CBSE Notes Class 6 History Chapter 3 In the Earliest Cities

CBSE Notes Class 6 History Chapter 3 In the Earliest Cities

The chapter opens with the story of Harappa, one of the earliest cities in the world. The layout of the houses, drainage system, and streets of Harappa is described. The chapter then delves into the unique features of Harappan cities, such as their urban planning, baked brick houses, intricate drainage and water supply systems, large non-residential buildings, and specialized handicrafts and metallurgy. The people of the city had access to a diverse range of raw materials and food.

The chapter also covers the Harappan towns in Gujarat and the mystery surrounding the decline of the Harappan civilization.

CBSE Notes Class 6 History Chapter 3 In the Earliest Cities

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  • Life in the City:

Harappa was a bustling city, with rulers overseeing the construction of buildings, traders journeying to far-off lands to acquire raw materials, and scribes crafting intricate seals.

  • The Story of Harappa:

The Harappan cities, which thrived from 3300 BC, are a hallmark of the Indus Valley Civilisation. Discovered in the 1920s during excavations in present-day Pakistan’s Sindh and Punjab regions, these cities were a testament to the civilization’s urban planning and advanced techniques in handicraft and metallurgy.

The layout of the Cities:

  • The cities of the Harappan civilization were carefully planned and divided into two main parts: the citadel and the lower town. The walls were constructed using bricks in interlocking patterns, creating a fortified boundary.
  • The streets were laid out in straight lines, intersecting each other at right angles. The drains were carefully constructed with parallel lines and covered.
  • The citadel was situated at a higher elevation and contained important buildings such as administrative and religious centers. For instance, the Great Bath in Mohenjodaro was a large tank used for bathing rituals, while Kalibangan and Lothal had fire altars that may have been used for sacrificial offerings.
  • The lower town was the residential area where houses were constructed around a central corridor, typically consisting of one or two storeys.

Around eighty years ago, the remains of an ancient city called Harappa were discovered in what is now Pakistan. This city is estimated to be around 4700 years old, and more cities from the same time period were also unearthed.

  • The cities of the Indus Valley Civilisation were typically divided into two or more parts. The western section was smaller in size but located at a higher elevation compared to the larger and lower eastern section, known as the lower town. The citadel was situated in the western part and the lower town was in the eastern part.
  • The bricks used for construction were of exceptional quality and have managed to withstand the test of time for thousands of years. The use of interlocking patterns while laying the bricks made the walls strong and sturdy.
  • Several important structures have been excavated in these cities, including the Great Bath in Mohenjodaro which is believed to have been used for bathing rituals. Some cities also had fire altars and storehouses to serve various purposes.
CBSE Notes Class 6 History Chapter 3 In the Earliest Cities

The houses in these cities were constructed with one or two floors and the water supply was provided through wells. The drainage systems were well-planned with covered drains running through the streets. The design and construction of the houses, streets, and drainage systems were all carried out simultaneously.

  • The Harappan city was a bustling place where rulers planned the construction of special buildings and scribes assisted in preparing seals.
  • The skilled craftspeople of the Harappan civilization created a variety of objects using stone, shell, metal, and cloth, including beads, weights, blades, and intricately designed seals and pottery.
  • Raw materials were procured locally or from far-off places such as Oman, Iran, and Rajasthan.
  • The Harappans were skilled farmers who grew a variety of crops such as wheat, barley, pulses, peas, rice, sesame, linseed, and mustard. They employed tools like the plough to till the land and practiced irrigation. Additionally, they raised animals.
  • Excavations at Dholavira in Gujarat have revealed a large open area for ceremonies and stones engraved with Harappan script.
  • The lower town was the residential area where houses, typically one or two stories high, were built around a central corridor. Wells provided water, and the city had covered drains and planned streets.
  • A storehouse has been discovered in the city of Lothal.
  • Around 2700 BC, or about 4700 years ago, the Harappan cities began. By around 1900 BC, or 3900 years ago, the beginning of the end of these cities had started. However, around 2500 years ago, or around 500 BC, newer cities began to emerge.
  • Bronze is an alloy made of tin and copper.
  • Citadel refers to the western part of most Harappan cities, which was smaller but higher than the eastern part.
  • Craftspeople were skilled men and women who created objects either in their own homes or in specialized workshops.
  • Plough was a new tool in the Harappan cities used for turning soil and planting seeds.
  • Rulers were the people who planned the construction of special buildings in the city.
  • Scribes were people who knew how to write.
  • The decline of the Harappan civilization around 1900 BC may have been caused by drying up of water sources, deforestation, or other factors (see Flow-Learning 4).

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