Class 6th NCERT History Complete Notes for competitive government exams such as UPSC CSE, SSC CGL, CHSL, Banking and Railways.
It’s a chronological account of events as they took place in the past.
Manuscripts (Latin manu – hand)
- Usually written on palm leaves or on specially prepared bark of a tree known as birch, which grows in the Himalayas.
- It dealt with Subjects: religious beliefs & practices, the lives of kings
- Written in Sanskrit, Prakrit (languages used by ordinary people) & Tamil.
Writings on relatively hard surfaces such as stone or metal.
- All inscriptions contain both scripts and languages.
- Decipherment: The discovery of the meaning of texts written in ancient or obscure languages or scripts.
- Inscription which was found in Kandhahar (in present day Afghanistan, about 2250 years ago) were written in two different scripts and languages, Greek and Aramaic written by Ashoka.
People who knew how to write, who helped to prepare the seals and perhaps wrote on other materials that have not survived.
The objects made by a human being, typically one of cultural or historical interest.
Study the remains of buildings made of stone & brick, paintings and sculptures. They also explore and excavate to find tools, weapons, pots, ornaments and coins.
The places where the remains of past cultures (tools, pots, rock paintings, buildings, etc.) are found.
- These spots could be the surface of the Earth, under the Earth or sometimes even under water.
- Habitation-cum-factory sites are the places where blocks of stones, tools that were made and perhaps discarded because they were not perfect and chips of waste stone were left behind. It is believed that, sometimes, people lived here for longer spells time.
- Hadappa and Mohenjodaro are two of the various sites of Indus Valley Civilisation.
- Originates in the Tibetan Plateau in the vicinity of Lake Manasarovar and Flows through Pakistan, India (J & K) and China (Western Himalayas)
- Indus Valley civilizations was born around this river.
- JMajor tributaries of IndusJ: Ravi, Chenab, Beas, Jhelum & Satluj.
- Other tributaries Shyak, Balram & Panjnad.
- About 4700 years ago, some of the earliest cities flourished on the banks of these rivers.
Indus Valley Civilisation
- Situated mainly in the northwestern regions of South Asia, extending from what today is northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India.
- Along with Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, it was one of three early cradles of civilisations of the Old World, and of the three, the most widespread.
- The inhabitants of the ancient Indus River valley developed new techniques in handicraft (carnelian products, seal carving) and metallurgy (copper, bronze, lead, and tin).
- The Indus cities are noted for their urban planning, baked brick houses, elaborate drainage systems, water supply systems, and clusters of large non-residential buildings.
Harappa (In present day Punjab, Pakistan)
- Harappa was the first city to be discovered (developed about 4700 years ago) and it is one of the oldest cities in the subcontinent.
- In Harappan, many of the cities were divided into two or more parts. Usually, the part to the west was smaller but higher. Archaeologists describe this as the citadel.
- Generally, the part to the east was larger but lower, this is called as the lower town.
- The city of Dholavira was located on Khadir Beyt in the Rann of Kutch, where there was fresh water and fertile soil.
- Unlike some of the other Harappan cities, which were divided into two parts, Dholavira was divided into three parts, and each part was surrounded with massive stone walls, with entrances through gateways.
- The findings in Dholavira include large letters of the Harappan script that were carved out of white stone and perhaps inlaid in wood. This was unique as generally Harappan writings have been found on small objects such as seals.
- A new tool, the plough was used to dig the earth for turning the soil and planting seeds. While real ploughs, which were probably made of wood, have not survived, toy models have been found.
- As the Harappa region doesn’t receive heavy rainfall, some form of irrigation may have been used. This means that water was stored and supplied to the fields when the plants were growing.
- From the remains of plants we can get to know that the Harappans grew wheat, barley, pulses, peas, rice, sesame, linseed and mustard.
- Most of the things that have been found by archaeologists are made of stone, shell and metal, including copper, bronze, gold and silver. Copper & bronze were used to make tools, weapons, ornaments and vessels. Gold and Silver were used to make ornaments and vessels.
- The Harappans probably got copper from present-day Rajasthan, and even from Oman in West-Asia.
- Tin which was mixed with copper to produce bronze, may have been brought from present-day Afghanistan and Iran.
- Gold could have come all the way from present-day Karnataka, and precious stones from present-day Gujarat, Iran and Afghanistan.
- Generally, houses were either one or two storeys high, with a room built around a courtyard. Most houses had a separate bathing area, and some had wells to supply water.
