From Hunting-Gathering to Growing Food CBSE Class 6 History Chapter 2 Notes

BoardCBSE Board, UP board, JAC board, HBSE Board, Bihar Board, PSEB board, RBSE Board, UBSE Board
Class6th Class
ChapterChapter 2
Chapter NameFrom Hunting-Gathering to Growing Food
TopicFrom Hunting-Gathering to Growing Food CBSE Class 6 History Chapter 2 Notes
Especially Designed Notes forCBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA, UPSC, SSC, NDA

From Hunting-Gathering to Growing Food

Varieties of Foods

  • The important source of food such as fruits, vegetables, grains comes from plants that are grown today.
  • Different plants grow in different conditions, for example rice requires more water than wheat and barley which explains why farmers’ grow some crops in some areas and not in other areas.
  • Other than plant produce, milk and meat are also the source of food which comes from animals that are reared.
  • Similarly, different animals too, prefer different environments-for instance, sheep and goat can survive more easily than cattle in dry, hilly environments.

The Beginnings of Farming and Herding

  • Since, the climate of the world was changing, it affected the flora and fauna of the earth.
  • Men, women and children learnt day-by-day and probably observed several things: the places where edible plants were found, how seeds broke off stalks, fell on the ground and new plants sprouted from them.
  • Perhaps they began looking after plants-protecting them from birds and animals so that they could grow and the seeds could ripen. In this way, people became farmers.
  • People began herding animals and then tame animals by leaving food for them near their shelters.
  • The first animal to be tamed was the wild ancestor of the dog.
  • Later, people encouraged animals that were relatively gentle to come near the camps where they lived.
  • These animals such as sheep, goat, cattle and also the pig lived in herds and most of them ate grass.
  • People also protected these animals from attacks by other wild animals.
    • This is how they became herders.

A New Way of Life

  • When people began growing plants, it meant that they had to stay in the same place for a long time looking after the plants, watering, weeding, driving away animals and birds-till the grain ripened.
  • Then, the grain had to be used carefully.
  • In some parts, people began making large clay pots, or wove baskets, or dug pits into the ground as grain had to be stored for both food and seed.

Storing Animals

  • Breeding of animals is a natural process.
  • Besides, if they are looked after carefully, they provide milk, which is an important source of food, and meat, whenever required.
  • In other words, animals that are reared can be used as a ‘store’ of food.

First Farmers and Herders

  • From the sites of Burzahom, Chirand, Daojali Hading, Koldihwa, Mahagara, Hallur, Paiyampalli and Mehrgarh (now in Pakistan), the evidences of early farmers and herders have been found by the archaeologists.
  • From such sites, the remains of burnt grains have been recovered, which may have been burnt accidently or on purpose.
  • Apart from the finds of various grains, the bones of different animals also have been found.

Towards a Settled Life

  • In Burzahom (in present-day Kashmir), people built pit-houses, which were dug into the ground, with steps leading into them.
  • These may have provided shelter in cold weather.
  • Finds of cooking hearths both inside and outside the huts too have been found, which suggests that, depending on the weather, people could cook food either indoors or outdoors.

Finding of Tools

  • From various sites, stone tools have been found, out of which many are different from the earlier Palaeolithic tools and that is why they are called Neolithic
  • These tools were polished to give a fine cutting edge, and mortars and pestles used for grinding grain and other plant produce.
  • The use of mortars and pestles is in practice for grinding grain even today, several thousand years later.
  • At the same time, tools of the palaeolithic types continued to be made and used, and some tools were also made of bone.

Finding of Pottery

  • Various kinds of earthen pots have also been found, which were sometimes decorated, and were used for storing things.
  • This was the beginning of using pots for cooking food, especially grains like rice, wheat and lentils that now became an important part of the diet.
  • Besides people also began weaving cloth, using different kinds of materials, for example cotton, that could now be grown.
  • In many areas, men and women continued to hunt and gather food, and elsewhere people adopted farming and herding slowly, over several thousands years.

Other Customs and Practices

  • According to the scholars, tribes are those who live in groups and practise simple farming and herding, and also follow certain customs and practices that may have existed earlier as well.

A Closer Look

(a) Living and Dying in Mehrgarh

  • Mehrgarh site is located in a fertile plain, near the Bolan Pass, which is one of the most important routes into Iran.
  • It was probably the place where women and men learnt to grow barley and wheat, and rear sheep and goats for the first time in this area.
  • It is one of the earliest villages that we know about.

Traces of Bones

  • The evidence of many kinds of animal bones from the earliest levels has been found by archaeologists during excavation, which included bones of wild animals such as the deer and pig.
  • In later levels, they found more bones of sheep and goat and in still later levels, cattle bones are most common, suggesting that this was the animal that was generally kept by the people.

Traces of Houses

  • Remains of square and rectangular houses have been discovered from this site.
  • Each house had four or more compartments, some of which may have been used for storage.


  • When people die their relatives and friends pay respect to them and look after them, perhaps in the belief that there is some form of life after death.
  • At Mehrgarh, several burial sites have been found. The dead person was buried with goats, which were probably meant to serve as food in the next world.

(b) Daojali Hading

  • This site is located on the hills near the Brahmaputra Valley, close to routes leading into China and Myanmar.
  • Stone tools, including mortars and pestles, have been recovered from this site, which indicate that people were probably growing grain and preparing food from it.
  • Jadeite, a stone that may have been brought from China, also has been found.
  • Also common are finds of tools made of fossil wood (ancient wood that has hardened into stone), and pottery.

1. Farmer: A person who operates a farm or cultivates land

2. Herder: A person in charge of a hort, especially at cattle or sheep.

3 Pots: A container of earthenware, metal, etc. usually round and deep, and having a handle or handles and often a lid, used for cooking, serving and other purposes

4 Pit house: Houses that were dug into the ground, with steps leading into them

5. Neolithic: This is the last stage of stone age. In this stage, tools were polished to give a fine cutting edge, and mortars and pestles used for grinding grain and other plant produce

6. Tribes: Any aggregate of people united by lies of descent from a common ancestor, community of customs and tradition. adherence to the same leaders, etc.

7. Village: A small community or group of houses in rural ares larger than a hamlet and usually smaller than a town. Most people living in villages are engaged in food production.

8. Burial: it is the ritual act of placing a dead person or animal, le sometimes with objects, into the ground.


  • Members of a tribe follow occupations like hunting, gathering farming, herding and fishing.
    • Women do most of the agricultural work, children often look after plants by helping their mothers.
  • Both men and women make pots, baskets, tools and huts, and take port in singing and dancing. 
  • Some men are regarded as leaders.
  • Old women are respected for their wisdom and experience.
  • Tribes have rich and unique cultural traditions.
  • In tribal society, there are no sharp difference between the rich and the poor.

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