Ch 01 Bricks Beads And Bones (The Harappan Civilisation) CBSE Class 12th History Solutaion

NCERT Textbook Quesions And Answers

1. List the items of food available to people in Harappam cities. Indentify the group who would have provided these.

Ans: I. The following items of food were available to people in Harappan cities:

1. Fish and fowl.

2. Grains such as wheat, barley, Iential, chickpea and sesame.

3. Millets (found from sites in Gujarat).

4. Rice (The item was rarely used).

5. Meat of cattle, sheep, goat, buffalo and pig.

6. Plants and their products such as leaves, flowers, fruits etc.

II. Indentification of groups who would have provided the items of foods:

(i) Hunters (meat of different animals).

(ii) Most probably some of the Harappans themeslves hunted the different animals.

(iii) Farmers and traders provided grains to the people of the Harappan culture.

(iv) Fish and fowl were provided by fisherman.

(v) Plants and their products most probably were provided by the tribal people.

2. How do archaeologists trace socio-economic differences in Harappan society? What are the differences that they notice?
Describe how artefacts help in identifying social differences during the Harappan period.

Ans: Following indications prove the existence of social and economic variations in the Harappan society:

(i) Archaeologists have identified certain indications to prove the existence of social and economic variations amongst people in the Harappan society. Study of burials is one the legitimate indications.

(ii) In Harappan sites the dead were usually laid in pits. Differences have been found in the way the burial pit was made e.g. in some cases, the hollowed-out spaces were lined with bricks. However, these variations might not be an indications of social differences.

(iii) In some graves, the archaeologists have found pottery and ornaments. Jewellery has been found in graves of both men and women. These artefacts might indicate towards social and economic differences.

(iv) The archaeologists have also classified the artefacts in two categories:

(a) Utillarian, (b) Luxuries.

The utilitarian category comprises objects of daily use and the same are make out of ordinary materials like clay or stone. These ordinary articles include querns, pottery, flesh-rubbers and needles etc., and have been found distributed throughout settlements.

(v) The archaeologists generally maintain that objects of luxuries are rare or made from percious, non-local materials with complicated technologies e.g. little pots of faience were assumed costly as they were difficult to make. These indications lead us to the existence of social and economic variations in the Harappan society.

3. Would you agree that the drainage system in Harappan cities indicates twon planning? Give reasons for your answer.

Ans: Yes, I agree that the drainage system in Harappan cities indicates town planning. We will give following reasons for my answers:

(i) The drainage system required planning as well. It appears that the streets were laid first, along which houses were built and drains laid. If domestic waste water had to flow into the street drains, it meant that every house needed to have at least one wall along a street. The plan of the Lower Town indicates clearly that roads and streets were laid out along an appromimate ‘grad’ pattern, intersecting at right angles.

(ii) Consider something else, once the platforms were in place, all building activities within the city was restricted to a fixed area on the platforms. In other words, it seeams that the settlement was planned from the outset.

(iii) There are other signs of planning. Bricks, whether sun dried or baked, were of a standardised ratio, where the length and breadth were four times and twice the height respectively. These were used at all Harappen settlements.

4. List the material used to make beads in the Harappan Civilisation. Describe the process by which one kind of bead was made.

Ans: To prepare beads was one of the most important carft of the people of the people of Harappan Civilisation. It was mainly prevalent in Chanhudaro.

Material Used: A large variety of material was used to make the beads. It included a beautiful red colour stone like carnelian, jasper, crystal, quartz and steatite. Besides copper, bronze, gold, shell, faience, terracota or burnt clay was also used.

The Process of Making Beads: The process of making beads was remarkable. It differed according to the material. I had the following stages:

(i) The beads did not have geometrical forms like the ones made out of harder stones. They had a varienty of shapes.

(ii) The red colour of carnelian was obtained by firing the yellowish raw material.

(iii) Nodules were chipped into rough shapes. Thus they were finely into rough shapes. Thus they were finely flaked into the final form.

(iv) Thae last phase of the process included grinding, polishing and drilling. The specialised drills have been found at many sites like chanhudaro, Lothal and Dholavira.

5. Describle some of the distinctive features of Mohenjodaro.

Ans 1. A Planned Urban Centre: Harappa was a planned urban centre. It was divided into two sections. One section of this city as small. It was built on a higher place. The second section was large. But it was at a lower place. The archaeologists designated the first section as the Citadel and the second section as the Lower Town. The citadel owed its height to the fact that buildings were constructed on mud brick platforms. It had walls on all its sides. These walls separated it from the Lower Tows.

2. The Lower Town: The Lower Town was also a walled town. Most of the buildings were built on platforms. These platfoems served as foundations. It has been estimated that if one worker moved about a cubic metre of earth daily, it would have needed four million person days. In other words, we cam say that it required mobilisation of labour on a very large scake.

All the building in the city were built on the platforms. Thus the settement was first planned and then implemented as per the building plan. This planning is also evident from the bricks which were both baked and sun-dried. These bricks were of standardised ratio. Their length and width was four times and twice the height respectively. Such bricks were used in all the settlements of the Harappan Civilisation.

3. Well Planned Drainage System:The drainafe ststem of the Harappan cities was also carefully planned. All the roads and streets were laid out on a grid pattern. They intersected at right angles. It seems that streets having drains were laid out first. Thereafter houses were built along them. Every house had at least one wall along a street so that the domestic waste water could flow into the drain of the street.

