Books and Burials Tell Us
Q20. Why were portholes used
Portholes were used as an entrance. Through these portholes the bodies of family
members who died later were brought into the grave.
Q21. Which two words were used to describe the people or the
community as a whole?
was the word jana, which we still use in Hindi and other languages. The other
was vish. The word vaishya comes from vish.
Q22. Name the two groups described in terms of their work.
There are two groups who are described in terms of their work — the priests,
sometimes called brahmins, who performed various rituals and the rajas.
Q23. Were some burial spots meant for certain families?
megaliths contain more than one skeleton. These indicate that people, perhaps
belonging to the same family, were buried in the same place though not at the
Q24. What were oracle bones?
Around 3500 years ago, we find some of the first evidence of writing in China. These
writings were on animal bones. These are called oracle bones, because they were
used to predict the future.
Q25. What do circle of stone boulders or a single large stone
standing on the ground indicates?
Sometimes, archaeologists find a circle of stone boulders or a single large
stone standing on the ground. These are the only indications that there are
Q26. In what ways are the books we read today different from the
The books we use are written and printed. The Rigveda was recited and heard
rather than read. It was written down several centuries after it was first
composed, and printed less than 200 years ago.
Q27. Differentiate between
‘Aryas’ and ‘Dasas’.
The people who composed the hymns
described themselves as Aryas.
Aryas called their opponents Dasas or
Dasyus. These were people who did not perform sacrifices, and probably spoke
Q28. What kind of evidence from burials do archaeologists use to
find out whether there were social differences amongst those who were buried?
Objects were found in the grave of the dead person. Sometimes, more objects are
found in one grave than in another. These finds suggest that
there was some difference in status amongst the people who were buried. Some
were rich, others poor, some chiefs, others followers.
Q29. In what ways do you think that the life of a raja was different
from that of a dasa or dasi?
1. Raja was a powerful leader who used to
1. They were often captured in war.
2. Raja was a free person.
2. They were treated as the property of
their owners, who could make them do whatever work they wanted.
3. The rajas led a luxurious life.
3. They led a miserable life.
Q30. How horses, cattle,
chariot and battles are depicted in Rigveda?
There are many prayers in the Rigveda for cattle, horses, chariot and battles.
Horses were yoked to chariots that were used in battles, which were fought to
capture cattle. Battles were also fought for land, which was important for pasture,
and for growing hardy crops that ripened quickly, such as barley. Some battles
were fought for water, and to capture people.
Q31. Write a
note on Rigveda.
oldest Veda is the Rigveda, composed about 3500 years ago. The Rigveda includes
more than a thousand hymns, called sukta or “well-said”. These hymns are in
praise of various gods and goddesses. Three gods are especially important:
Agni, the god of fire; Indra, a warrior god; and Soma, a plant from which a special
drink was prepared. These hymns were composed by sages
(rishis). Most of the hymns were composed, taught and learnt by
men. A few were composed by women. The Rigveda is in old or Vedic Sanskrit.
Q32. Write a short note on the Wars fought in the Rigvedic
were fought for cattle, land, water, and to capture people. Some of the wealth
that was obtained was kept by the leaders, some was given to the priests and the
rest was distributed amongst the people. Some wealth was used for the
performance of yajnas or sacrifices in which offerings were made into the fire.
These were meant for gods and goddesses. Most men took part in
these wars. There was no regular army, but there were assemblies where people
met and discussed matters of war and peace. They also chose leaders, who were
often brave and skilful warriors.