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

Textbook NCERT
Board CBSE Board, UP board, JAC board, HBSE Board, Bihar Board, PSEB board, RBSE Board, UBSE Board
Class 6th Class
Subject History
Chapter Chapter 4
Chapter Name What Books and Burials Tell Us
Topic What Books and Burials Tell Us CBSE Class 6 History Chapter 4 Notes
Medium English
Especially Designed Notes for CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA, UPSC, SSC, NDA

What Books and Burials Tell Us

One of the Oldest Books in the World

  • There are four Vedas-the Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda and Atharvaveda.
  • The oldest Veda is the Rigveda, composed about 3500 years ago.


The Rigveda includes more than a thousand hymns, called sukta or “well-said”, which are in praise of various Gods and Goddesses

Three Gods are especially important:

  1. Agni, the God of fire
  2. Indra, a warrior God
  3. Soma, a plant from which the special drink ‘somarasa’ was prepared.
  • The hymns were composed by sages (rishis).
  • Priests taught students to recite and memorise these with great care.
  • Most of the hymns were composed, taught and learnt by men.
  • Some were even composed by women.
  • The Rigveda is in old or Vedic Sanskrit.
  • The Rigveda was recited and heard rather than read.
  • After several centuries of its composition, the Rigveda was printed less than 200 hundred years ago.

How Historians Study the Rigveda

  • Historians, like archaeologists, find out about the past, but in addition to material remains, they also examine the written sources as well.
  • Some of the hymns in the Rigveda are in the form of dialogues, such as a dialogue between a sage named Vishvamitra and two rivers, (Beas and Sutlej) that were worshipped as Goddesses.

Cattle, Horses and Chariots

  • In the Rigveda, there are many prayers for cattle, children (especially sons) and horses.
  • Horses were yoked to chariots that were used in battles, which were fought to capture cattle.
  • At that time, battles were fought for land, for water, and to capture people.
  • The wealth, captured in the battles, was distributed among the priests, people, and used for the performance of the yajnas, but the major part remained with the leaders.
  • The performances of the yajnas were meant for Gods and Goddesses, and offerings in the yajnas could include ghee, grain and in some cases, animals also.
  • Most people took part in these wars.
  • They discussed about war and peace in assemblies and also chose brave and skilful warrior as their leader.

Words to Describe People

  • There are several ways of describing people found in the age of Rigveda-in terms of the work they do, the language they speak, the place they belong to, their family, their communities and cultural practices.

Brahmins and Rajas

  • There are two groups who are described in terms of their work-the priests, sometimes called brahmins, who performed various rituals, and the rajas.
  • At that time, rajas did not have capital cities, palaces or armies.
  • Taxes were not collected and there was no hereditary monarchy.

Jana and Vish

  • To describe the people or the community as a whole, two words were used viz jana and vish.
  • Several vish or jana are mentioned by name.
  • So, we find the Puru jana or vish, the Bharata jana or vish, the Yadu jana etc.

Aryas and Dasas/Dasyus

  • The people who composed the hymns described themselves as Aryas and called their opponents Dasas or Dasyus.
  • Dasyus were the people who did not perform sacrifices, and probably spoke different languages.
  • Later the term dasa (and the feminine dasi) came to mean as slave.
  • The men and women, captured in war, became slaves, and were treated as the property of their owners.

Silent Sentinels-The Story of the Megaliths

  • The big stones or the stone boulders are known as megaliths, which were carefully arranged by people, and were used to mark burial sites.
  • The practice of erecting megaliths began about 3000 years ago.
  • It was prevalent throughout the Deccan, South India, in the North-East and Kashmir.
  • Some of the megaliths can be seen on the surface, others are often underground.
  • Archaeologists often find a circle of stone boulders or a single large stone standing on the ground, which are the indications that there are burials beneath.
  • The burials have some common features, as the dead were buried with distinctive pots, which are called Black and Red Ware.
  • Sometimes tools and weapons of iron”, skeletons of horses, horse equipment, and ornaments of stone and gold are also found.

Finding Out about Social Differences

  • The objects found with a skeleton probably belonged to the dead person, and sometimes, more objects are found in one grave than in another.
  • In Brabmagiri, one skeleton was buried with 33 gold beads, 2 stone beads, 4 copper bangles and one conch shell, while other skeletons have only a few pots.
  • These differences in burials suggest that there was some difference in status amongst the people who were buried, as some were rich, others poor, some were chiefs, others were their followers.

Burial Spots for Certain Families

  • Some megaliths also contain more than one skeleton, which indicate that people, perhaps belonging to the same family, were buried in the same place though not at the same time.
  • The bodies of those who died later were brought into the grave through the port-holes.
  • The boulders or stone circles placed on the surface probably served as signposts to find the burial site.

A Special Burial at Inamgaon

  • The site of Inamgaon is located on the bank of river Ghod, a tributary of the Bhima which was occupied between 3600 and 2700 years ago.
  • In Inamgaon, adults were generally buried in the ground, laid out straight, with the head towards the North.
  • Some burials were within the houses, and vessels that probably contained food and water were placed with the dead.
  • In the courtyard of a five roomed house which was the centre of the settlement, one man was found buried in a large, four legged clay jar.
  • This house had a granary, and the body was placed in a cross-legged position.

Occupations at Inamgaon

  • Archaeologists have found seeds of wheat, barley, rice, pulses, millets, peas and sesame.
  • Bones of a number of animals, many bearing cut marks that show they may have been used as food, have also been found.
  • This signifies that people were mainly farmers and herders.
  • Bones of animals include cattle, buffalo, goat, sheep, dog, horse, ass, pig, sambbar, spotted deer, blackbuck, antelope, hare and mongoose, besides birds, crocodile, turtle, crab and fish.
  • Fruits like her, amla, jamun, dates and a variety of berries were also collected and consumed.

1. Vedas: The oldest books that represent the culture and ethics of Indian land

2. Hymn: Song sung in the praise of a God or Goddess.

3. Chariot: A light, two wheeled vehicle for one person, usually driven by two horses from a standing position. It was used in ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, etc in warfare, racing, hunting etc.

4. Language: A body of words and the systems for their use common to people who are of the same community or nation, the same geographical area, or the same cultural tradition.

5. Sacrifice: The offering of animal, plant, or human life or of some material possession to a deity, as in propitiation or homage.

6. Slave: A person who is the property of and wholly subject to another; a bond servant.

7. Megalith: A stone boulder, used to mark burial site, is referred to as a megalith,

8. Burial: A site where a person is buried after his/her death. 9. Iron Something hard, strong, rigid, unyielding, a kind of metal.

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