What Where, How and When? Class 6 History

History: History is a chronological account of events as they took place in the past.

Why should we study History:

i) We should study history as it tells us about our past.

ii) It gives us understanding about our ancient culture and lifestyle.

iii) It helps us to solve the problems of the present day world.

Time frames of History:

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i) Historians use chronological sequence for a better understanding. Birth of Jesus Christ has been taken as year zero.

ii) Any event before Christ is called Before Christ (BC) and an’,’ event after the birth of Jesus is called Anno Domini (AD).

iii) Timeline of history is divided into three stages prehistory, protohistory and history.

There did people live:

(i) People lived near river valle s. This was because rivers provided water for all purposes.

(ii) Traces of life were found near Sulaiman and Kirtar hills in North West.

(iii) Traces of life even existed along Ganga. Mahajanpadas like Magadha, Kashi, Vajji, etc. flourished 2500 years ago

How was the name India Derived:

i) Our country is called India and Bharat.

ii) Bharat was used by the people of North India in the Sanskrit composition Rigveda.

iii) The word Indus traces its roots from the river Indus which is called Sindhu in Sanskrit. How do we know about the past:

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(i) Archaeologist and historians study several sources to tell us about the past. There are two sources archaeological and literary.

(ii) Archaeology: The study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of physical remains.

(iii) Archaeologists use sources like monuments, artefacts, inscription and coins.

(iv) Handwritten or any other written record of the past is known as a literary source.

(v) Literary sources include two types of literature religious literature and secular literature.

Why studied sources of History:

i) There were two groups of people who studied history. One was called archaeologist and the other group was called historians.

ii) Archaeologists studied remains of buildings made of stones, bricks, paintings and sculptures.

iii) The other group called historians were the people who studied the past and used information found in the inscriptions, seals and scripts.

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Facts that Matter:

• People have lived on the banks of the Narmada for several thousand years. The earliest of them were skilled gatherers—people who gathered their food.
• Near Sulaiman and Kirthar hills in the present-day Pakistan, crops like wheat and barley were first grown 8000 years ago. People also began rearing animals like sheep, goat, and cattle. They lived in villages. Rice was first grown in the north of the Vindhyas.
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• Agriculture developed near the Garo hills and near the Vindhyas.
• Some of the earliest cities flourished about 4700 years ago on the banks of the Indus and its tributaries. Cities also developed on the banks of the Ganga.
• People travelled from one place to another and interacted with each other, thus sharing ideas. This has enriched our culture.
• Old books, called manuscripts, were usually written on palm leaf or the bark of the birch trep. They are helpful in revealing our past.
• Archaeologists have also found inscriptions, which are an engraved form of writing on hard surfaces, such as stone or metal. They were used for various purposes.
• The people who study objects made and used in the past are called archaeologists. They explore and excavate to find old objects. They also look for bones of living beings to find what people ate.
• The people who study the past are the historians. They look for information found from manuscripts and inscriptions, which they call source.

Words that Matter:

Archaeologists: People who study the objects made and used in the past are called archaeologists.
Excavation: The process of digging under the surface of the earth in order to find old objects is called excavation.
Historians: Scholars who study the past are called historians.
Inscriptions: These are writings on very hard surfaces like stone or metal. Manuscripts. Books that were written long ago by hand on palm leaf or barks of trees are called manuscripts.

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Skilled Gatherers: The people who gathered their food. They have lived on the banks of the Narmada for several hundred thousand years.
Tributaries: Smaller rivers that flow into a larger river are said to be its tributaries.


