, deposited by river Nile. The floods deposited rich and fertile alluvial soil in the floodplains so essential for agriculture.
Hwang Ho is called the ‘Sorrow of China.’
The large river Hwang-Ho often changed its course after the floods. Floods led to destruction of crops, humans and cattle. People living near it faced many difficulties due to floods. That is why it is called the ‘ Sorrow of China’.
VIII. Picture study: This is a world famous garden.
1. Where and w hen was it built?
Ans. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon was built in Mesopotamia.
2.Name the king who got it built.
Ans. It was built by king Nebuchadnezzar II.
3.Why did he build it?
Ans. He got it built for his wife who was the native of a green and mountainous land and she often missed the scenic beauty of her homeland. The king recreated her beautiful homeland by building the Hanging Gardens.
Text Book Keyword
- Mesopotamia: Mesopotamia means ‘the land between two rivers’ in Greek language . The Mesopotamian civilisations developed between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris.
- Ziggurats: Ziggurats were sacred temple-towers. They were dedicated to the patron god and were also used as schools, granaries and trade centres.
- Cuneiform: It was the wedge-shaped script of the Mesopotamians, written on clay tablets.
- Stylus: Stylus was a sharp pen made of reed, bone or metal. Hummurabi’s code of low It was the earliest complete record of laws written by King Hummurabi of Babylon.
- Herodotus: He was the ancient Greek historian who said that Egypt was ‘The gift of Nile’.
- Hyksos tribes: They invaded and ruled Egypt for about a husband years (1, 700 BCE – 1, 600 BCE).
- Ptolemy: He was one of the generals of Alexander the Great. He was also the founder of the last dynasty of Egypt.
- Pharaoh: He was an Egypt King.
- Cleopatra: She was the famous queen of Egypt whose death in 30 BCE also marked the end of the Egyption civilization. Great Pyramid Great Pyramid of Giza is the largest pyramid in Egypt, built by King Khufu or Cheops. It is also among the seven wonders of the ancient world.
- Sphinx: It is an architectural marvel of ancient Egypt. It is a mythological figure with the body of a lion and the face of a man.
- Mummification: This is a the preservation of dead bodies by embalming them. The preserved dead bodies are called mummies.
- Ra: He was the sun God of the Egyption civilization. He was the most important god of the Egyptians. Osiris He was the god of the blessed dead.
- Nomes: These were the provinces of the Egyptian civilization. Nomarch He was the official who governed each province. Hieroglyphic Script It was writing developed by the Egyptians. Hieroglyphic means ‘sacred writing’.
- Papyrus: Papyrus Plant is a water reed from which the ancient Egyptians made paper. The word papei is derived from papyrus
- Shang dynasty:It was the first known dynasty in China. Ancestor worship is to pray the dead people of the family. The Chinese believed that human beings become powerful souls after death.
- Oracles:They were priests or holy people who were in close touch with the gods.
- Confucianism: It was the religious movement named after its founder, Confucius. It taught a practical code of moral conduct and became the state religion of China.
- Sericulture: It is the breeding of silkworms for the production of silk.
- Mulberry tree: It is a tree with broad, dark, green leaves and edible berries. Silkworms eat the leaves of the white mulberry and the trees are used for rearing silkworms to produce wool.
- Porcelain: It is a hard, white, shiny substance made by baking clay and used for making delicate pottery.
- Great Wall of China: It was built by Emperor Shi Huangdi to protect the country from the frequent attacks of the barbarians.
- Pagodas: They are Stupa-type temples that were an important feature of the Chinese architecture.
Questions Based On Mesopotamian Civilation
A.Fill in the blanks.
- The two rivers associated with the Mesopotamian civilization were the Tigris and the Euphrates.
- Mesopotamia is called the cradle and grave of many civilization.
- To ensure steady supply of water throughout the year, the Mesopotamias built an elaborate and highly developed irrigation system. They also built dykes to control floods.
- The Mesopotamians kept a record of the business accounts on clay tablets
- The Mesopotamians invented a system of writing called the Cuneiform.
- The Babylonian king Hummurabi compiled a code of law.
B. Match the Following
C. Answer the following questions.
Name the three major civilizations that rose and fell in the Mesopotamian Valley.