4. Residence of Domestic Architecture: The Lower Town of Mohenjodaro had an expansion of residentail buildings. All these buildings had a courtyard. The rooms were on all the sides of the courtuard. In the hot and dry weather, this courtyard was perhaps the centre of activities like cooking and weaving. While constructing residential buldings, the people had full concern for their privacy. These buildings did not have any windows in the walls along the ground level. Besides this, the main entrance does not give a direct view of the interior of the courtyard.

Every house had its own barthroom. It was floored with bricks. Its gutter was connected to the street brain through the wall. Some houses had also a stair-case to reach a second storey or the roof. Many houses had wells. These wells were in a room which was easily approachable. Any body could reach it reach it even from outside. It was perhaps because that the passers by misht use them.Many scholars believe that there were about 700 such wells in Mohenhodaro.

5. The Citadel: The citadel had many buildings which were used for special public purposes. The most importatnt were the following two structures: (i) The Warehouse, (ii) The Great Bath.

6. List the raw materials required for craft production in the Harappan Civilisation and discuss how these might have been obtained,

Ans: I. List of the raw materials required for craft production in the Harappan Civilisation: i

(i) Stone, (ii) Clay, (iii) Copper, (iv) Tin, (v) Bronze, (vi) Gold, (vii) Faience (a material made of ground sand or silicon mixed with colour and a gum and then fired), (viii) Shell, (ix) Carnelian (a type of a beautiful red colour stone), (x) Jasper, (xi) Crystal, (xii) Steatite, (xiii) Quartz, (xiv) Timber.

Different ways of obtaining raw material: Sail, wood etc. Were the raw materials which were locally available. But stones, fine quality wood, metals etc. Were procured from distant places. For this, different methods were used to obtain them and these were:

(i) Establishment of Settlements: Harappan people established their settements at those places where raw material was easily available. For example shell was easily available in Nageshwar and Balacot. Few other places were also there like Shortughai in Afghanistan. This place was situated near to the source of lapis lazuli. In the same way Lothal for carnelian, Rajasthan and Gujarat were famous for copper.

(ii) Sending Expeditions: Sending expeditions was another policy of obtaining raw material. For example expedition was sent to Khetri region of Rajasthan for copper and to South India for gold. Local communities were contacted through these expeditions. Availability of Harappan evidences in distant places indicates toward these contacts. Evidences found in Khetri region were given the name of Ganeshwar-Jodhpura culture by archaeologists. Huge reserves of copper products are found over here. Probably inhabitants of this area used to send copper to Harappan people.

7. Discuss how archaeologists reconstruct the past.

Ans: Archaeologists reconstruct the following manner:

(i) They excavate the ancient sites related with culture or civilisation. They find out the art and carft such as seal, material remains of houses, buildings, pots, ornaments, tools, coins, weights, measurements and toys etc.

(ii) Sometimes they find skulls, bones, teeth, jaws, and some articles kept with the bodies. Archaeologists take help of botanists, who are specialists in ancient plant remains. They also study the animal bones found at different sites with the help of zoologist.

(iii) Archaeologists try to identify the tools and implements use for cultivation and harvesting. They try to find out traces of means of irrigation such as wells, canals, tanks etc.

(iv) They used present day analogies to try and understand what ancient artefact were use for. Sometimes they compare the ancient findings with present day articles.

(v) Archaeologists observe the different layers of sites and try to find out different things which give picture of socio-economic conditions, religions and cultural life of the past people.

(vi) In order to identify centres of crafts production, archaeologists usually look for the following: raw material such as stone needles, shells, copper ore; tools; unfinished objects; rejects and waste material. In fact, waste is one of the best indicators of craft work. For instance, if shell or stone is cut to make objects, then pieces of these materials will be discarded as waste at the place of production.

(vii) Sometimes, archaeologists have to take recourse to indirect evidenve. For instance, though there are traces of cotten at some Harappan sites, to find out about clothing we have to depend on indirect evidence including depictions in sculpture.

(viii) Archaeologists have to develop frames of reference. We have seen that the first Harappan seal that was found could not be understood till archaeologists had a context in which to place it- both in terms, and in terms of a comparison with finds in Mesopotamia.

(ix) Attempts have also been made to reconstruct religious beliefs and practies by examining seals, some of which seem to depict ritual scense. Others, with plants motifs. Some animals- such as the one-horned animal, often called the “unicorn”- depicted on seals seem to by mythical, composite creatures. In some seals, a figure shown seated cross-legged in a “yogic” posture, sometimes surrounded by animals, has been regarded as a depiction of “proto-Shiva”, that is, an early form of one of the major deities of Hinduism. Besides, conical stone objects have been classified as lingas.

8. Dicuss the functions that may have been performed by rulers in Harappan society.

Ans: Some archaeologists are of the opinion that Harappan society had no rulers, and that everybody enjoyed equal status. Others feel there was no single ruler but several, that Mohenjodaro had a separate ruler, Harappa another, and so forth, yet other argue that there was a single state, given the similarity in artefacts, the evidence for planned settlements, the standardised ratio of brick size, and the establishment of settlements near sources of raw material. As of now, the last theory seems the most plausible, as it is unlikely that entire communities could have collectively made and implemented such complex decisions.

(i) There are indications of complex desisions being taken and implemented in Harappan society. Take for instance, the extraordinary uniformity of Harappan artefacts as evident in pottey, seals, weights and bricks.

Please share this