NCERT : History (6 to 12 ) Part-1

NCERT ( HISTORY ) KEY POINT (GIST)

NCERT Books are considered essential for the preparation of all competitive exams. Every student when start his preparation for competitive exams he or she starts with NCERT Books but after few days when he or she start studying NCERT he feels bored and it becomes difficult for him to continue with NCERT. So here we are trying to provide the solution of this problem and only providing key points (Gist of NCERT History ) collected from the NCERT Books of History from 6 to 12.

Indus Valley Civilisation.(NCERT HISTORY)

  • The Indus valley civilisation is also called the Harappan culture.
  • It started flourishing along River Indus (now in Pakistan) at around 2600 B.C.
  • Harappan civilization was the largest Bronze age civilization in the world.
  • The Harappan seal is possibly the most distinctive artefact of the Harappan or Indus valley civilisation. Made of a stone called steatite, seals often contain animal motifs and signs from a script that remains
    undeciphered.
  • Some important sites of Harappan civilization are Kalibangan, Lothal, Rakhi Garhi, Dholavira, Rupar, Harappa, Ganeriwala, Chanhudaro, Sutakagen Dor, Mohenjodaro, Balakot, Kot Diji, Amri, Rangpur,
    Nageshwar, Ganeriwala etc.

Time Period of Harappan Civilisation.

  • The civilization is dated between 2600 BCE and 1900 BCE.
  • The period of the civilization is broadly divided in to three:
  • i. The Early Harappan culture (Before 2600 BCE)
  • ii. The Mature Harappan culture (2600 BCE to 1900 BCE)
  • iii. The Late Harappan culture (After 1900)

Subsistence Strategies. (NCERT)

  • The Harappans ate a wide range of plant and animal products, including fish. Subsistence strategies of the people included hunting and gathering, cultivation, pastoralism, and distribution.
  • Terracotta models of oxen, plough etc., show that people relied on agriculture. Different types of food available to the people
  • 1. Archaeologists found grain such as wheat, barley, lentils, chickpea and sesame at the Harappan sites.
  • 2. In Gujarat, Millets have been found. Rice was found rarely.
  • Animal bones found at Harappan sites include those of cattle, sheep, goat, buffalo and pig indicate that these animals were domesticated. There are evidences of bones of animals which prove that people consumed meat. Bones of wild species such as boar, deer and gharial are also found. Studies indicate that these animals were either domesticated or hunted by the Harappans. Bones of fish and fowl are also found.

Mohenjo-Daro, A Planned Urban Centre.( History of India)

  • The settlement is divided into two sections, one smaller but higher and the other much larger but lower.
  • These are designated as
  • The Citadel– The Citadel owes its height to the fact that buildings were constructed on mud brick platforms. It was walled, which meant that it was physically separated from the Lower Town.
  • The Lower Town– The Lower Town was also walled. Several buildings were built on platforms, which served as foundations.
  • Labour was mobilized at a very large scale.
  • The settlement was first planned and then implemented.
  • Sun Dried or Baked bricks used in the buildings were uniform in size.

Drainage System. (NCERT GIST)

  • The roads and streets in the lower town were laid out along an approximate “grid” pattern, intersecting at right angles.
  • The streets and drains were first laid out and then houses were built on the same pattern.
  • One of the most distinctive features of Harappan cities was the carefully planned drainage system. Drainage systems were not unique to the larger cities, but were found in smaller settlements as well.
  • Every house was connected to the street drains. The drains were made of mortar, lime and gypsum.
  • They were covered with big bricks which could be lifted easily to clean the drains.
  • For sewage from the houses, pits were provided at either side of the street. Very long drainage channels
  • were provided at intervals with sumps for cleaning.
  • They were covered with big bricks which could be lifted easily to clean the drains.
  • Little heaps of materials mostly sand have frequently been found alongside the drains. This shows that
  • the drains were cleaned at regular intervals.
  • At Lothal for example, while houses were built of mud bricks, drains were made of burnt bricks.

The Great Bath.

  • On citadel, some special buildings were built like ‘The great bath of Mohenjodaro’. Such buildings were used on some religious occasions or on public gatherings
  • The Great Bath was a large rectangular tank in a courtyard surrounded by a corridor on all four sides.
  • There were two flights of steps on the north and south leading into the tank, which was made watertight by setting bricks on edge and using a mortar of gypsum.
  • There were rooms on three sides, in one of which was a large well.
  • Water from the tank flowed into a huge drain.
  • Across a lane to the north lay a smaller building with eight bathrooms, four on each side of a corridor, with drains from each bathroom connecting to a drain that ran along the corridor.

Social System-

  • Burials
  • At burials in Harappan sites the dead were generally laid in pits.
  • Some of the pits were lined with bricks.
  • Some graves contain pottery and ornaments, perhaps indicating a belief that these could be used in the after life.
  • Jewellery has been found in burials of both men and women which mean that both men and women used ornaments.
  • In some instances, the dead were buried with copper mirrors.
  • But in general, it appears that the Harappans did not believe in burying precious things with the dead.

Luxuries

  • Objects were luxuries if they are rare or made from costly, non-local materials or with complicated technologies.
  • Little pots of faience (a material made of ground sand or silica mixed with colour and a gum and then fired) were probably considered precious because they were difficult to make.
  • Rare objects made of valuable materials are generally concentrated in large settlements like
  • Mohenjodaro and Harappa and are rarely found in the smaller settlements.
  • For example, miniature pots of faience, perhaps used as perfume bottles, are found mostly in
  • Mohenjodaro and Harappa, and there are none from small settlements like Kalibangan.
  • Gold too was rare, and as at present, probably precious – all the gold jewellery found at Harappan sites was recovered from hoards.
  • Contact with Distant lands
  • Archaeological finds suggest that the Harappans maintained long distance trade.
  • Copper was probably brought from Oman, on the southeastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. A distinctive type of vessel, a large Harappan jar coated with a thick layer of black clay has been found at Omani sites.
  • Mesopotamian texts refer to copper coming from a region called Magan, perhaps a name for Oman,
  • Other archaeological finds suggestive of long-distance contacts include Harappan seals, weights, dice and beads.
  • Mesopotamian texts mention contacts with regions named Dilmun (probably the island of Bahrain), Magan and Meluhha, possibly the Harappan region.
  • It is likely that communication with Oman, Bahrain or Mesopotamia was by sea. Mesopotamian texts refer to Meluhha as a land of seafarers. Besides, we find depictions of ships and boats on seals.
  • The round “Persian Gulf” seal found in Bahrain sometimes carries Harappan motifs. Interestingly, local “Dilmun” weights followed the Harappan standard.
  • Several reasons for the decline of Harappan civilization
  • Several explanations have been put forward.
  • These range from climatic change, deforestation, excessive floods, the shifting and/or drying up of rivers, to overuse of the landscape. Some of these “causes” may hold for certain settlements, but they do not explain
  • the collapse of the entire civilisation.
  • It appears that a strong unifying element, perhaps the Harappan state, came to an end. This is evidenced by the disappearance of seals, the script, distinctive beads and pottery, the shift from a standardised weight
  • system to the use of local weights; and the decline and abandonment of cities.

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