• 8000 years ago — beginning of agriculture
• 4700 years ago — the first cities
• 2500 years ago — the Magadha Kingdom


  1. In India, the earliest people lived along the banks of the river Narmada for several hundred thousand years. They were skilled Gatherers and used to gather food. They had very vast knowledge of the plants growing around them. They also used to hunt animals for food.
  2. Sulaiman and Kirthar hills to the North West of India were one of the first places man first began to grow crops like Wheat and barley some 8, 000 years ago. At these places people also started to rear animals like sheep, goat and cattle. These people lived together in villages.
  3. Garo hills to the North-east and Vindhya mountain range in Central India are some of the other places where Agriculture first began.
  4. Rice was first grown at the areas to the North side of Vindhya mountain range.
  5. About 4700 years ago, cities flourished along the banks of River Indus and its tributaries
  6. And about 2500 years ago, cities flourished along the banks of river Ganga and its tributaries.
  7. In ancient times the area to the south of the river Ganga was called as Magadha. Its rulers were very powerful and Magadha was a powerful kingdom.
  8. In ancient time people used to travel very extensively for trade or in search of livelihood or in adventure or to teach or to escape natural calamities like drought, floods etc. or to conquer.

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  1. Travelling enriched the cultural traditions and sharing of ideas between people. People shared new ways of carving stones, composing music and cooking for several hundreds of years.
  2. Our country is often called by two words “India” & “Bharat”. The name India came from the river Indus (Sindhu in Sanskrit). 2500 years ago, the Iranians and the Greeks who came to India from the Northwest side called the river Indus as ‘Hindos’ or ‘Indos’. And the land to the east of this river was called India.
  3. The name Bharata refers to a group of people who lived in North West part of India. They are also mentioned in Rig Veda some 3500 years ago. Later this name was use for the country.
  4. Manuscripts are the very important way to find out the ancient history. The word Manu is a Latin word which means Hand. Hence manuscripts are usually hand written. They are written on palm leaves or on the specially prepared bark of a tree known as Birch (especially silver birch tree) which grows in the foot hills of Himalayas.
  5. Though several manuscripts were destroyed and eaten away by the insects, many manu scripts have survived. The manuscripts were often preserved in temples and Monasteries. They dealt with many subjects like medicine, religious beliefs, practices, kings, Science etc.

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  1. These manuscripts were written in Sanskrit or Tamil or Prakrit (language used by common man).
  2. A manuscript from Rig Veda on birch bark was found in Kashmir. About 150 years ago it was used to prepare one of the earliest printed texts on Rig Veda as well as English translation. It is now preserved in a library in Pune, Maharashtra.
  3. Inscriptions are also very important to know about the ancient history. These are writings on hard surfaces like stone or metal. Usually kings got their orders and victories in the wars inscribed on them so that people could read and obey them.
  4.  One of the old inscriptions which date back to 2250 years was found in Kandahar (Present-day Afghanistan). The orders of the ruler Asoka were inscribed on it. It consisted of Greek and Aramaic languages which were used in that area.
  5. The process of understanding these scripts, symbols and languages is called as Decipherment. The little frame of the inscription found in Rosetta town in North coast of Egypt, North Africa was called Cartouche. This contained inscriptions in 3 different languages (Greek & 2 forms of Egyptian). This was most famous decipherment and is 5000 years old.
  6. Normally a script of any language consists of signs or symbols when written. But when we speak or talk we use a language.

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  1. Archaeologist is a person who studies the people and what they did in the past by the things they left behind. They look for artifacts, which are the things made by the people and these artifacts reveal more about the past. They also carry on excavations (Digging the surface of the earth)
  2. Archeologists also study bones of animals, birds and fish to find out the food habits of the people of past. They even study the plant remains, but the plant remains barely survive for so long.
  3. The evidences found by the Archaeologists are called Features.
  4. Historians are the persons who study the past or the history. The evidences found by them are called Source. The sources can be Manuscripts, Inscriptions and also some archaeological evidences.
  5. CE (Common Era) or AD Anno Domini, means in the year of Lord. BCE (Before Common Era) or BC-Before Christ.
  6. All the dates before the birth of the Christ are counted Backwards.
  7. We use these terms because the Christian Era is now used in most countries of the world. In India we started using this system since 200 years. Sometimes the letters BP (Before Present) are also used.

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