In the Earliest Cities - Revision Notes

 CBSE Class 06 Social Science

Revision Notes
Chapter – 4 History
In The Earliest Cities

Man’s lifestyle changed significantly after he learnt the art of using metals.

Copper was the first metal to be used by man. It was followed by bronze which was made by mixing tin and copper.

The earliest cities in the Indian subcontinent emerged around 4,700 years in the region drained by Indus and its tributaries in the North-West.

The Story of Harappa:

(i) British discovered a mound while building Railways.

(ii) Archaeologists were informed.

(iii) Harappa was the first city to be discovered, it came to be known as Harappan Civilisation.

Architectural Features:

(i) Harappan cities were well-planned.

(ii) All houses were build of burnt bricks and were of good quality.These good quality bricks were used by the Britishers to build railway lines.

(iii) The most impressing construction of Indus valley was the Great Bath at Mohenjodaro. It was lined with bricks,coated with plaster and made water tight with a layer of natural tar.

(iv) The Harappan settlements had citadels.The part to the west was smaller ,but higher,and the other one was the part to the east that was larger but lower called the lower town. It was in citadels that structures were built for special public purposes.

(v) The largest building excavated at Harappa was the Great Granary.

(vi) One or two storey high houses with rooms were built around a courtyard.Most houses had a separate bathing area,and some had wells to supply water.

(vii) The most striking feature of Harappa was the well-planned drainage system.The drains were covered and the inspection holes were provided at intervals to clean them.The drains were laid out in straight lines,and also each drain had a gentle slope so that water could flow through it.

Life of the Harappa People:

(i) A Harappan city was a very busy place.There were people who planned the construction of special buildings in the city.These were probably rulers.

(i) The Harappan people used common food items like wheat and barley. Animal bones found at Harappa include sheep, goat, pig, etc.

(ii) Pots of fine clay were made.

(iii) Many kilns for baking bricks have been discovered.

(iv) There were scribes,people who knew how to write,who helped prepare the seals,however seals were the most puzzling.

(v) Necklaces, armlets, finger rings and bangles were worn both by men and women. Both men and women seemed to be fond of ornaments.

New crafts in the City:

(i) Most of the objects found in Harappan cities by archaeologists were made of stones,shells,metals such as copper bronze,gold and silver.

(ii) Copper and bronze were used to make tools, weapons ornaments and vessels.Gold and silver were used to make ornaments and vessels.

(iii) Beads ,weights and blades are the most important things found by the archaeologists.

(iv) Harappan's rectangular seals made of stone usually have motifs of an animal carved on them.

(v) Earthern pottery with beautiful black designs also has been found at the Harappan site.

Cotton and cloth:

(i) From the site of Mehrgarh ,traces of cotton have been found,which were grown about 7000 years ago.

(ii) From the site of Mohenjodaro,actual pieces of cloth were found attached to the lid of a silver vas and some copper objects.

(iii) Archaeologists have also found spindle whorls,made of terracotta and faience,which were used to spin thread.

(iv) Of all the found objects,many objects were made by the specialists(a person who is trained to do only one kind of work).

In search of Raw Materials :

(i) Raw materials were either found naturally or produced by farmers or herders.

(ii) Some raw materials used by the Harappans were local but many items such as copper,tin, gold silver and precious stones had to be brought from distant places.

Food for People in the Cities :

(i) The people living in the countryside grew crops and reared animals, supplied food to crafts persons,scribes and rulers in the cities.

(ii) From the remains of plants, the archaeologists suggest that the Harrapans grew wheat,barley, pulses, peas, rice,sesame, linseed and mustard.

(iii) A farming tool, the plough, was used to dig the earth for turning the soil and planting seeds.

(iv) In the dry regions, some form of irrigation may have been used as the water was stored and supplied to the fields when the plants were growing.

(v) The Harrapans collected fruits like ber, caught fish and hunted wild animals like the antelope.


(i) Trading thrived in Harappa.

(ii) It suggests that long-distance trade existed.

(iii) Goods coming from outside, include copper from Rajasthan, gold from Karnataka and precious stones from Iran and Afghanistan.

(iv) Seals of Mesopotamia have been found in Indus.

(v) Seals of Indus Valley have been found in Mesopotamia.

Harappan Cities in Gujarat:

(i) Two famous Harappan cities of Gujarat were Dholavira and Lothal.

(ii) Dholavira was full of traces of fresh water and fertile soil. Dholavira was divided into three parts,each part was surrounded with massive stone walls,with entrances through gateways.

(iii) Lothal was an important centre for making objects out of stone, shell and metal.

Decline of the Indus Valley Civilisation:

(i) It lasted from 2500 BC to 1500 BC.

(ii) Perhaps Indus Valley Civilisation was destroyed by earth quakes, floods or change in the course of the Indus.

(iii) Some historians state that the invasion of Aryans led to the decline of Harappan civilization.