ICSE Solutions for Class 6 History and Civics – The River Valley Civilisations: Indus Valley Civilisation
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I. Fill in the blanks:
- The Indus Valley Civilisation was the Earliest civilisation of India.
- Harappa is situated in Sahiwal district in Pakistan.
- The Indus Valley Civilisation stood on the bank of river Indus
- The largest building discovered at Mohenjodaro is Great Granary.
- Bronze metal was used by the people of the Indus Valley Civilisation.
- Indus people used Burnt bricks for constructing buildings.
- The Harappan culture came to an end by 1500 BC.
II. Match Column A with Column B
Column A Column B
III. Answer the following questions?
Who discovered the Indus Valley Civilisation and when?
Mr. Daya Ram Sahni discovered the ruins of Harappa in 1921. Next year, in 1922 Dr. Rakhal Das Bannerjee discovered the ruins of Mohenjodaro.
What does civilisation mean? Give four characteristics of a civilisation.
The stage of development when man looks for more than just fulfillment of his basic needs, is called civilisation.
Characteristics of a civilisation:
- Surplus food production
- Flourishing of many arts and crafts
- Law and order exists
- Presence of a government.
Why did the earliest civilisations grow up near rivers?
The earliest civilisations grew up on the banks of rivers because of the following reasons.
- The rivers provided abundant supply of water for various purposes all through the year.
- The lands near the rivers were very fertile, hence good for growing crops.
- Rivers provided means of transport and communication.
Name the different sites of the Indus Valley Civilisation.
Various sites of the Indus Valley Civilisation were —The river valleys had warm and pleasant climate which favoured permanent settlement of population. Harappa, Mohenjodaro, Lothal, Kalibangan, Ropar, Alamgirpur, Banwali, Sutkagendor and others.
Describe the town planning and the drainage system of the Indus Valley Civilisation.
The cities were divided into two parts. The upper part called ‘citadel’ was built on a raised ground. It was inhabited by the upper class and had public buildings such as granaries. The lower part was inhabited by the common people. Each house had a courtyard, several rooms around it, a toilet and a well. All the buildings were built of burnt bricks. Large blocks of houses were built along both the sides of streets.The roads were wide and straight and cut each other at right angles. Smaller streets led to bigger streets. The streets had lamp posts. The drainage system was of the highest order ; even many of our present towns do not have such excellent drainage system. House drains were connected to the street drains which joined the main drains which emptied outside the city limits. The drains were covered with stone slabs and had manholes at regular intervals. They were cleaned regularly.The Indus people were veiy conscious of hygiene and sanitation.
Describe the Great Bath. Where has it been found? What was it used for?
- The Great Bath was a sort of modem swimming pool, discovered at Mohenjodaro. It is an example of excellent engineering’work. It was built of burnt brick. It measures 11 .-88 x 7.01 metres
- The lands near the rivers were very fertile, hence good for growing crops.
- Rivers provided means of transport and communication.
- The river valleys had warm and pleasant climate which favoured permanent settlement of population.
Describe the Great Granary. Where has it been found?
The Great Granary was found at Mohenjodaro and it was the largest building discovered there. It was used for storing grains in huge quantities for lean periods. Brick platforms have been found near the granaries which were used for threshing grain. Many two-room shelters have also been found nearby which were perhaps used by labourers. Granaries were built close to river banks to facilitate easier transportation of grains during emergencies.
Describe the religion of Indus Valley Civilisation
The Harappans worshiped the pipal tree and humped bull which have been found on hundreds of seals. They also worshiped Mother Goddess which were beautifully depicted as terracotta figurines. The Harappans also worshiped ‘Shiva’ or ‘Pashupati’. A three-faced figure with horns has been found sitting in the posture of a yogi. He is surrounded by a tiger, a rhinoceros, a buffalo, and an elephant. But no temple or any other religious building has been found so far. The Harappans believed in life after death and buried the dead with his belongings.
Name the three social classes of the Indus Valley Civilisation.
The three social classes were:
- Rich merchants and priests e. the ruling class.
- Small merchants, artisans and craftsmen.
- Peasants and labourers.
What were the probable causes which could have brought about an abrupt end to the Indus Valley Civilisation?
There are many reasons attributed to the fall of the Indus Valley Civilisation.
- The Harappan cities were destroyed by invaders who were probably the Aryans.
- Natural calamities such as floods, earthquakes and epidemics might have destroyed the civilisation.
- River Indus might have changed its course and turned the region into a desert.
IV. Give reasons why we say that the people of the Indus Valley Civilisation —
- Had a good sense of cleanliness
- Carried on trade with Mesopotamia
- Produced surplus grains
- Had an idea of metallurgy
- The arrangement of drains, wide roads and houses with toilets and drains attest to their sense of cleanliness.
