Topic outline

    • Vital Villages, Thriving Towns

      Q19. Why the earliest coins which were in use for about 500 years were called punch marked coins?

      Ans. They have been given this name because the designs were punched on to the metal — silver or copper.


      Q20. Why some of the earliest works in Tamil, known as Sangam literature?

      Ans. These texts were called Sangam because they were supposed to have been composed and compiled in assemblies (known as sangams) of poets that were held in the city of Madurai.


      Q21. List all the women who could be employed by the superintendent.

      Ans. Widows, young women who are differently abled, nuns, mothers of courtesans, retired women servants of the king, women who have retired from service in temples, may be employed by the superintendent.

      Q22. What kinds of inscription have been found in Mathura?

      Ans. Generally, these are short inscriptions, recording gifts made by men (and sometimes women) to monasteries and shrines. These were made by kings and queens, officers, merchants, and crafts persons who lived in the city.


      Q23. Who lived in the village?

      Ans. There were at least three different kinds of people living in most villages in the southern and northern parts of the subcontinent. In the Tamil region, large landowners were known as vellalar, ordinary ploughmen were known as uzhavar, and landless labourers, including slaves, were known as kadaisiyar and adimai.


      Q24. What are the ways of finding out about early cities?

      Ans. Ways of finding out about early cities are:

                               i.        Sculptors carved scenes depicting peoples’ lives in towns and villages, as well as in the forest.

                             ii.        Archaeologists’ findings such as found rows of pots, or ceramic rings arranged one on top of the other.

                            iii.        Accounts of sailors and travellers who visited them.

      Q25. What has been found in the archaeological excavations at Arikamedu?

      Ans. Findings in the archaeological excavations at Arikamedu

                                i.        A massive brick structure, which may have been a warehouse, was found at the site.

                              ii.        Other finds include pottery from the Mediterranean region, such as amphorae and stamped red-glazed pottery, known as Arretine Ware, which was named after a city in Italy.

                             iii.        Roman lamps, glassware and gems have also been found at the site.


      Q26. What were the functions performed by Shrenis?

      Ans. Functions performed by Shrenis were:

                              i.        These shrenis of crafts persons provided training, procured raw material, and distributed the finished product.

                             ii.        Then shrenis of merchants organised the trade.

                            iii.        Shrenis also served as banks, where rich men and women deposited money. This was invested, and part of the interest was returned or used to support religious institutions such as monasteries.


      Q27. Mathura has been an important settlement for more than 2500 years. Give reasons.

      Ans. Reasons

                                i.        It was important because it was located at the cross roads of two major routes of travel and trade — from the northwest to the east and from north to south.

                              ii.        There were fortifications around the city, and several shrines.

                             iii.        Farmers and herders from adjoining areas provided food for people in the city.

                             iv.        Mathura was also a centre where some extremely fine sculpture was produced.

      Q28. Write a short note on Grama Bhojaka.

      Ans. Grama Bhojaka

                                i.        In the northern part of the country, the village headman was known as the grama bhojaka.

                              ii.        Usually, men from the same family held the position for generations. In other words, the post was hereditary.

                             iii.        The grama bhojaka was often the largest landowner.

                             iv.        Generally, he had slaves and hired workers to cultivate the land.

                               v.        Besides, as he was powerful, the king often used him to collect taxes from the village.

                             vi.        He also functioned as a judge, and sometimes as a policeman.


    • Download to practice offline.