i. The city of Lothal stood beside a tributary of the Sabarmati, in Gujarat, close to the Gulf of Khambat.
ii. It was situated near areas where raw materials such as semi-precious stones were easily available.
iii. This was an important centre for making objects out of stone, shell and metal.
iv. There was also a store house in the city. Many seals and sealings (the impression of seals on clay) were found in this storehouse.
Ans. Harappans used raw materials were available locally; many items such as copper, tin, gold, silver and precious stones had to be brought from distant places. The Harappans probably got copper from present-day Rajasthan, and even from Oman in West Asia. Tin may have been brought from present-day Afghanistan and Iran. Gold could have come all the way from present-day Karnataka, and precious stones from present-day Gujarat, Iran and Afghanistan.
Ans. Metals, writing, the wheel and the plough were important for the Harappans in many ways:
Metals were used for making various tools, utensils, jewelry and seals.
Writing was useful for maintaining the records; related to trade and for various other purposes.
Wheel was used in carts to ferry people and goods. Wheel was also used as potter’s wheel.
Plough was used for tilling the land so that farming could be done.
Ans. Nearly a hundred and fifty years ago, when railway lines were being laid down for the first time in the Punjab, engineers stumbled upon the site of Harappa in present-day Pakistan. To them, it seemed like a mound that was a rich source of ready made, high quality bricks. So they carried off thousands of bricks from the walls of the old buildings of the city to build railway lines. Many buildings were completely destroyed. Then, about eighty years ago, archaeologists found the site, and realised that this was one of the oldest cities in the subcontinent.
Ans. Great Bath
i. In Mohenjodaro, a very special tank, which archaeologists call the Great Bath, was built in this area.
ii. This was lined with bricks, coated with plaster, and made water-tight with a layer of natural tar.
iii. There were steps leading down to it from two sides, while there were rooms on all sides.
iv. Water was probably brought in from a well, and drained out after use.
v. Perhaps important people took a dip in this tank on special occasions.
Ans. Houses, drains and streets of Harappan cities
i. Generally, houses were either one or two storeys high, with rooms built around a courtyard.
ii. Most houses had a separate bathing area, and some had wells to supply water.
iii. Many of these cities had covered drains. Each drain had a gentle slope so that water could flow through it.
iv. Drains in houses were connected to those on the streets and smaller drains led into bigger ones.
v. As the drains were covered, inspection holes were provided at intervals to clean them.
Ans. The Harappans can be called great architects and engineers because
i. They built massive walls and gateways surrounding the city area to protect the city from flood and control illegal trade.
ii. Most of these roads and streets were paved with fire brunt bricks. The main streets intersected at right angles, dividing the city into squares or rectangular blocks each of which was divided length wise and cross wise by lanes.
iii. The drainage system was excellent. Drains were covered and had a gentle slope so that water could flow through it. Inspection holes were provided at intervals to clean them.
All three — houses, drains and streets — were probably planned and built at the same time.
Ans. Following are the difference:
i. Harappan farmers and herders used wooden plough to dig the earth for turning the soil and planting seeds. Earlier farmers and herders used mortars and pestle for grinding grains.
ii. Harappan farmers and herders used some form of irrigation. Water was stored and supplied to the fields when the plants were growing. Earlier farmers and herders did not practice irrigation.
iii. Harappan farmers stored grains in well-built granaries. Earlier farmers stored grains in clay pots, basket etc.
iv. Harappan farmers and herders lived in the countryside. There were no cities in earlier times.
Ans. Special feature about Harappan cities
i. Many of these cities were divided into two or more parts. Usually, the part to the west was smaller but higher and is called the citadel. Generally, the part to the east was larger but lower and is called the lower town.
ii. Very often walls of baked brick were built around each part. The bricks were laid in an interlocking pattern and that made the walls strong.
iii. In some cities, special buildings were constructed on the citadel. For example, in Mohenjodaro, a very special tank called the Great Bath, was built in this area.
iv. Other cities, such as Kalibangan and Lothal had fire altars, where sacrifices may have been performed.
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