- Mesopotamian seals have been found in Harappan cities and Harappan seals have been discovered in cities of ancient Mesopotamia.
- Big granaries and existence of towns prove the fact that they produced surplus food grains.
- A bronze figure of a dancing girl has been found. Several other images, weapons, utensils and tools of copper and bronze have also been found. Jewellery made of gold and silver has been found at various sites.
- Dwelling houses are buildings, that people live in and but do not use as offices, trading places, etc.
- Public building These buildings are used by all the people and are not privately owned.
- Granaries were the store houses where the people of Indus valley civilization stored their extra grain. The Great Granary was discovered at Harappa.
- Great Bath was a big tank at Mohanjodaro that was probably used by the general public during religious ceremonies. Drainage system It is a process by which water or liquid waste is drained out from an area.
- Terracotta It is a reddish-brown clay that has been baked. Seals are the clay tablets used by Harappan merchants to stamp their goods.
- Mother Goddess was the female deity worshiped by the people of the Indus Valley civilization. Many smoke- stained clay figures of the Mother Goddess have been found
A. Fill in the blanks.
- The main river of the Harappan civilization was Ravi.
- The Great Bath is located in Mohenjodaro.
- The main occupation of the Harappan were farming.
- The rich wore ornaments made of gold, silver and ivoiy.
- The Harappan seals are made of clay, soapstone and copper.
B. Match the following:
C. Choose the correct answer:
1. The Harappan civilization belongs to the Mesolithic/ Neolithic/Bronze
Ans. The Harappan civilization belongs to the Bronze Age.
2.Lothal/Ropar/Harappa was the first city to be discovered in the Indus Valley region.
Ans. Harappa was the first city to be discovered in the Indus Valley region.
3. The Assembly Hall is in Mohanjodaro/Lothal/Harappa.
Ans. The Assembly Hall is in Mohanjodaro.
4. Wheat/Fish/Barley was the staple food of the Harappans.
Ans. Wheat was the staple food of the Harappans.
5. The neem/banyan/pipal tree was probably regarded as sacred by the Harappans.
Ans. The pipal tree was probably regarded as sacred by the Harappans.
D. State whether the following are true or false.
1. The Harappan cities had an elaborate drainage system.
Correct: The Harappan cities had well planned system.
2. Domestication of animals was the main occupation of the Harappans.
Correct: Farming was the main occupation of the Flarappans.
3.The Harappans decorated their pottery with various designs.
4.The Harappans built strong boats.
5. The Indus Valley civilization was governed by kings and queens.
Correct: The Indus Valley civilization was not governed by kings and queens
E. Answer the following questions in one or two words/ sentences:
What discoveries proved that India had a 4,500-year old urban civilization?
The excavations carried out at various sites prove that around 4,500 years ago highly civilized people lived in this region and gave to the world its earliest cities, its first town planning, its first architecture in stone and clay and its first example of sanitary engineering and drainage system.
Why is the Indus Valley Civilization also called the Harappan civilization?
The Indus Valley civilization is also called the Flarappan civilizations because the things found in all the sites were very much like the articles found at Harappa.
Why did the Indus Valley people build granaries close to the river bank?
All the granaries were built close to the river bank so that the grains could be easily transported with the help of boats.
Give one example to prove that the Indus Valley bronzesmiths were skilled craftspeople.
The bronzesmiths made tools, weapons and metal sculptures such as the famous figure of the ‘dancing girl’. They were also engaged in other crafts like brick laying, boat making, stone cutting, masonry and carpentry.
How do we know that the Harappans had trade relations with the Mesopotamians?
Trade relations with Mesopotamia have been proved with the discovery of Mesopotamian seals in the cities of the Indus Valley Civilization and Harappan seals in the ancient cities of Mesopotamia.
F. Answer the following questions briefly:
How were the Harappan cities planned? Explain briefly the main features of their dwelling houses.
The Harappan cities were well-planned. The main streets ran parallel to each other, cut at right angles by smaller, streets, dividing the cities into rectangular blocks. The main roads were straight and very wide. The streets were often paved with baked bricks.Dwelling houses were building that people live in. They were in different sizes. They were made of baked bricks of very good quality. But they not used as office, trading place etc.
With reference to the engineering skills of the Indus Valley people, explain briefly the features of
(1)The Great Bath and
(2) the drainage system
- The Great Bath: It was important building at Mohenjodero. This building resembled a large swimming pool, It had six entrances,central bathing pool, galleries and dressing rooms. It was probably used by the general public during religious ceremonies.