The major civilizations that rose and fell in the Mesopotamian valley are following:
- Sumerian Civilization = on the lower valley of Euphrates
- Babylonian civilization = on the north-eastern side of Sumer
- Assyrian civilization = on the highlands in the north
Which crop was first cultivated by the Mesopotamians? Name three other crops cultivated by them.
Wheat was the first crop that cultivated by the Mesopotamians. Barley, pulses and fruits were also cultivated by them.
Name three important specialized skills of the Mesopotamians.
Pottery, weaving and metal work were important specialized skills of the Mesopotamians.
Explain briefly the three-tiered social structure of Mesopotamia.
The Mesoptamian Society was divided into three classes:-
- The upper class— The members of the royal family, priests and high officials were under the upper class.
- The middle class— This class consisted of farmers, artisans and traders.
- The lower class— This class consisted of slaves.
How do we know that the Mesopotamians had trade links with the people of the Indus Valley?
Seals found in the Indus valley, show that the Mesopotamians had trade links with the people of Indus valley.
Name the greatest contributions of the Mesopotamians in the field of architecture.
- The Mesopotamians introduced architectural forms such as arches, columns, domes and vaults in the construction of buildings.
- Their temple-towers and The Hanging Garden of Babylon is a brilliant specimen of Mesopotamian architecture. This is believed to be one of the greatest contributions of Mesopotmia in the field of architecture.
How do we know that Mesopotamians believed in life after death?
Drinking vessels ornaments, weapons etc. have been found in some graves. By these things we know that Mesopotermians believed in life after death.
What was Hammurabi’s contribution to the legal systems of Mesopotamia and the world?
Hummurabi’s code of law undoubtedly, One of the greatest achievements of Hummurabi the king of Babylon. This code of law, written on a stone slab. Hummurbi is the earliest complete record of laws that has been found in the world. This code is based on justice, old customs and traditions. The code deals with every part of the human life such as property, wages, debts, banking, theft, murder, marriage etc.
There are punishments for crimes injuries and other evils and rules about family life also include.
Write short notes on the following:
- Family life— The father was the head of the family. The rights of women were protected. Children were brought up very strictly and boys were sent to schools to study arithmetic, reading and writing. Girls were trained in dance and music.
- Religion— The Mesopotamians believed in many gods. Every city had its own special God. They worshiped the sun, rain, moon and stars. Mesopotamians believed that the king was the chief priest and the representative of God on earth. The priests occupied a very important position in society. The Mesopotamians also believed in life after death
- Mathematical skills— The Mesopotamians were skilled mathematicians. They had a special sign for number ‘One’. They also used the figure 60 as the unit for measuring times, A years was divided into 12 months, Days and nights were divided into two equal halves consisting of 12 hours each. These are all mathematical skills of Mesopotamians.
- Script— ‘Cuneiform’ was the wedge-shaped script of the Mesopotamians. It was written with a tool known as ‘Stylus’ on the clay tablets, which were dried in the sun. This script was written from right to left. We can get every important information about the Mesopotamians by this script. Thus this script was the greatest contribution of the Mesopotamians to the world civilization is the art of writing.
- Ziggurat— Ziggurats were temple-tower, found in the sacred area of the city of Ur. They were monumental structures made from sun-baked bricks. They were dedicated to the patron god of the city. They were many storeys high and decorated with tiles, precious stones and marble. Ziggurats were also used as schools, granaries and trade centers.
What led to the decline of the Mesopotamian Civilization?
The following causes led to the decline of the Mesopotamian civilization.
- The Euphrates River is lifeline of this great civilization, unexpectedly changed its course. The region became more and more dry like a desert.
- Winds and sandstorms might have been responsible for the destruction of Mesopotamian civilization
D. State whether the following are true or false.
- Natural barriers surrounded Mesopotamia.
- The girls in Mesopotamia were sent to school to learn to read and write.
- The king was regarded as the representative of God on earth.
- The Mesopotamians used the figure of 50 for measuring time.
- The cuneiform script was written from left to right.
Questions Based On Egyptian Civilation
A. Fill in the blanks.
- 1. The Nile provided water for Irrigation and also served as a national highway.
- The king of Egypt was known as the Pharaoh.
- The father was the head of the family.
- Egyptian women were treated with respect.
- The staple diet of the ancient Egyptians consisted of wheat and beer
- Men and women wore dresses made of White linen.
- Egyptian houses had small windows high up on the walls to keep out the sun and let in the daylight.