- Many of these cities had covered drains. These were laid out, in straight lines. Each drain had a gentle slope so that water could flow through it.
- Very often, drains in houses were connected to those on the streets and smaller drains led into bigger ones.
- As the drains were covered, inspection holes were provided at intervals to clean them.
- May have worshipped an important mother goddess symbolising fertility.
Mohenjodaro [Mound of the Dead Men] (In present day Sindh, Pakistan)
- In Mohenjodaro, a very special tank, which archaeologists call the Great Bath, was built in this area. This was lined with bricks, coated with plaster, and made water-tight with a layer of natural tar.
- There were steps leading down to it from two sides, while there were rooms on all sides.
- Water was probably brought in from a well. and drained out after use. Perhaps important people took a dip in this tank on special occasions.
Both Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa are generally characterized as having “differentiated living quarters, flat-roofed brick houses, and fortified administrative or religious centres.”
- Major left-bank tributaries: Gomti (Gumti), Ghaghara (Gogra), Gandaki (Gandak), and Damoda.
- Major right-bank tributaries: Yamuna (Jumna), Son, Punpun and Damoda.
- About 2500 years ago, cities developed on the Ganga and tributaries, along the seacoasts.
Magadha (area to the south of the river Ganga)
- Magadha was an ancient Indian kingdom in southern Bihar and was counted as one of the sixteen Mahajanapadas (Sanskrit: “Great Countries”) of ancient India.
- Magadha played an important role in the development of Jainism and Buddhism, and two of India’s greatest empires, the Maurya Empire and Gupta Empire, originated in Magadha.
- The two powerful rulers of Magadha were Bimbisara and Ajatashatru.
- Around 5000 years ago, kings ruled over Egypt. These kings sent armies to distant lands to get gold, ivory, timber and precious stones. They also built huge tombs, known as pyramids.
- When they died. the bodies of kings were preserved and buried in these pyramids. These carefully preserved bodies are known as ‘mummies’.
- A large no. of objects were also buried with them. These included food and drink, clothes, ornaments, utensils, musical instruments, weapons and animals.
- Sometimes even serving men and women were buried with the rulers. These are among the most elaborate burials known in world history.
- All three – houses, drains and streets – were probably planned and built at the same time.
Mohenjodaro, Sotkakoh are in present-day Pakistan and Kalibangan is in present-day Rajasthan.
India and Bharata word origin
- The word India comes from the Indus, called Sindhu in Sanskrit.
- The name Bharata was used for a group of people who lived in the northwest, and who are mentioned in the Rigveda, the earliest composition in Sanskrit (dated to about 3500 years ago).
Time Frame of History (Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic)
- Ostriches were found in India during the Palaeolithic period. Large quantities of ostrich egg shells were found at Patne in Maharashtra.
- A no. of early Palaeolithic sites were found in Hunsagi. Most tools were made from limestone, which was locally available.
- Iron was known to people in Palaeolithic age.
- Foot was the only mode of transport for the people of Palaeolithic Age.
- People in Paleothilic age never settled in one place, instead moved from place to place.
- Kurnool: Palaeolithic Site
- The Mesolithic age witnessed Environmental changes, development of grassland, increase in number of deer, antelope etc.
- Several grain bearing grasses-Wheat, barley, rice grew naturally.
- Brahmgiri: Mesolithic Site
- People became farmers and herders.
- Chirand is a Neolithic site in present day Bihar.
- Daojali Hading is a Neolithic site on the hills near the Brahmaputra Valley close to routes leading into China and Myanmar.
- We tamed many animals such as cattle, sheep and goat and the first animal to be tamed(domesticated) was the wild ancestor of Dog.
Many of the caves in which early people lived have paintings on the walls.
- Some of the best examples from Madhya Pradesh and southern Uttar Pradesh.
- Bhimbetka in present day Madhya Pradesh is a best example for Rock Caves.
- These paintings show wild animals, drawn with great accuracy and skill.
Making of Stone Tools
- Stone on stone: Here, the pebble from which the tool was to be made (also called the core) was held in one hand. Another stone, which was used as a hammer was held in the other hand. The stone was used to strike off flakes from the first, till the required shape was obtained.
- Pressure Flaking: Here the core was placed on a firm surface. The hammer stone was used on a piece of bone or stone that was placed on the core, to remove flakes that could be shaped into tools.
Natural caves and rock shelters are found in the Vindhyas and the Deccan plateau. These rock shelters are close to the Narmada valley.
