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Class 12 History Chapter 1 Bricks Beads and Bones
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Bricks Beads and Bones
Chapter – 1
PART – I
Very Short Answer Type Questions
Q.1. What items did Harappans trade with Mesopotamia?
Ans : The Harappans are said to have traded tin, copper, gold, timber, silver and precious stones with Mesopotamia.
Q.2. Give two important characteristics of the Harapan script.
Ans : ( i) Not alphabetical but pictographic (has between 375 and 400 signs)
ii) Script was written from left to right.
iii) Despite constant efforts, it has not been deciphered to data.
Q.3. Discuss what is the evidence used by archaeologists to reconstruct dietary practices?
Ans : To reconstruct dietary practices archaeologists have used:
a) remains of charred grains and seeds e.g: wheat, barley, lentil, cheek pea, sesame, mustard .
b) bones of wild species such as boar, deer and gharial. Bones of fish and fowl are also found.
Q.4. What metals were known to the Harappans?
Ans : The Harappan civilisation was chalcolithic. The people of Harappa used copper, tin, bronze, gold and silver. They were not acquainted with iron.
Q.5. Name two sites of the Harappan civilization in India and two in Pakistan.
Ans : India – Lothal and Dholavira.
Pakistan – Mohenjodaro and Harappa.
Q.6. What kind of Government did the Harappan civilization have?
Ans : a) Not much is known about the type of Government that existed in the Indus Valley civilization. The absence of any palace like building or temple indicates that neither kings nor priests existed.
b) At the same time, the extra ordinary uniformity of Harappan artefact as evident in pottery weights.
Q.7. It is very interesting to note that the Harappans were concern for privacy’. Briefly comment.
Ans: It is very interesting that the Harappan were very much concern for privacy in their homely life. There are no windows in the walls along the ground level. Beside, the main entrance does not give a direct view of the interior or the courtyard. Every house had its own bathroom.
Q.8. Define the term culture. Give one example from Indian history.
Ans : Archaeologists are the term culture for a group of objects, distinctive in style, that are usually found together within a specific geographical area and period of time.
Example : The Harappan culture, the oldest urban culture of the Indian subcontinent. It is also called the Indus Valley Civilisation.
Q.9. Who is generally called the father of Indian archaeology?
Ans : Alexander Cunningham is generally called the father of Indian archaeology.
Q.10. Discuss two features of the houses of Mohenjodaro.
Ans : The following are the two features of the houses in Mohenjo Daro:
a) Each houses in Mohenjodaro had a bath room. Its floor was made of bricks. The gutters of the bath room were linked to the main gutter in the street. The gutters were made along the sides of the walls.
b) Many homes had wells. These wells were built in that part of the house where anyone could go easily. It was probably done to enable the travellers to make use of the well.
Q.11. Which products of Meluhha are mentioned in the Mesopotamian text? Here what is meant by Meluhha?
Ans : Mesopotamian texts mention many products of Meluhha like lapis lazuli, carnelian, gold, copper and varieties of wood. Here Maluhha may be meant the Harappan region.
B. Textual Questions & Answers :
Q.1. List the items of food available to people in Harappan cities. Identify the groups who would have provided these.
Ans : The following items of food were available to people in Harappan cities-
a) Fish and fowl.
b) Rice (This item was rarely used).
c) Millets (are found from sites in Gujarat).
d) Meat of cattle, sheep, goat, buffalo and pig.
e) Plants and their products such as leaves, flowers, fruits etc.
f) Grains such as wheat, barley, lentil, chickpea and sesame. Identification of groups who would have provided the items of foods-
a) Hunters (meat of different animals).
b) Fish and fowl were provided by fishermen.
c) Farmers and traders provided grains to the people of the Harappan culture.
d) Plants and their products most probably were provided by the tribal people.
e) Most probably some of the Harappans themselves hunted the different animals.
Q.2. How do archaeologists trace socio-economic differences in Harappan society? What are the differences that they notice?
Ans : The archaeologists find many socio-economic disparities in the Harappan society. They make the following disparities as their base further study.
Burials : We find many burials at the Harappan sites at that time, the dead were generally laid in pits. Along with the dead body, different kinds of things were also kept. These things could even be precious or ordinary. there was difference in the pits in which the dead were buried. The precious things reflected the strong economic condition of the dead. The common things were the symbol of this weak economic position.
Things of Luxury: The archaeologists also study arte facts to identify many other social and economic differences. These things can be classified as utilitarian and luxuries. The utilitarian things are objects of daily use. They are made of ordinary material such as stone or clay. They include querns, pottery, needles and body scrubbers. They were possessed by all the people in all the Harappan settlements. On the other hand, the luxuries were those objects which were rare, which were made with from costly and non-local materials or were made with the help of complicated technologies.