- The chief occupation of the ancient Egyptians was agriculture
- Two important gods of the Egyptians were Ra and Osiris.
- Two examples that prove that the Egyptians were great builders are Pyramids and Sphinx.
B. Match the following.
Why is Egypt called the ‘Gift of the Nile’?
Nile has proved a great boon for Egypt. The river Nile makes the land quite fertile. The Egyptian farmers can grow crops on the same fields year after year. Nile also served as a highway and made navigation possible. This thing promoted trade and commerce within the country as well as with other countries of the world. Rightly Egypt has been called ‘The Gift of Nile.’
How did the Egyptian desert help in the development of Egyptian culture and civilization?
These deserts served as natural barriers to foreign invasions. So the early Egyptian settlers enjoyed many years of peace and security. This atmosphere help in the development of Egyptian culture and civilization
How many periods is the history of ancient Egypt divided into ? Name them.
The history of ancient Egypt is divided into three periods.
- The Old Kingdom approximately 3,000 BCE – 2,000 BCE
- The Middle Kingdom approximately 2,000 BCE – 1,700 BCE
- The New Kingdom approximately 1,600 BCE – 1,100 BCE
Name the three social classes of ancient Egypt. Mention the people who constituted each of these classes.
The Egyptians were divided into three distinct classes. These are following
- The upper class— The upper class consisted of the royal family, rich landowners, high ranking priests, government officials and doctors
- The middle class— The middle class consisted of merchants, manufactures, crafts persons and the lower clergy.
- The lower class— This class consisted of the peasants, At the bottom of the social hierarchy were the slaves who were mainly prisoners of war.
Briefly describe the family life of the early Egyptians.
The families were close -knit groups. The relationship between the husband, wife and children was usually close. The father was the head of the family. Women were treated with respect and their property rights were protected. Children enjoyed carefree and happy lives. Wealthy families lived lives of luxury and pleasure.
State the main occupations of the ancient Egyptians. Discuss any two.
Agriculture, Domestication of Animals, Art and craft, Architecture and Engineering, Trade and commerce, mummification are the main occupation of the ancient Egyptians. Agriculture— The chief occupation of the Egyptians was agriculture. The Nile provided water for irrigation. The Egyptians farmers can grow crops on the fertile land year after year. Their chief crops were wheat barley and millet. Vegetable and fruits were also grown. Domestication of Animals— The second occupation of Egyptian was domestication of Animals. Pigs, Cows, Sheep, goats, camels, doves and geese were domesticated.
What is a mummy? How was a body mummified?
The preserved dead body is called Mummy. A dead body was embalmed with spices and wrapped in a fine linen.
Who were the pharaohs? Why were they treated like gods?
The Pharaohs were kings of Egypt. Pharaohs treated like gods because Egyptian believed that Pharaoh was to be representative of God on earth.
Why did the ancient Egyptians preserve their dead?
The Egyptians believed in life after death, So they preserve the body of the dead.
Write short notes on the following:
- Egyptian Script— The script of the ancient Egyptians is known as the hieroglyphic script. Hieroglphic means sacred writing. They started with picture writing but later on they developed 24 consonants. There were no vowels.
- Egyptian Solar Calendar— The Egyptian introduced the world’s first solar calendar. They found that average time between two annual floods was 365 days. The year was divided into 12 months, each consisting of 30 days. The remaining five days were used for celebrating religious festivals.
Discuss briefly the contributions of the ancient Egyptian in the following fields:
Medicine— The Egyptian mummies, prepared thousands of years ago are still well preserved. This is proof of their advanced knowledge of medicine. Egyptian doctors and surgeons were renowned for their skills. They are also credited with having made the world’s first medical diagnosis.
Astronomy— The Egyptians were the first to make an instrument to observe the movements of stars and planets. They also invented the water clock to read the time at night.
D. State whether the following are true or false.
- The Greek historian Ptolemy called Egypt the ‘Gift of the Nile’.
- Women were more or less equal to men in the eyes of law.
- Only the woman in ancient Egypt wore jewellery.
- The Egyptians followed the barter system.
- The Egyptians developed a simplified alphabet which had 21 consonants and 5 vowels.
- The Egyptian invented the water clock to read the time at night.
A. Fill in the blanks.
- China is bordered by the Pacific Ocean in the east.
