What Books and Burials Tell Us (Class 6 History Chapter 4 Notes)

What Books and Burials Tell Us (Class 6 History Chapter 4 Notes)
Vedas
  1. The Vedas are one of the oldest books in the world.
  2. There are four them in total - Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda and Atharvaveda
  3. The oldest veda is Rigveda. It is 3500 years old. It is made up of thousands of hymns, known as sukta.
  4. These hymns are written in praise of Gods. Three of the most important Rigvedic gods are Agni, Indra and Soma.
  5. These hymns are composed by various rishis.
  6. These Vedas are written in Old Sanskrit also known as Vedic Sanskrit.
  7. Books are usually written and printed, but Vedas were recited and heard before they were written or printed on any material. Therefore they are also known as Shruti Literature.

Sanskrit and other languages
  1. Sanskrit is part of a family of languages known as Indo-European. Indian languages such as Assamese, Gujarati, Hindi, Kashmiri and Sindhi and many other European languages such as English, French, German, Greek, Italian and Spanish belong to this family.
  2. They are called a family because they have common root words such as matr (sanskrit), ma (Hindi) and mother (english).
  3. Similarly, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam belong to the Dravidian language family and languages spoken in Jharkhand and Central India belong to the Austro-Asiatic family.

Rigveda
  1. There are several rivers mentioned in Rigveda. Some of them are Beas, Sutlej, Indus, Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. (List of Rigvedic Rivers)
  2. There are many prayers in rigveda for cattle, children and horses.
  3. There are mention of battles in Rigveda. Battles were generally fought for wealth, cattle, land, water and slaves.
  4. Some of the wealth was kept by leaders. Some was given to priests and rest was distributed among people.
  5. There were regular yajnas or sarifices performed for better health and wealth. Gods and Goddesses were offered ghee, grain, and in somecases, animals.
  6. Men took part in battles and there was no regular army maintained.
  7. There were regular assemblies where people meet and discuss the matter.

People
  1. Some of the words used to describe people during Rigvedic period are: Brahmin - the priest who performed various rituals and yajnas. Rajas - the leader who used to lead the community in the war.
  2. The Rajas was not hereditary positions. Sons cannot succeed his father. They did not have capitals, palaces or armies, nor did they collect taxes.
  3. Jana and vish are commonly used to describe the people or the community as whole.
  4. People who composed these hymns called themselves Aryas and their opponents Dasa or Dasayus.
  5. Originally, dasa means one who do not perform sacrifice and speak different language. But later, the meaning of dasa changed to slaves.
  6. They were treated as the property of their owners, who could make them do whatever work they wanted.

Megaliths

  1. The large stones which marks an important sites such as burial are known as megaliths.
  2. The practice of erecting megaliths began about 3000 years ago and can be seen in different parts of the Indian subcontinet.
  3. Some of the important megalith sites are Imamgaon, Brahmagiri and Adichanallur.
  4. Some megaliths can be seen on the surface and others are often underground.
  5. Usually deads were buried with distinctive pots (Black and Red Ware). In some cases, personal weapon, tools, jewellery and other items are also found.
  6. The amount of personal items can tell us about the status of the person.
  7. Sometimes, multiple skeletons are found in a single megalith spot, which means people used them as family burial spot.

Skeletal Studies
  1. The size of skeleton can help us determine, whether the person was a child, man or woman. Personal artefacts also helped in defining the gender of the person.
  2. About 2000 years ago, Charaka who wrote a book on medicine known as the Charaka Samhita. He stated the human body has 360 bones, which is 206 in modern atanomy, but he arrived at this number by counting teeths, joints and cartileges.

Imamgaon
  1. Imamgaon is a site on the river Ghod, a tributary of Bhima river. It was occupied between 3600 and 2700 years ago. Here, adults were buried in the ground, laid out straight, with the head towards the north. Vessels that probably contained food and water were placed with the dead.
  2. Wheat, barley, rice, pulses, millets, peas and sesame are the part of diet of people who lived in Imamgaon.
  3. They reared and hunted animals for food. The animals include wild cattle, buffalo, goat, sheep, dog, horse, ass, pig, sambhar, spotted deer, blackbuck, antelope, hare, and mongoose, birds, crocodile, turtle, crab and fish.
  4. They also collected ber, amla, jamun, dates and a variety of berries.