For example, the post of faience (a material prepared with the mixing of silica, colour and gum) were considered costly and precious because they were very difficult to make. The economic status of those societies was comparatively high where such things have been found.
Q.3. Would you agree that the drainage system in Harappan cities indicates town planning? Give reasons for your answer.
Ans : The drainage system in Harappan cities indicates town planning because –
i) The roads and streets were laid out along an approximate grid pattern.
ii) The streets and drains were laid out first and then houses were built along them. This was carefully planned because all domestic waster water had to flow into the streets, every house needed to have at least one wall along the street.
In fact Ernest Mackay in early Indus civilization termed the drains in Harappan cities as the most complete ancient system as yet discovered. Every home was connected to street drains. The main channels were made of bricks set in mortar and were covered with bricks that could be removed for cleaning. House drains first emptied into a sump or cesspit into which solid matter settled, while waste water flowed into street drains Very long drainage channels were provided at intervals with sumps for cleaning. It is important to note that drains were found in smaller settlements too, such as Lothal.
Q.4. List the materials used to make leads in the Hrappan civilisation. Describe the process by which any one kind of bead was made.
Ans : Beads were made of various materials like :
a) Metals like copper, bronze and gold.
b) Shell, faience, terra-cotta or burnt clay.
c) Stones of carnelian, jasper, crystal quartz and steatite.
Techniques for making beads differed according to the material used. Carnelian leads were obtained by firing the yellowish raw material and beads at various stages of production. Nodules were chipped into rough shapes, and then finely flaked into the final form. Grinding polishing and drilling completed the process.
Q.5. Look at Fig 1.30 and describe what you see. How is the body placed? What are the objects placed near it? Are there any artifacts on the body? Do these indicate the sex of the skeleton?
Ans : Body has been kept in North Southern direction in a pit.
Many graves contain pottery and ornaments which include jar.
Yes jewellery like bangles are there on the body.”
Yes, this indicates towards the sex of the skeleton i.e. it is the body of a woman.
Write a Short Essay on the Following
Q.6. Describe some of the distinctive features of Mohenjodaro.
Ans : Mohenjodaro is far better preserved from the greedy eyes of brick robbers than the Harappan or the other cities of the Indus valley Civilisation. If we look at the layout of Mohenjo Daro we come to know several distinctive features of this great city.
i) The settlement of Mohenjo Daro is divided into two sections: The lower town and the citadel. One section of city is smaller but higher and the other section is the much larger but lower.
ii) The citadel owed its height to the fact that buildings were constructed on mud brick platforms. The citadel was walled, which meant that it was physically separated from the Lower Town.
iii) The lower town was also walled. Besides, several buildings were built on platforms, which served as foundations.
iv) This had been given observation by different scholar seeing the complete layout of Mohenjodaro. A large number of labourers have been used, who had worked daily for several years for the constructions of different building of the city.
v) Mohenjodaro was a very well-planned city with the drain system, the roads, the huge buildings, used of bricks keeping in view a standardised ratio of length and breath, which were generally four times and twice the height respectively had been used at all important structures of the city. We find at least one wall along a street in every house.
vi) The lower town at Mohenjodaro provides examples of the houses that people lived in. Many were centred on a courtyard with rooms on all sides. The courtyard was probably the focus of activities such as cooking and weaving, particularly during hot and dry weather.
vii) There were no windows in the walls along the ground level in dwelling units. But every house had own its every bathroom paved with bricks with its drains connected through the wall with street drains. Some houses had remains of staircases to reach a second story or the roof. Many houses had wells. In some cases the well was in a room that could be reached from the outside and was perhaps used by passers by. Scholars have estimated that the total number of wells in Mohenjodaro may nave been about 700.
It is on the citadel that we find evidence of structures that were probably used for special, public purposes. Here we find the granary, a massive structure of which the lower brick portions remain. The upper portions, probably of wood, decayed long ago.
Q.7. List the raw materials required for craft production in the Harappan civilisations and discuss how these might have been obtained.
Ans : i) The Harappan needed a variety of materials and acquired them in various ways.
ii) In general, settlements were established near the sources of raw materials. Therefore settlements were established at Nageshwar and Balakot where shell was readily available.
iii) From shortughai in Afghanistan lapis lazuli a very expensive blue stone was got.
iv) Lothal was centrally located near sources of cornelian got from Bharuch, steatite (From Rajasthan and Gujrat) and metals (from Rajasthan)
v) Raw materials were also got by sending expeditions to other areas. For example to south India for gold.
vi) These expeditions also established communications with local communities. In the Khetri area of rajasthan an unusual wealth of copper objects has been found. Possibly this area supplied copper to the Harappans.
vii) Recent archaeological finds suggest that copper was probably brought from Oman.
viii) Chemical analysis have shown that both Omani copper and Harappan artefacts have traces of nickel suggesting a common origin.
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