- The great rivers of China are Hwang Ho and Yangzte Kiang
- The first known dynasty of China was the Shang dynasty.
- Emperor Shi Huangdi Built the Great Wall of China to protect China from the frequent attacks of barbarians.
- The chief exports of China were silk, chinaware, tea and paper.
- The Chinese wrote on silk or bamboo slips and later on paper.
- Chinese stupa-style temples were known as pagodas.
- In the 1st century CE the Chinese made paper from bark of old trees, old rags and fishing nets.
B. Match the following:
C. Answer the following questions.
How was China isolated and protected from the rest of the world?
China, this vast country is bordered by the Pacific Ocean in the east, the Himalayas in the south, broad deserts and mountains in the west and Great Wall in the north. Within these boundaries lie the valley of two rivers. In this way China was isolated and protected from the rest of the world.
Name the rivers that gave rise to the ancient Chinese civilization. Why was one of them known as the ‘sorrow of China’?
Hwang Ho and Yangzte Kiang are two rivers that gave rise to ancient Chinese civilization. The river Hwang Ho was also known as the ‘Sorrow of China’ because it often changed its course after the floods and caused destruction of crops and canals dug for irrigation. People living on the banks of this river were especially affected
What were the important occupations of the ancient Chinese? Mention two important points for each of the these occupations.
Agriculture, sericulture, domestication of animals, pottery and woodwork are main occupations of the ancient Chinese. Agriculture— Agriculture was the main occupation of Chinese. They grew rice, wheat, millet, barley and soya bean. At first Chinese cultivated tea for medicinal purposes and later as a popular drink.
- Sericulture:The second occupation of Chinese was to make silk cloth. Chinese silk was world-famous and was the chief items of export.
- Domestication of animals: The Chinese domesticated horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, dogs and poultry. They used horses and Horse-drawn carts as a mean of transport.
- Pottery: The Chinese developed the art of making exquisite porcelain types of pots and they decorated pots with colourful designs. They were first to make vases, jars, cups, saucers and bowls
- Woodwork: Chinese used wood on a large scale for the construction of buildings. They made cabinets. The walls of palaces were made of polished wood.
Give a brief account of the following:
- Chinese society
- Tea cultivation
- Chinese society— Chinese lived in groups or clans. They respected their ancestors and elders. The family was a close-knit unit. The emperor occupied the highest rung of the social ladder followed by the nobles, the merchants the crafts- people, the farmers and the slaves. The soldiers occupied a special place and respected by the people.
- Tea cultivation— The Chinese were the first to cultivate tea. At first tea was cultivated for medicinal purposes and later as a popular drink.
- Sericulture— Sericulture is the breading of silk warms for the production of silk. The Chinese were the first to make silk cloth and Chinese silk was world-famous and was the chief item of export during the Ancient and Medieval Ages.
What are the main features of the Chinese script?
The main features of Chinese script were following
- The Chinese script is a form of picture writing. Each picture represents an idea.
- The Chinese language does not have any alphabet.
- There were about 40,000 word-pictures making the script complex and difficult.
Describe the Great Wall of China. Why was it built?
The Great Wall of China was built by Emperor Shi Huangdi. It is one of the most impressive of Chinese architectural accomplishments. It is about 2,400 km. long and varies in height from 4.5m to 9m. This wall forms the northern boundary of China. It was built across mountains, deserts and plains. There are 10,000 watch-towers at regular intervals along the wall. It was built to protect the China from the frequent attacks of barbarians.
Why were the vast majority of people in ancient China illiterate?
The Chinese script is a from of picture writing. There were about 40,000 word-pictures. Thus making the script complex and difficult. The Chinese could not understand them. So the vast majority of people in ancient China was illiterate.
Mention four important Chinese inventions that transformed the history of the world.
Following Chinese inventions have changed the history of the world.
- Chinese first made paper from bark of old trees, old rags and fishing nets.
- The Chinese developed the art of block printing.
- Seismograph was made in china to record earthquakes.
- Other notable inventions were manufacture of gunpowder, the mariner’s compass, the water mill, the wheelbarrow, umbrellas and kites.
D. State whether the following are true or false.
- The emperor occupied the highest position in Chinese society.
- People in China made terracotta pottery.
- The Chinese worshiped the forces of nature.
- In China temples were known as Stupas.
- Taoism became the state religion of China.