The Chambal River is a tributary of the Yamuna River in central India, and thus forms part of the greater Gangetic drainage system.
Vedas (Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda, Atharvaveda)
Oldest books in the world written in Vedic Sanskrit.
- Oldest Veda: Rigvedas (composed about 3500 years ago)
- Rigveda has more than 100 hymns (called as sukta or ‘well-said’) composed by sages (rishis). These hymns are in praise of gods and godesses.
- In Rigveda, there are two groups who are described in terms of their work – the Priests, sometimes called brahmins, who performed various rituals and the rajas. These rajas did not have capital cities, places or armies, nor did they collect taxes.
- In Rigveda, three gods are specially important:
- Agni (the god of fire)
- Indra (a warrior god)
- Soma – Soma is both the name of a god and a substance that is found in Hindu mythology. A plant from which a special drink was prepared.
- Iron was known to people in Rigvedic period.
Some Ancient Languages
- Sanskrit is part of a family of languages known as Indo-European.
- Some Indian languages such as Assamese, Gujrati, Hindi, Kashmiri and Sindhi; Asian languages such as Persian and many European languages such as English, French, German, Greek, Italian and Spanish belong to this family.
- They are called a family because they originally had words in common.
- Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam belong to the Dravidian family and the languages spoken in Jharkhand and parts of central India belong to the Austro-Asiatic family.
- Languages used in the North-East belong to the Tibeto-Burman family.
About 2000 years ago, there was a famous physician named Chakra who wrote a book on medicine known as Charaka Samhita.
- There he states that the human body has 360 bones. This is a much larger number than the 206 bones that are recognised in modern anatomy. Charaka arrived at this figure by counting the teeth, joints and cartilage.
- Two words were used to describe the people or the community as a whole. One word is Jana, which we still use in Hindi and other languages. The other was vish, the word vaishya comes from vish.
- Dasas or Dasyus were the people who didn’t perform sacrifices and probably spoke different languages.
- Later the term dasa (and the feminine dasi) came to mean slave. Slaves were men & women who were often captured in war. They were treated as the property of their owners, who could make them do whatever work they wanted.
- In the Vedic Period (c. 1500-1000 BCE) citizens were classified according to their Varna or castes. ‘Varna’ defines the hereditary roots of a newborn, it indicates the colour, type, order or class of people.
- Four principal categories are defined: Brahmins (priests, gurus, etc.), Kshatriyas (warriors, kings, administrators, etc.), Vaishyas (agriculturalists, traders, etc., also called Vysyas) and Shudras (labourers).
There are five nikayas (collections) of suttas:
- Digha Nikaya: the ‘long’ discourses
- Majjhima Nikaya: the ‘middle-length’ discourses
- Samyutta Nikaya: the ‘connected’ discourses
- Anguttara Nikaya: the ‘numerical’ discourses
- Khuddaka Nikaya: the ‘minor collection’
Digha Nikaya (Collection of Long Discourses) is a Buddhist scripture, the first of the five Nikayas or collections, in the Sutta Pitaka.
Faience and Gum
Unlike the stone or shell, that is found naturally, faience is a material that is artificially produced. A gum was used to shape sand or powdered quartz into an object. The objects were then glazed, resulting in a shiny, glassy surface. The colours of the glaze were usually blue or sea green. Fiance was used to making beads, bangles, earrings, and tiny vessels.
Other Important Points
- Chirand is an archaeological site in the Saran district of Bihar, India, situated on the northern bank of the Ganga River. It has a large pre-historic mound which is known for its continuous archaeological record from the Neolithic age.
- Inamgaon is a post-Harappan agrarian village and archaeological site located in Maharashtra, western India. Situated along the right bank of the Chod River, it is considered to be the ‘regional centre’ of the Bhima Valley.
- Adichanallur is an archaeological site in Thoothukudi district in Tamil Nadu, India.
- Some of the earliest plants to be grown were wheat and barley.
- Several burial sites have been found at Mehrgarh. In one instance, the dead person was buried with goats, which were probably meant to serve as food in the next world.
- Terracotta is a cermaic material made of natural clay, known for its reddish-brown color.
- Around 3500 years ago, we find some of the first evidence of writing in China. These writings were on animal bones, called as oracle bones because they were used to predict the future.
Narmada Valley - Hunting and Gathering Garo Hills - Early agriculture Indus & tributaries - The first cities Magadha - The first big Kingdom Ganga Valley - Cities about 2500 years ago Burzahom - Pit-Houses Mehrgarh - Burial Sites
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