- The drainage system: The people of the Indus valley had an excellent, well-planned drainage system. The Kitchens and the bathrooms had drains connected to the street drains. The street drains ran along the side of the streets and were usually covered. They had manholes at regular intervals. The drainage system proves that the Indus Valley people paid great attention to sanitation and cleanliness.
Give a brief account of
- Great Granary
- Assembly Hall
- Great Granary: The Great Granary at Harappa was a large building. Historians believe that it was used to store surplus food grains. There were two rows of granaries. Each row had six granaries.
- Assembly Hall: The Assembly Hall was another striking building found in Mohenjodaro. It was a pillared hall with thick walls and 20 pillars made of burnt or baked bricks. This may have been and assembly hall, a prayer hall or a palace.
- The dress and
- Ornaments of the Indus Valley people.
- Dress: People wore cotton and woolen garments. Two- piece dresses were worn by both men and women. The men wore a garment similar to the dhoti while the women wore skirts. The upper garments was a shawl worn around the shoulder.
- Ornaments: Both men and women wore ornaments. They wore necklaces, amulets and finger rings. The women also wore a headdress, earrings, bangles, girdles, bracelets and anklets. The rich wore ornaments made of gold, silver and ivory. The poor wore shell, bone and copper jewellery.
Describe the occupation and crafts of the Harappan people.
The main occupation of the people of the Indus Valley was farming. Farmers gr«w wheat, barley, fruits and vegetables. They also cultivated cotton. The land was fertile. The second occupation of the people of the Indus Valley was domestication of animals like goat, sheep, buffaloes, elephants, bulls, dogs and cats.The Indus Valley people were excellent potters and skilled crafts people. They made pottery of various shapes and sizes. They also made terracotta. The goldsmiths made gold and silver jewellery, copper smiths made utensils and the bronze smith made tools, weapons and metal sculptures. The people were also engaged in other crafts like brick laying, boat making, stone cutting, masonry and carpentry. Spinning and weaving were important occupations.
Write short notes on the following:
- Seals of the Indus Valley
- Trade: The Indus Valley people carried on flourishing trade both within and outside India. They traded with countries like Mesopotamia, (Iraq), Persia (Iran) and Afghanistan. Trade was carried on both by land and sea routes. Bullock carts, boats and ships were probably used for transport. A dockyard has been discovered at Lothal.
- Seals of the Indus Valley: More than 2,000 seals have been unearthed from various sites. They are generally small, flat, rectangular or square in shape and made of clay, soapstone and copper. They are skillfully carved with figures of humans and animals such as the unicorn, humped bull, goat, tiger, elephant, etc. These seals were probably used by merchants and traders to stamp goods.
The study of objects and artifacts found in the ruins of the Indus Valley cities help us us to form an idea of Harrapan religion. Explain.
Some of the objects found in the ruins help us to form an idea of the religion of the Harappans. No temples have been found. Numerous smoke-stained clay figures of a female deity have been found. This was probably the Mother Goddess. A three faced figure, seated in a yogic posture and surrounded by various animals is engraved on some seals. The pipal tree was probably regarded as sacred and worshiped. The discovery of a large number of amulets suggests that people probably wore them as lucky charms to ward off evil spirits.
How did the Harappan civilization end?
These are some causes of the decay of the Harappan civilization.
- The Harappan might have been destroyed by natural calamities like earthquakes, floods.
- The climate also began to change and the region became more and more dry like a desert.
- Perhaps the Aryans attacked their cities and destroyed them.
- An epidemic or some terrible disease might have killed the people.
G Picture study.
This picture on the right-hand side shows a well-planned ancient city located on the banks of a river.
1. Identify the civilization from the ruins in the picture.
Ans. This picture is about Harappa Civilization.
2. When and by whom were these ruins discovered?
Ans. These ruins were discovered by Dayaram Sahni in 1921.
3.These ruins are an important source of information about the
(a) town planning and
(b) drainage system of this period. Explain.
(a) Town planning— The Indus Valley cities were very well- planned. The streets were quite broad varying from a feet to 30 feet in breadth. The streets and roads were straight and they cut one another at right angles. The streets had rounded comers to enable the heavy carts to take a turn easily. Every street had a lighting system. Such a system of town-planning was not to be found at that time anywhere in the world.
(b) Drainage system— The people of the Indus valley had an excellent, well-planned drainage system. The kitchens and the bathrooms had drains connected to the street drains. The street drains ran along the side of the streets and were usually covered. They had manholes at regular intervals. The drainage system proves that the Indus Valley people paid great attention to sanitation and cleanliness.